Here’s a note I sent out to our church community about our upcoming Easter Clean Water Project. If you are interested we’d love to have you partner with us.  Sorry that it runs together- WordPress is ignoring my attempts at spacing.

Dear Friends,
Hope this finds you well in the middle of the week and looking forward to spring. (It is coming soon, right?)
I just wanted to take a couple of minutes to fill you in on a special project our church community will be tackling over the next month and a half. As you know, Connections Church has always had a desire to make a difference in the name of Jesus. We trying to learn to love our neighbors- both locally and globally- as we love ourselves. With that in mind, we’ve decided to partner with BLOOD WATER MISSION for their 40 Days of Water Challenge.
You can check out the links above for yourself, but here’s the short version: Over a 40 Day period (March 1- April 9), we’re challenging ourselves to drink only water and keep track of what we would have spent on our usual beverages of choice. At the end of 40 days, we’ll pool the money we’ve saved by forgoing coffee, tea, soda, etc. and send it to Blood Water Mission to help provide clean water for people in Africa.
What will this do for them?
Every $1 we donate will provide clean drinking water for 1 African for an entire year. (Yes, you read that right.) Why is this important?
* About 45% of Africans lack clean drinking water. That’s approx. 311 million people. The total current population of the US? About 306 million.
* Every day in Africa, millions of parents are faced with this choice- Do I give my children tainted water and make them sick- or allow them to die of dehydration?
* African women and children walk as many as 6 miles each day to fetch drinking water- which is often unsanitary.
* Sub-Saharan Africa has 10% of the world’s population, but is home to 60% of the people on the planet living with HIV.
* 15 million children are orphaned by HIV/AIDS each year.
* Clean drinking water greatly improves the quality of life for everyone and extends the life expectancy for those living with HIV.
It’s pretty easy to see why people who love Jesus would want to be involved with this kind of thing, huh?
What will this project do for us?
Or to put it another way, you might be thinking the same thing I did when I first heard about this: “I’m all for helping folks get clean water, but why should I forgo other beverages for 40 days to make it happen? Can’t I just drink what I want and still donate some cash?” Yes- we absolutely can. But I think we’ll miss out on some real blessings and opportunities for God to stretch and change us. Here are a few:
* Self-Discipline. Is that something you could use a bit more of? I know I can. Here’s a chance for us to do some work in this area that has a direct impact on our spiritual lives. (Check out Luke 9:23-25.)
* We are moving towards Easter. For centuries, Christians have chosen to sacrifice things during this season (some call it Lent) to help them identify with their suffering Savior. Maybe choosing to deny ourselves the daily pleasures of juice, coffee, soda, etc. will put us in a position to more fully appreciate Jesus’ sacrifices for us and His victory over the grave.
* Because He loves us, Jesus came to walk in our shoes. He tells all who would follow Him to love each other, to weep with those who weep, and to carry each others’ burdens. By choosing to drink only water, we empathize in some small way with our neighbors in Africa who don’t have the choices available to us. Instead of just sending cash and continuing on with our day, we give ourselves opportunities to think of and pray for them.
Do we have to embrace a water-only beverage fast to be a part of this project? Nope. We can donate money and change others’ lives regardless of what we choose to drink. But if we want God to use the next 40 days to change US- we might want to give this a go.
OK, that’s probably enough info for now. We’ll be talking more about the 40 Days of Water Challenge at this Sunday’s (3/1) gathering. Please join us if you are in town.
Until then, think and pray about being a part of this important project that will change lives- including ours. And don’t hesitate to holler if you’ve got questions.
Fred Turner
Lead Pastor
Connections Church