Day 18: The quench-a-thirst dare

The worst drive I have ever had was for water.

We’ve all gotten thirsty to the point that we could scarcely think about anything besides water.

Last year, I was reminded of this thirst drive.

I’m a school teacher, and an elementary one at that, and sickness is hard to keep under wraps with children who put their fingers in their nose and mouth.  We had an ugly strand of a stomach bug that spread like wildfire through our school.  I ended up waking up feeling sick after about an hour or so of sleep.  Within a few minutes, I felt more sick.  Within a few more minutes, I felt very sick.

I think it was about an hour before I started throwing up.  I was violently sick, to that point where I felt like I could hardly stand it.  Of course, I found out that I could.  After throwing up and up, I had a craving for water that made me start to feel insane.  I would drink sips of water, but I kept throwing up.  I kept getting thirstier and thirstier.

I got to the irrational point where I was willing to pay a hefty insurance deductible to head into ER.  Although the throwing up was painful, my cry was for water, not for the sickness to go away.  I was crazy thirsty.  I wound up on an IV in ER about 4 o’clock in the morning.  The relief of dehydration feels almost miraculous when you’re desperately thirsty.  I lay on a bed with dryer-warmed blankets and an attentive doctor and a prescription for anti-nausea medicine.

In other words, I had everything that most of the world never has.



Direct quotes from

  • 1 child dies every 21 seconds from a water related disease.
  • Diarrhea is the second leading cause of death among children under five in the world. Around 1.5 million deaths each year – nearly one in five – are caused by diarrhea. It kills more children than malaria, AIDS, and measles combined.
  • 443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related illness.
  • In just one day, 200 million work hours are consumed by women collecting water for their families.  This is equivalent to building 28 empire state buildings each day.
  • 780 million people lack access to clean drinking water.  That’s more than 2 1/2 times the United States population.

If you’ve ever thirsted in your life, you have had a taste of how many in the world live.

The statistics can be overwhelming, but . .

There are things you can do to quench the thirst.

As Christians, we should have a special motivation to give water to the thirsty.  Jesus describes Himself as the Giver of “living water” (see the beautiful interaction He had with a thirsty woman at a well in John 4:1-26).  We need to help our family–we are all Adam’s race and therefore all family–around the world.

March 22 is World Water Day.  You can give water and living water this March by helping children and families in impoverished countries through Samaritan’s Purse water drive.  Samaritan’s Purse is raising funds to build 5 wells in Sudan.  That’s 5 more safe drinking wells than we had before in the world.  Even if you were to give just $5, think of what a difference it would make if every Christian in America even gave that little amount of money in a month!

We could change the way the world drinks water with $5 a month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

South-Sudan-wells Samaritan's Purse

Help raise money for 5 wells in Sudan through Samaritan’s Purse!

Here are a few suggestions for World Water Day through Samaritan’s Purse:

The truth is, unless we have been in extreme survival scenarios, none of us in America know what is is like to be really, really thirsty, or to deal with life-and-death decisions with dirty drinking water.

Can you imagine having to choose to give your son dirty water so he didn’t die of thirst?  Can you imagine watching your daughter die because you didn’t have access to a clean well or a water filter?  These are real issues that millions of mothers and fathers face every day.

On World Water Day, let’s give families around the world clean drinking water and the opportunity to meet the Source of everlasting, living water, Jesus Christ.

Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:37b-38, NIV)