Congratulations to the winners of the “Dying for Water” writing/blogging contest! First place receives two writing assignments, worth $75 each, from our ministry sponsor, second place one writing assignment, and third place $25 and being added to the ministry’s approved writer list.

Folks from the Water4 Foundation read through more than two dozen entries and have chosen their favorites – thanks to ALL who participated!

And the winners (and their winning entries) are below :)

FIRST PLACE

JUST ONE MORE DAY
By LORI OTHOUSE

The scene plays out like one from a dramatic film or a gripping novel…

Hot wind whips across the flat, dry land, blowing dust into the eyes of a frail young mother. She tries to blink it away, along with her tears. Sitting in the shade of a scrawny tree, she holds her only son – ten months old, thirsty and weak. The dehydration was taking its grim toll.

Their water supply now used up, her husband had set out to look for another water source – that was two days ago. It was the third time this year he had left on such a journey, not knowing what he would find, nor what he would come back to. But there was no choice, because there was no water. All she could do now was wait.

The young mother’s tears fell onto her son’s dry, chapped skin. She bowed her head and whispered, “Just one more day…please let me have him just one more day.” She knew not to whom she was praying or that she even was praying. No one had told her of a God who heard her, loved her and wept with her. She held her child close, not knowing how much longer she would have with him…

It’s a nightmare that makes us want to change the channel or close the book, but sadly, it is the cruel reality for millions of people in developing countries. People with no access to clean water, or any water for that matter and who are, quite literally, dying for it – 4100 children die from unclean water every day.

Every day.

Every.

Day.

It’s easy to turn away thinking the need is too vast, too great for me to help. What hope is there? But there is help. There is hope…

The Water4 Foundation is an organization that exists to bring life-saving water to nations plagued by water scarcity. But its mission doesn’t end there. Using cost-effective hand-drilling technology, they are able to provide water wells for communities in need at a fraction of the cost of a machine-drilled well. And because the process utilizes materials that are locally available and manpower over machine power, the people there are able to duplicate these methods on their own, thus providing even more wells along with much-needed employment opportunities.

By partnering with Water4, we can help give this mother not just one more, but many more days with her son. We can help fulfill the Biblical mandate found in Proverbs 31: 8-9 – “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute…defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

Yes, the need is great. Our compassion must be greater. Their hope rests in our hands; how can we not extend them?

Discover how you can make a life-saving difference today.

SECOND PLACE:

The Cost of the Cure

by HELEN CURTIS

Once upon a time there was a kingdom. It was a very large kingdom, made up of millions of people from many different lands.

Regardless of its size, the people living in it were overcome with sadness. Every day tens of thousands of men, women and children succumbed to a malevolent sickness that ravaged the land. Cries of anguish filled the air as families and friends mourned yet another father or mother, sibling or friend.

The agony of the deaths was heightened by the fact that there was a cure for the scourge. Many a missionary had visited the vast regions of the kingdom offering a cure, but the cost always put it out of reach. To be so near salvation, yet denied it because of their poverty was a cruel blow. In agony they cried out to their God for freedom from their accursed lives.

One day a missionary visited a certain village; full of excitement he ran through the streets, his shouts drawing a large crowd, “Listen to me, dear people, for I bring you great news! I can bring you the cure to the scourge!”

The villagers were sceptical of this peddler; why would he be any different to the others they had met? One of the leaders came forth and addressed the man. “How dare you come here and offer these people hope, knowing full well that they cannot afford it. Be gone from here and let us grieve in peace.”

The missionary knelt down humbly before the leader, hat in his hand, and spoke quietly, “I know only too well the pain of losing someone to this sickness and being offered false hope. I would not do that to you. What I offer you is the cure, but it will be made available for all.”

The village was set free that night. Sick children slowly recovered, crops grew again and the sickness was replaced with renewed health and strength – physical and spiritual.

In the developing world, tens of thousands of people are dying every single day, because they cannot access clean drinking water.

Water is the basis of our existence; without water we simply cannot live. We take it for granted. Around the world, millions of people are dying for water.

Many organisations have worked tirelessly in these countries to provide drilled wells for villages; we thank God for them, but the truth is they are very costly to set up and maintain.

Water4 is changing that! For a fraction of the cost of other wells, Water4 can supply the wells and train nationals to install them. This is a winning solution for millions of people in the worst drought-affected countries on the globe. Not only are the villagers being given access to clean water, many are also being given a vocation. And that has to be a win-win result.

To learn more visit their website via this link.

Will you help deliver the cure to a dying world?

THIRD PLACE

Don’t Cry Me A River, Help Me Dig A Well!

By AMBER LEGGETTE ALDRICH

The haunting images of eyes glazing over with death as a child dies in your arms; the shrieking and wailing of mourning announcing the death of another family member; the sickening stench of contaminated living areas; this and much more is a daily way of life for too many.

The main culprit of this devastation is the lack of access to safe, clean water and sanitation. 1.1 billion people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water. And 2.2 million people, most of them children, die each year from diseases related to unsafe water and unsanitary living conditions. This is a global water crisis, but there is a remedy.

There’s an old saying, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for lifetime”.  What if that same principle was applied to the need for clean water? What if in the process of helping to provide the water, we could also provide skills to provide employment? This process could then be duplicated by the very people being helped, which in turn could be used to help others.

There have been technological advances that have created the means to install safe water wells and pumps, in a very affordable and feasible fashion. The materials used to build these wells and pumps are available nearly everywhere at a very reasonable cost. Once the local people are shown how to dig the wells properly and install the simple pumps, they not only have the means to provide fresh, clean water for themselves, but they can use the skills they have learned to help provide the same for others. This increases the rate at which this water crisis can be resolved.

If you could save a child from the agony of slow death, wouldn’t you try?

All too often the general response to this issue is “Well what can I do about it” or “What difference can I make”? Believe me, there is so much that can be done! It all begins with having the heart to care enough to want to help.

Many Christians consider the phrase “What would Jesus do?” when seeking guidance and direction. I think it’s fairly obvious what He would do here. I imagine He might also say, “Don’t cry me a river, help me dig a well”. While it may not be possible to go and help physically dig, you could sponsor a well with only a small donation. Be a hero, save a life.

For more information and to find out how you can help, please visit http://water4.org/simple-solution/.

Congratulations, Lori, Helen and Amber!

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