Outrage and despair – the reaction I get from my kids during a 10 minute car ride when they ask for a drink and we tell them that we forgot to bring their water bottles… A 10 minute car drive without a drink… How ever will they survive? If you are a parent, this may sound familiar.
Last weekend, my family and I joined about 40 other people from the Open Doors team, plus about 70 other teams from around the country, to ‘Walk To Water’.
On our way to the event, we were explaining to our kids why we were doing this… the concept of not having instant access to clean drinking water to a kid living in Sydney is almost unfathomable (note above!). Of course, kids are not the only ones ignorant or oblivious to this – we all take access to clean water for granted, it’s hard not to.
‘Walk To Water‘ is an event run by Open Doors Australia. It started about 8 years ago, and to date has raised almost half a million dollars, of which 100% has gone directly to the field. It started with the aim of supporting Christian women in Nigeria who were forced to walk miles each day to collect water (hence the name). Today, the purpose of the ministry has broadened a little to include health, education and micro-loans.
With the funds raised through Walk to Water, Open Doors is supporting Christian communities in Africa by providing access to much needed essentials, such as safe drinking water, infrastructure and equipment for education and health clinics, and vocational training.
– Open Doors website
There’s a few reasons I really like this ministry, and choose to support it…
It supports Christians
There are heaps of great organisations around that provide support for people with no access to clean water. After all, this issue is one of the greatest needs amongst those in poverty. Not many of these organisations specifically focus on supporting Christians. In countries where Christians are persecuted for their faith, this can mean they are forbidden to share things like food and water with the rest of the community. So you can imagine how this exacerbates the issue for Christians – they need to walk even further to access clean water since they can’t share the communal well; their kids may not be allowed to attend the local school; they may not get proper access to medical support… You get the idea. Persecuted people living in poverty really are the poorest of the poor.
100% goes to the field
Not much more needs to be said here, but all of the funds raised go directly to those who need it – a rare thing. So this on its own is a great reason to support this cause – to see your support going directly to good use.
It’s Open Doors
Open Doors is one of the (few) organisations I have chosen to support well. One of the big reasons they made the cut, is that they support persecuted Christians. There are millions of people in the world who give generously to various charities, but most of them aren’t giving to organisations that support Christians. If you’re a Christian, I think you are called to support our brothers and sisters in Christ – if you had to choose between one or the other, you should choose the organisation that supports Christians over one that doesn’t. Someone who’s not a Christian is unlikely to support Open Doors… So it really is Christians who need to get behind these great ministries. Don’t hear me saying that you shouldn’t support ‘non-Christian’ organisations… I simply want to encourage you to choose wisely.
Persecuted people living in poverty really are the poorest of the poor.
As part of the event, they gave us some fun colourful laces to spice up our footwear. They had the words “WALK IN THEIR SHOES” written on them. We can’t expect to truly understand what people living in poverty are going through, but we can ‘walk’ with them by taking some action – praying, giving, getting involved.
So take some action & get involved in whatever charity or cause you choose, and I’d urge you to consider supporting Open Doors for the awesome work they do with persecuted Christians worldwide.
A few photos our adventure…