It’s hard to believe that what we take for granted at the turn of a handle — abundant, clean water — is a luxury for more than 1 billion of the world’s people. Every day, people in poverty put their lives at risk by consuming contaminated water, the only water they have access to.
The World Health Organization estimates that solving the global water crisis would cost U.S.$11.3 billion a year. That sounds like a lot of money — until you consider the fact that, according to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent an estimated $469 billion last year on Christmas gifts.
In 2006, these startling statistics inspired a small group of pastors to launch Advent Conspiracy. “The purpose is to encourage people during the Advent season to take some of the money that they would normally spend on themselves, or on presents, to help bring relief in the name of Jesus somewhere around the world,” explains Pastor Bob Westfall, whose church, New Covenant Bible Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, joined the Advent Conspiracy in 2010. Today, hundreds of churches participate in this program, which focuses on providing safe water to poor communities around the world.
Since joining Advent Conspiracy, New Covenant members have funded three Compassion projects to construct clean water systems for children and families in India. “This project has raised our church’s awareness of what is going on in that part of the world and given them something tangible to focus on in helping the poor,” says Missions Director James Wartian. And despite the recession, each year, members have given way above and beyond the church’s Advent Conspiracy goals. “It’s conceivable that through Advent Conspiracy, we can eradicate unsafe water in our lifetime,” James adds.
To learn more about Compassion’s clean water projects and other projects that complement our core programs, click here. Learn more about Advent Conspiracy.
Read More Church in Action Stories >