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Clean water is more than quenched thirst

This Christmas season, we’re a family of churches looking to do good by giving clean water. What’s this mean?

As Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount, He said this to His disciples,

“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 5:16)

Jesus calls His people - the church - to intentionally do good, just as He did in His ministry. When we obey Him, His own goodness and generosity are all the more clear. This is why, for example, the Apostle Paul instructed his young protege Timothy to intentionally “set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” Doing good without strings attached adorns the gospel of Jesus.

The key for us who live in the sensory-overloading West is intentionality; we have to deliberately slow down to see the world’s needs, and then decisively act in obedience to Christ.

Yet providing clean water might seem like an obscure cause for the church. The foundational role clean water plays in many areas of life, however, shows why it’s worth our attention. Consider just four basic categories that are significantly impacted by a community's lack of clean water: Health, Justice, Education, and Economy.

  • More than 820,000 people are estimated to die each year due to water-related illnesses
    • Drinking contaminated water can lead to diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and polio. Without safe hygiene behaviors and sanitation infrastructure, such as latrines, people are more susceptible to the spread of infectious diseases.

  • 1 in 5 children lack access to basic drinking water
    • Some children have access to water, but it’s not safe to drink. Other children, primarily young girls, walk for miles in search of it, only to find there isn’t enough for their basic needs. Because of this, 443 million school days are lost each year, and children have their futures stolen from them. 

  • Women spend 200 million often-dangerous hours each day collecting water
    • The global water crisis impacts all people, but none more so than women and young girls who bear the heaviest weight of its effects. The average distance that women in Africa and South Asia walk to collect water is 3.7 miles. During this long walk, girls are more vulnerable to being physically attacked or sexually assaulted. 

  • $260 billion is lost each year due to inadequate water supply and sanitation
    • For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, there is $4.30 in economic returns, as safe water and sanitation are precursors to health care, education, and jobs. Families often spend their time and energy collecting water rather than investing in economic opportunities such as their livelihoods or furthering their education. Water-borne illnesses are equally detrimental to a person’s well-being when they are too sick to pursue the goals for their future.

When we give the gift of clean water, we're doing more than quenching thirst.

Are you looking to do good this Christmas season? You can give to the Year End Gift any time until December 31st by going to For more info on the Year End Gift, head to