by Kaitlyn McDonald, Samaritan’s Purse intern
June, 2013—According to UNICEF, 1.8 million people die each year from diarrheal diseases acquired from unsafe water and poor sanitation practices. Statistics such as these are staggering. How can so many people lack access to safe water, a basic necessity for life? And what can I possibly do to change this situation?
This last question is one I grapple with whenever I hear about injustice or suffering in the world. The problems in our local and global communities seem overwhelming at times, but God asks us to serve Him by responding to the need around us. Throughout my life, this response has taken different forms — listening to a friend during their darkest moment, visiting a patient in the hospital, building friendships with the homeless. God brings each of us different opportunities to serve Him, and although it is not always easy, it is a joy to share His love and our hope in Him with others.
This time, I will be working as an intern for a water project run by Samaritan’s Purse in Uganda. This project provides BioSand Water Filters (BSFs) to households in rural communities that rely on contaminated water sources.
With a BSF in the home, families can purify contaminated water and then safely use it for drinking, washing and cooking. Access to clean water does more than prevent disease, it allows people to spend their money and time on things other than medical treatment— like school or work. BSFs have the potential to vastly improve the health and livelihoods of each family.
As I prepare for this new adventure, I’m looking forward to many things: building new relationships, hearing the stories of people I encounter and learning about the communities where I’ll be working. But most of all, I’m excited to experience how God will work through me, and to get a glimpse of what He may have planned in the lives of those I meet!
Save the life of a child or adult in a developing country by providing safe water along with health and hygiene education that will help protect them from deadly, but preventable, diseases. Simple and effective water filters, community wells and water storage solutions, and sanitation facilities can all drastically improve lives and open doors to share the eternal hope of Jesus Christ.