What you can do to fight poverty and be part of the solution

We sang this song by Tommy Walker at church on Easter Sunday. I was still processing everything that I saw and experienced on my recent trip to Zambia and when I sang these words the names and faces of the people that I met popped into my head.

The sermon was on Zacchaeus but mostly it was about grace. The focus was on the concept of being known. In today's society we are all struggling to be known. We post pictures of ourselves on social media, we tweet glimpses of our lives, we Instagram our moments. We have a desire to be known and to connect with others.

Every village that we entered into left us with the same message.  Go. Tell our stories. Let others know about our suffering and rejoice with us in our thanksgiving. I can't tell their stories without telling you their names. They want to be known.

Molly will forever remind me of what the daily task of fetching water is like. I will never forget what it's like to walk with a 25 liter {6 gallons and 50 pounds} jerry can up the path that she walks twice a day barefoot. 

Benny was a sweet little guy that flirted with me while visiting a rural clinic. He was there with family that was sick. 1600 children under the age of five die every day from diseases related to unsafe drinking water. My hope is that Benny will survive long past the age of five and that he will be able to live in a community that has access to clean and safe drinking water.

Kiston is an 11 pound 15 month old baby that is HIV infected and severely malnourished. His mother walked four hours to get him to the clinic for help only to be told that they didn't have the means to help him.  A level 1 hospital is being built to serve that area though right now, that does nothing to help this baby.

Bertha is an overworked nurse seeing patient after patient at a clinic that is understaffed. She loves to interact with patients and save lives. 

Patricia is a little girl living in the rocky hillside village of Hajamba. She has never known the taste of clean water.  She's never known a life without constant diarrhea.  

Nerott walks nearly 10 miles every day to school after spending two hours fetching water. She goes to school for several hours, only to turn around and walk 10 more miles home. She doesn't have the luxury of having time to play like a normal 13 year old girl. She only knows walking and work.

Nature {bright blue shirt} is the most incredible volunteer I have ever met. He spends his time traveling from house to house around the village checking in on the sick and the most vulnerable. It's a full time job and he receives no payment for it.  He says that he does it because he knows what a life changing difference World Vision is doing in this community.

Beauty, Ruth and Lointia are now able to dream! For the first time in their lives they have access to clean water.  Their health has improved and they can think beyond the daily task of fetching dirty water that makes them sick.  They even have time now to play and to have a childhood that they missed out on. 

Ivy and Charity are sisters in law that live on the same compound.  It was easy to see that their family is quite successful.  They have a whole herd of cattle, they have the luxury of owning farming tools and they have goats and chickens and a garden.  The only thing that they don't have is clean water. They live near a school that does, and so during the night, at the risk of being beaten, their husbands sneak to steal water. 

This is Moses and his father Richard.  Moses is ten and lives in a village in rural Uganda. I know his name and he knows my name. That's because Moses is one of our sponsored children.  We have written Moses letters and we have sent him pictures. I even had the opportunity to meet him last year in Uganda. Moses and I are able to have a relationship because of child sponsorship. 

Moses is also able to have clean water, an education, health care and training all provided as a benefit of child sponsorship.  In fact, all of the children and adults in his community have those same opportunities because World Vision has a relationship in their village. 

Through child sponsorship lives are changed. For only $35 a month {a little more than a dollar a day} you can change a child's world for good. It's as easy as visiting this link, and selecting a child. It's amazing what good work World Vision is doing in the lives of children and their communities and you can be a part of that! You can know their names.  You can pray for them and write to them and encourage them.  You can be a part of their story.

If you are a runner, you can consider running as part of team World Vision. This year, I will be running my fifth half marathon, but my first with team World Vision. Every training run I take, I think about one of those names. I think about how clean water can be life changing for them and it pushes me. If you would like to make a donation to my team for the Uganda WASH {water, sanitation and hygiene} program you can donate here.

a training run in Zambia

You might even consider starting your own fundraiser. You could have a milestone birthday coming up that you want to be able to share clean water for.  Maybe instead of gifts for your wedding you want to make a different impact and have donations be made in your name instead.  Or perhaps you have your own idea.  

All it takes if $50 to provide clean water for life for one person. You can be a part of the water effect

Make these needs known. Share their stories.  Know the name of someone whose life you can help change.The possibilities are endless and the needs are great! Please consider giving.

In case you missed it, here are the posts in this collection:

Hero's In Zambia
Living in Fear
A Child's Life
Looking Forward to the Future
The Needs are so Great
Welcome Home
Spirit Lead Me Where My Trust is Without Borders
Preparing for Zambia

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