There’s nothing like a cold refreshing glass of water on a hot summer’s day. It seems to quench thirst perfectly, but I cannot tell you how many times I have taken that glass for granted.
UNICEF estimates that there are approximately 884 million people who do not have access to safe water. Worldwide, 425 million of those are children. As a result, water related diseases are the second biggest killer of children. Approximately 1.8 million die each year as a result of diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation and hygiene.
Quite simply, this is not okay.
Matthew 10:42 says, “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”
It is because we are disciples of Christ that we are to see needs and meet them. We cannot glance over statistics and remain idle, although I find myself doing that far too often.
So where do we begin?
With a lemonade stand.
You can work together on this family ministry idea. It’s as simple as grabbing pitchers of water, lemonade mix, cups, a table, and a sign. Include your children and make it a family service project. Highlight it in your children’s ministry and invite other families to participate along with you. There are multiple organizations that could benefit from the funds that you raise. Here are three in particular:
1. The Water Project: This non-profit provides access to clean, safe drinking water in India and Africa. They work to match donors to proven partners who are drilling fresh water wells. They also construct other sustainable water projects. Their purpose coincides with Matthew 25, which challenges us to give water to those who are thirsty as if we were doing so for Christ.
2. Blood Water Mission: This mission was founded by Jars of Clay to personalize the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa. Since its beginning, it has raised millions of dollars to provide clean water and health needs for over 500,000 people. They currently have a campaign called “Lemon:Aid – Make a Stand for Clean Water.” All tools to create one of these stands are available for download on their website.
3. Compassion International: This child advocacy ministry is well known for its Christ centered, child focused, church based, and fiscally responsible approach to releasing children from poverty. Multiple giving opportunities are available, including a disaster relief fund to a global food crisis fund. Our daughter hosted a lemonade stand last year and sent her earnings as a gift to our sponsored child’s family. It was such a blessing to hear how far $28 went!
If you do participate in a lemonade stand to benefit others, please leave a comment below.
Let’s eagerly anticipate what a simple lemonade stand can do: for our personal growth, for the benefit of others, and for God’s glory. (Better get moving on our stand this year or I won’t hear the end of it!)