I admit it: it’s a metaphor. This post is about water, not oak trees. Please keep reading even if you are more interested in trees than water.
Once upon a time a little girl, Rachel, only 8 years old, wanted to raise about $300 to help provide clean water to children she would never meet (the acorn). For her 9th birthday she asked friends and family to give to charity: water instead of to her. Events after her birthday turned out far differently than she or her family imagined. The hoped for gift ($300) turned into a $1.3 million gift (the oak tree).
In 1975 I was ordained a deacon. Since then I have been to several diaconal ordinations. In the Episcopal Church those about to be ordained deacons are instructed with these words: “You are to interpret to the Church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world.” Though I was subsequently ordained a priest I continue to take this instruction seriously. It did not disappear when I was ordained a priest.
In our Forum we seek to understand the needs, concerns and hopes of the world so that we may respond as the Spirit directs.
Clean water, clean and accessible water, is a human need in every time and place. Access to clean water is a concern and fundamental hope of every human being. I continue to contribute to charity: water. Here is why. You will find “the rest of the story” about Rachel in this report from NBC News.
Here you can find out more about Rachel’s Gift from the folks at charity: water
What is the Spirit saying to you?
In Advent 2011, with input from Forum members, our (online) Advent Calendar (and 12 Days of Christmas Calendar) featured different individuals and organizations dedicated to serving others (and in serving also helping others). One of the goals of the Sunday Morning Forum (online and in real time) is for us to grow/mature in faith through the actions we take. We want to allow our faith to inform our actions and have our actions inspire a deeper faith in a ever expanding way.
One of the featured organizations in Advent was charity: water. Here is my introduction to their important work:
If you have ever hiked or camped in the wilderness you KNOW how precious water is to your survival. Drink contaminated water and you become sick. Go without water, become dehydrated, and you are in peril within 48 hours. A person can survive without food for days or weeks, a person deprived of water will likely be dead within days, not lasting even a week. ~dan rondeau
charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. (from the Mission Statement of charity: water)
Here is a video sample of the work being done by charity: water. The video tells Rachel’s story (have your kleenex ready), but I also encourage you to read the blog post.
Rachel Beckwith’s Mom Visits Ethiopia. from charity: water on Vimeo.
Finally, I encourage you to make a donation to Rachel’s Birthday Wish for Sienna or donate directly to charity: water and, please, leave a comment here or on their blog.