So this is why the last few weeks have been crazy...We've been getting ready for our latest series at The Well: 365:24/7. It's a three week series about missions and service, and it has four different aspects to it: 7 Days of Prayer, 7 Days of Service, giving opportunities, and GO '11, which is the Missions Fair on the last night. We've actually been working on the series since this summer, but the majority of last few weeks have been consumed with designing the visual and hands on aspects of the giving booths. We've partnered with 7 different missions organizations or causes, and our total goal to raise is $12,000. Last year our goal was $7,500 and we ended up raising over $12,000! I know the Lord is faithful and I can't wait to see what is provided this year!
I wanted to write about all of the organizations at once, but Wednesday was so busy that I didn't get pictures of all of the the booths. I'm going to write about three tonight, and then I'll show you the other four next week. But in the meantime I really encourage you to check out the website for the series: www.go365247.com. It has info about all of the giving opportunities and service projects, and the prayer guide for the 7 Days of Prayer, which started yesterday and is running through next Wednesday.
So, here are the descriptions and goals for three of our giving opportunities...
Water. Something we as Americans most likely take for granted, but 884 million people in the world do not have access to clean water; that averages out to about 1 in 8 of the world’s population. Living Water International is an organization aiming to change that by drilling wells and implementing clean water solutions in countries around the world; and they do all of that while sharing the Gospel. We are partnering with Living Water to help provide clean water for a village.
By giving just $1, you can help provide clean water for one person for a whole year and $10 provides clean water for a lifetime! Our goal is to raise $3,000, which will refurbish a well for a village in Liberia giving them the start they need to break out of the cycle of poverty and disease caused by lack of clean water!
|The Living Water booth. We made that water bottle wall ourselves, over 600 bottles!|
In many places in the world, women will walk an average of 7 miles a week gathering water, carrying jugs weighing 40lbs. We marked off a path that was just 1/8 of a mile and students could carry the water jugs. It definitely helps put things in perspective.
Joint Aid Management (JAM) is a South African organization whose goal is to help African communities help themselves, by developing sustainable programs, and providing training and education. Through Project Red Bowl, JAM is currently feeding 550,000 hungry children a day in school programs. More than just a meal, Project Red Bowl provides an education and empowers children to be the change in their community!
For $50 you can purchase a Red Bowl and feed a child in Africa for 1 year! Our goal is to feed 30 children!
JAM uses red bowls to feed the children in their programs. For every student that donated the $50, they got two red bowls. One to hang up, to show our progress, and one to keep. They were encouraged to write a prayer on it, for the child they helped feed, and use the bowl as a reminder to continuing praying for the child.
The sad thing is, the top picture isn't even accurate. They're should be way more food on that table.
There are 27 million people suffering in slavery around the world, many being women and children. They are bought and sold and forced into labor, commercial sex, forced combat or other forms of exploitation. World Hope is an organization trying to rescue these victims and provide them with the healthcare, counseling, and education they need to heal and start a new life.
$100 provides one victim with transportation to a safe location, and essentially a new start! Our goal is to provide that escape for 15 young women and children!
We have 15 locks linking those chains together, one to represent each girl we want to help bring to safety. Every time we raised $100, we unlocked the padlocks and let down the chains. We helped 6 girls on Wednesday and I can't wait to see all those chains undone!
On the table you'll see a sign that says KEYS TO FREEDOM. For every person that donates at least $10, they get to take one of the red keys. It's for them to put on their key chain and be used to remind them to pray for the girls.
And there's actually one part of this booth that I don't have a full picture of. We have an old, dirty, rickety bed set up (you can see a bit of it in the left corner), and there is a wall of burlap behind it. Any student can write a prayer for the girls on a piece of paper, and then we're pinning them onto the wall. By the end of the series we want to see that whole wall covered in prayers!
And one last thing I want to point out...About 98% of what you saw in the pictures, we (staff and students) did ourselves. We drew it, painted it, designed it, assembled it etc.; and I don't say this to brag. I had a conversation yesterday with one of the other guys on staff about how awesome it is to see Christians with amazing minds and talents, using those talents for the glory of God. So many people think of the church as being outdated, dull, and boring - but that is so not true! Look at what we can accomplish for God when we use the gifts He's given us! I am sooo thankful to be able to use my creative talents to serve Him!
And like I said, next week I'll have pictures and information from the other four booths.