I want to remind you that today, March 22, 2018, is officially designated as World Water Day. This is a great day to reflect on the importance of clean water in our own lives and in the lives of everyone living on this planet. Most of you receiving this email do not have to think about clean water, it simply arrives to your home or business with a twist of the tap. For many millions of people around the world this is far from their daily reality. After traveling and working in Bolivia for over a decade, drilling water wells and distributing water filters, I have seen first hand the daily struggle that so many families go through to get water to their homes. Some carry heavy jugs of water for hours each day back and forth from distant water sources. Many drink directly from the same water sources that their livestock defecate in. Even communities with municipal water systems do not have safe water to drink. I do not remember seeing a single rural community water system that disinfects or filters water before distributing it to homes. Most systems simply collect water from some open water source and pipe it to the faucets. A recent newspaper article reported that in Bolivia alone more than 40 children a day die from water related diseases. I do not have solid statistics, but based on my experience I would estimate that at least 90% of rural Bolivians do not have access to safe clean drinking water.
This is not just a problem in Bolivia, but a global problem. A 2018 Newsweek video stated that 2.1 billon people currently lack access to clean safe drinking water, and over 1000 children die each day due to unsafe water and sanitation-related diseases. In 2015, the U.N. agreed to a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030 that will improve the world in which we live. Number six commits countries to ensuring access to water and sanitation for all. “Clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in,” it says. While many governments and large international agencies are striving to make this a reality around the globe, it will also take the efforts of many small actors and change agents, like you and I, to make it happen quickly. Just think about the two-year-old baby up in the Andes mountains of Bolivia who will not die of a dysentery disease next month if we can get a water filter to his family in time.
How can I help you ask? My project, Agua Yaku, has been drilling water wells and distributing water filters in rural communities throughout Bolivia for over ten years now. We have helped bring clean water to thousands of families, but we still have so much more to do. It costs us about $1500 to drill a community water well, and about $50 to provide a family with a water filter that will ensure clean safe drinking water (no matter what the water source) for up to ten years. Many of you on this mailing list have traveled to Bolivia and worked with us first hand to bring clean water to Bolivia. You spent 1000s of dollars to come to Bolivia to befriend the beautiful people, to enjoy the fantastic food and culture, and to serve. Thank you for coming. Even more of you have been supporting this ministry for years in prayer. Your visit and prayers are a blessing. I know you left a piece of your heart here as well. Now let’s keep the love flowing!
What did Jesus say? “Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.” Mark 9:41
Let’s use World Water Day 2018 to show Bolivia how much we love them and care for them by helping fund Agua Yaku for another year’s service. Our annual budget is about $100,000. I would love to raise at least $50,000 (half of our annual budget) in recognition and celebration of World Water Day. I thought about starting a fund-raising campaign on GoFundMe or some other site, but that would take too large of a financial bite out of your donation. Please go to our Agua Yaku website, check out what we are doing in Bolivia, click over to the Donate page to make a one-time donation or set up a monthly donation. If you just gave up a couple of premium coffees at Starbucks each month you easily afford to pledge $25 a month! There are tax-deductible donation options for U.S. and Canadian residents, or you can donate directly to us in Bolivia if you do not need a donation receipt. I will be excitedly letting you know how close we are to reaching our goal over the coming weeks!