In a speech to the
United Nations, former Director General Kofi Annan stated: “We shall not finally defeat AIDS,
tuberculosis, malaria, or any of the other infectious diseases that plague the
developing world until we have also won the battle for safe drinking water, sanitation,
and basic health care.”
While that statement is sinking in, let me give you one more
statistic: every 20 seconds a child dies
from a water-born disease.Enter
The owner of a successful water pump business in Southern
California, Ashe began travelling to Mexico in 1962 to help orphanages and
churches develop safe water supplies. And
as he saw the tremendous impact his work was having, Bill began bringing other
water professionals with him. And the
work grew to the point where in 1977 he founded Lifewater International, a non-profit
dedicated to providing the rural poor with an integrated program of safe water,
sanitation, and hygiene programs.
The vision is for long-term solutions, not temporary fixes. To that end, Lifewater provides the necessary training and
equipment to local partners so they can then provide their own communities with
safe water: by drilling for water, building
and maintaining pumps, protecting natural springs, and implementing safe
sanitation and hygiene practices. Over
2.3 million people in 40 countries have benefited.
Providing water, health and hope…
Bill Ashe is a hero
you should know. And I’m Dr. Ross Porter.
Quick...what's the first word that comes to your mind when
you hear "Lent"?
I bet it wasn't "Yes".
The 40 days that precede Easter have typically been known as the Season of
"No"; "no chocolate", "no meat", "no
coffee", "no television", "no Facebook" (yes, I
actually know several people who have given up Facebook for Lent). And saying
"no" to things that distract one from responsibilities, that numb one
to feelings, that sap life is certainly part of this season. Saying
"no" can help us detach from bad habits.
But if all we're doing is saying "no", we're only half way home.
Because the "no" won't lead to joy, peace, and growth that lasts.
"No", by itself, stops being sufficient by about age three!
We are meaning-seeking people. We need to have a purpose in mind for why we do
what we do, whatever it is. "What is the point of giving up coffee,
dessert, meat, or the internet?" "Why am I doing this?" "Am
I just following rules to follow rules?" God help us. This is where the "yes" comes in.
Happiness, true happiness, is not just about being free FROM something, it is
also about being free FOR something...something more beautiful, more healthy,
more loving. "YES."
So the next time you find yourself saying "no", find the
"yes" that is attached...and celebrate the good which you are moving
reflection: To affirm the goodness of
life, what can you say “Yes” to today?
The fact that workaholic Microsoft executive John Wood---on a hiking trip
through the Himalayas---would tour a school in Nepal is interesting. That he would be moved enough by the impact
of seeing hundreds of bright children without books to read to immediately
begin soliciting book donations from family and friends---and within a year
return with 3,000 books---is generous.
That he would leave his lucrative position at Microsoft to dedicate
himself full time to confronting injustice in Third World countries by
developing schools, libraries, literacy programs, and equal educational
opportunities for young girls is heroic.
But for Wood,
it’s just the right thing to do. He
writes, “If we were lucky enough to be living a good life, we should recognize
this gift and thank God for it by looking out for others who need our help in
breaking out of the cycle of poverty.”
In 2001, he founded ‘Room to Read’, a non-profit global organization that
has already assisted an estimated 8.8 million children in Asia and Africa.
In the 13 years of its existence, Room to Read has now established over
1,800 schools, 16,000 libraries, and distributed 14.5 million books in ten
there are over 27,000 girls in the long-term education program for young women.
the world, one book, one child, one school at a time…
John Wood is a hero you should know. And I’m Dr. Ross Porter.
Excerpts from Exploring the Good Life: 40 Ways in 40 Days
“Sincerity does not ask you to be perfect, but it does ask that you take responsibility for your
imperfections, and do something about
your imperfections. Care enough to walk
the walk, and not just talk the talk.”