Water (and a baby) changes everything

December 21, 2014

DSC_0969Joy & I have been absolutely overwhelmed the last few days with the incredible gift we have received of Everett Jeanette. I could rattle on and on here about our ever-growing love for this chubby little cherub. Who knew your world could look so dramatically different in such a short period of time?!DSC_1027

When we left the hospital, it was in a car equipped with all the latest safety features and a brand new car seat with straps and harnesses galore. I’m fairly certain the first trip to the moon had fewer safety protocols than our car seat does. We were leaving a hospital with floor upon floor of amazing technology that helps tackle so many of the problems and challenges that babies (and mommas) face. We arrived home at a house with a new kitchen, a first floor laundry, and a bajillion little things to help make Everett safe, healthy and comfortable. I mean, we have a wet-wipe warmer for crying out loud. Sheesh!

DSC_0970Yesterday we found ourselves talking about the miracle of baby Jesus. No…not about being born of a virgin or being 100% man and simultaneously 100% God or any of the other theologically significant miracles. We talked about the miracle that he was born at all. In a time with such limited medical knowledge, in an environment inherently unclean (in a stable, laid in a manger!), baby Jesus survived the odds (including a trans-country migration in his toddler-hood) to even make it out of childhood.

All this to say that we feel overwhelmed by the safety systems in place around our precious Everett Jeanette.

But 783 million people don’t have access to clean water (over twice the population of the US!) and almost 2.5 billion don’t have access to adequate sanitation. CLEAN WATER! It’s a staple to a healthy environment. Mom’s health requires clean water. Baby’s health does. The health of the community. Cleaning, cooking, drinking, disease and it goes on and on…they all circulate around clean water.

DSC_0995With all this in mind, we felt like we had to do something. So we enlisted the help of one of my favorite non-profits, charity: water. Charity: water is an inspiring organization founded by Scott Harrison that helps bring clean water to people all over the world. Originally a night-club promoter in New York City, Scott got to a point where he wondered what he was doing with his life and traveled the world on a Mercy Ship as a photographer for a year. When he got back, he knew he had to take action and he started charity: water, a non-profit that has revolutionized the non-profit sector with their emphasis on communication and accountability.

A part of the beauty of the charity: water model is that 100% of what we donate goes toward actually building a well in a community that needs it. 0% goes to overhead. That’s what we call return on investment! In about a year, we’ll get an email that will show us pictures of the well that we helped build and the GPS coordinates of that well. That’s what we call accountability!


Time to go home dance!

So would you join us in celebrating the birth of our beautiful daughter, Everett Jeanette, by helping others have a bit safer environment to have a son or daughter of their own? Here’s how it will work:

Click here to join us in giving.

We’d love to have everyone participate, so small gifts are great. If you don’t know how much, Everett was born on December 18th, so just give a dollar for every day she’s been alive on whatever day you donate (of course you’re welcome to give more if you like :).

And it’s that easy. Thanks for helping us help a few others. And we look forward to sharing with Everett the generosity of her community in the years ahead that helped mark her wonderful birth.

By the way, click on any picture to see a crazy huge version of it. And Merry Christmas!


Safe water is about relationships…and so is the rest of life.

August 19, 2010

So there’s a great article from Dr. Jonathan Mitchell over at Ministry Spotlight on the importance of relationships in helping the developing people have continuing access to clean water.  He uses the principles developed by Brian Fikkert’s “When Helping Hurts” to show that we can’t just treat the symptoms of poverty, but have to address the deeper underlying issues.

As I gear up for the coming school year, I’ve been meeting with lots and lots of potential volunteers, casting vision for what it means to love middle school students in the name of Christ.  Over and over I’ve talked about relationships as being a (if not the) core component of our ministry model.  If we get students amped up about a specific program or get them to be able to spout specific pieces of information, or not spout certain four letter words, transformation will not have occurred.  We will only have addressed the symptoms.  But if we connect in relationships that model Christ’s incredible love for us, then we have the opportunity to speak to the deeper root issue for us as humans:  our relationships with God, with others, with creation, and even with ourselves are all broken.

When and how have you been investing in relationships recently?

%d bloggers like this: