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Blogity-blah-blah-blog: Inspiring Minds Monday ~ blood:water

Monday, July 6, 2009

Inspiring Minds Monday ~ blood:water

About a month ago I talked about an organization called charity: water. Today I'm going to talk about blood:water mission, another charity organization that addresses the water issues in Africa, and has a colon in their organization's name as well. Adding a colon in the organization's name must be a trend among those who are digging wells in Africa. But that's besides the point.

blood:water mission was started by Dan Haseltine, Charlie Lowell, Matthew Odmark, and Stephen Mason, who also happen to be the members of the band, Jars of Clay. Not only does blood:water mission focus on providing clean water, but they also focus their efforts on the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa. A big part of removing the HIV/AIDS crisis is to provide Africans with clean water because so many have to travel hours just to find water, and much of that is filthy water that contains the HIV virus.

I think it's great to see a band like Jars of Clay get involved with something like this. They don't just serve God by writing great, inspiring music, but they are being the hands and feet of Jesus by serving those in need. I can't speak for Jars of Clay, but I think if they had to choose between performing music and blood:water mission, I believe they would choose the latter.

Dan Haseltine is on the board of directors while the rest of the band is on the advisory board, but they wouldn't be able to do it without the rest of the team which include:

Jene Lee Nardella (Executive Director)
Aaron Sands (Administrative Director)
Mendy Myers (Administrative Assistant)
Lauren Hitch (Finance Manager)
Matt Ward (Grassroots Coordinator)
Kellie Lutito (Production Manager)
Victor Huckabee (Brand Design Architect)
Barak Bruerd (Director of Africa Programs)
Pamela Crane (Water Projects Manager)
Click here to learn more about these staff members.

Board of Directors:
Rich Hoops
Collin Brown
Lon Cherry
Reagan Demas
Steven Garber
Cosma Gatere
Brad Gibson
Dan Haseltine
Clydette Powell
Moses Pulei
Joel Wickre
Click here to learn more about members of the board of directors.

Advisory Board:
Charlie Lowell
Hank Habicht
Lindsay Hutter
Matthew Odmark
Stephen Mason
Click here to learn more about the advisory board members

blood:water mission started the 1000 Wells Project in 2004. Since then the organization has grown and now they include a variety of clean water solutions, sanitation, and hygiene training. They've funded health clinics, community health workers, and support groups. The prevention, treatment, and care of HIV/AIDS has happened in many African communities and ailments such as stomach aches, skin diseases, and diarrhea have disappeared.

One person from the Bina community in Kisumu, Kenya said "Since the introduction of a well into our community, our stomach problems have completely disappeared."

Bono of U2 has said, "As a fan, I don't think anyone has had a bigger voice than the activists in Jars of Clay."

Author Don Miller said, "The crisis in Africa is difficult to translate to those of us living in the states. Our hearts do not know where to begin. Of the greatest accomplishments of blood:water mission has been their ability to sort through the chaos to match provision with need. Clean water prevents many diseases that can prove fatal to a person suffering from AIDS. Clean water, then, guards clean blood. The simple gift of a dollar provides invaluable clean water for one African for one year. Our calling, then, is to give from our undeserved provision into their undeserved need. In doing so, we participate in the search and rescue mission God is orchestrating in this fallen world."

I think Don had some good points. It's hard to know what suffering looks like to many of us here in America. I'm not saying people here do not truly suffer, but for many of us the most we ever suffer are our car problems, missing our favorite TV shows, or a fast food restaurant getting our food order wrong because we are so picky about the pickles on our hamburgers.

Don also said our hearts don't know where to begin. When you look at all the problems the world faces and the work it would take to come up with solutions to those problems it becomes overwhelming and we become too discouraged to do anything at all. There is a story my pastor likes to tell and it goes something like this:

Once a man was walking along a beach. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. Off in the distance he could see a little boy going back and forth between the surf's edge and and the beach. Back and forth this boy went. As the man approached he could see that there were thousands of starfish stranded on the sand as the result of the natural action of the tide.

The man was stuck by the the apparent futility of the task. There were far too many starfish. Many of them were sure to perish. As he approached the boy continued the task of picking up starfish one by one and throwing them into the surf.

As he came up to the boy he said, "You must be crazy. There are thousands of miles of beach covered with starfish. You can't possibly make a difference." The boy looked at the man. He then stooped down and pick up one more starfish and threw it back into the ocean. He turned back to the man and said, "It sure made a difference to that one!"

Put yourself into the shoes of the man and finish this story for yourself. Do you walk away or do you join the little boy and toss some starfish? And if you think making a difference means you have to be financially wealthy then you might need to rethink that. For those of you who are financially wealthy and spend your money on things like a solid gold toilet...

...then you may want to rethink what you do with your money. Help those in need instead of literally flushing your money down the toilet. Love God, love others, and take it one step at a time. Don't try to put the entire world on your plate.

Visit the blood:water mission website here.

Visit the blood:water mission blog here.

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