Life Changing Water
A young woman tells her story as we sit on log benches under a large tree, the classroom where she attends an adult literacy class. Jennifer learns how to count under this tree. “My children ask me: ‘Mama, what did you learn today?’ I now know that when I travel to the market and I take eight chickens with me, and I sell three and buy two that I return home with seven chickens.” She talks about what made it possible for such learning to happen.
“We are so happy about the sand dam. It has changed everything.” Before the dam was built only a kilometer from the village, it took Jennifer most of the day to walk the ten kilometer journey to acquire a meager amount of water. She spoke of how she hoped that she would avoid any dangerous encounters and return safely with her precious acquisition.“Before the dam, I would take a mouthful of water and spit it on my children to bathe them. Now I can give them a real washing. Before the dam, when a neighbor passed through our village and they knocked on my door, I could not offer any water. Now I can offer ‘water hospitality.’”
Her infectious excitement grew as she spoke of how the education she is receiving is changing her life and her family’s life. It is not easy for girls and women in the West Pokot village of Chepkechir, Kenya. Educating a female was seen as unnecessary. The elders once described them as “less valuable” than the village cattle. This attitude is changing. Jennifer now serves on the committee that takes care of the dam to assure that it provides the village with a safe and plentiful water supply. The chief elder told us, “We now know that we are to take our daughters to school for they are of much more value than our cows.”
Our partnerships in compassion and sustainability make it possible for women to stand in new found worth and capacity. From a sand dam in Kenya, justice and compassion flow in its safe and abundant waters.
Week of Compassion Special Offering
Put your Compassion into Action! We invite Disciples to be a part of Week of Compassion's special offering in February 2015. The special offering enables us to do the life-saving ministry of emergency relief, development, and refugee work that changes the lives of many people in North America and around the world.
Week of Compassion has created many resources to help you promote the special offering within your congregations during worship, educational events, and special events. These resources include stories of our transformative work from the past year, worship resources, sermon starters, children's activities, and much more. You can find these resources on our website.
For the next several weeks we will also introduce several short videos in our weekly update to add to the special offering.
Thank you for putting your Compassion into Action.
This Week's Responses:
Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance
Wisconsin, Fire Relief
Virginia, Refugee Assistance
China, Earthquake Relief
Democratic Republic of Congo, Storm Damage