I don’t know the suffering of people outside my front door / I join the oppressors of those I choose to ignore / I’m trading comfort for human life / and that’s not just murder it’s suicide / This too shall be made right //
These lyrics were written by Derek Webb, a spokesman for Blood:Water Mission, for the closing song on his new CD, The Ringing Bell. As the name of this blog attests, I want to rebel against indifference. That includes indifference toward others’ needs. And not because I might occasionally feel a tinge of guilt for not helping others but because I believe it does something to us when we ignore those around us.
In an interview Derek did recently with The Washington Times, while talking about what he is rebelling against and his involvement with Blood:Water Mision, he said “A mother and her children who have to walk 15 miles a day every day to get dirty water to put into their bodies with a broken immune system that will eventually kill them is the right thing to rebel against.”
As someone who loves beverages, from a cup of hot coffee in the morning to juice and tea throughout the day to a glass of wine or a Guinness over dinner, it’s sometimes hard for me to imagine going without something as basic as clean water. But unfortunately, it is a fact of life for many people, and a foundational cause of many diseases. Dr. Lee Jong-wook, former Director-General of the World Health Organization, has said “Water and Sanitation is one of the primary drivers of public health. I often refer to it as ‘Health 101,’ which means that once we can secure access to clean water and to adequate sanitation facilities for all people, irrespective of the difference in their living conditions, a huge battle against all kinds of diseases will be won.”.
Blood:Water Mission, a non-profit organization started by the guys in Jars of Clay, is helping to address this problem.
Blood:Water Mission exists to promote clean blood and clean water efforts in Africa, tangibly reducing the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic while addressing the underlying issues of poverty, injustice and oppression. Blood:Water Mission is building clean water wells, supporting medical facilities, and focusing on community and worldview transformation, both here in America and in Africa.
We recognize that numbers and statistics are hard to grasp, and that sometimes a step back is necessary to conceptualize the enormity of the HIV/AIDS crisis. Yet we also know that simply standing from a distance with arms thrown in the air is not a solution. We believe in pressing inward, in building relationships and bridges with communities in Africa. We believe in hearing personal stories and walking alongside brothers and sisters who have demonstrated strength and faith in the midst of desperate and tragic situations.
We hold fast to the conviction that we are all responsible for being good stewards of our time, our resources and our compassion in a broken world.
Every person has something to give in return for what has been received.
Please join us on this journey.
How You Can Help:
While Blood:Water has several ways to get involved listed on their website, one of the programs I like most is their Two Weeks of Sacrifice campaign. The gist of it is to encourage people to go for two weeks drinking water as their only beverage, and then donating what you would have spent on other beverages to Blood:Water Mission. You can find more details about that program and other ways you can make a difference at their website, www.bloodwatermission.com.
Toward the end of his song White Dove, Andrew Osenga keeps repeating the line “Every sad thing will become untrue.” As we live in the tension of the already-and-not-yet of the Kingdom of God, as we embrace its paradoxical nature and hope and wait for everything to be made new, let us live our lives today as evidence of the redemptive work of Christ so that others may hear and see the echoes of His Kingdom in all we say and do.