“Eat, drink, and be merry.” When our development and marketing team suggested this as the theme for our year-end letter, at first I thought it sounded a tad too trite. But, the more I hear it, the more I see a deeper meaning and compelling vision.
Like most of you, I relish Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners with my family, passing around our favorite dishes, indulging in way too many mashed potatoes, sharing a nice bottle of wine or mug of hot cider. I can close my eyes and see these moments. I can taste and smell the memories. And in the fullness of those moments, I’m reminded of God’s goodness and generosity.
It may surprise you that, “Eat, drink, and be merry,” also describes what happens when the gift of safe drinking water arrives in a community. I’ve seen children dance, moms and dads shout and weep for joy. Headaches, stomach aches and diarrhea go away. Children stay in school and learn, women have the health and time to start small businesses now that they don’t have to spend hours collecting water, being sick or caring for sick children.
This is the Gospel being lived out. Jesus came to make people whole. He met physical needs that led to spiritual healing. The scripture says that a broken spirit dries up the bones. The physical and spiritual are inextricably linked in our human experience. It’s hard to be merry when your days are filled with hunger, thirst, dehydration and illness. But, the transformation that safe water brings to the whole person literally leads to “eat, drink and be merry.” Jesus said, “if anyone gives you even a cup of water because you belong to the Messiah, I tell you the truth, that person will surely be rewarded.”
As we head into another year-end, this continues to be our focus, and the number of communities that have asked for our help has never been greater. Hundreds of communities in Haiti and in Mexico are looking forward to a Healing Waters safe-water project. Through new long-range partnerships forged with Compassion International, Food for the Hungry and Nazarene Compassionate Ministries we are positioned to greatly accelerate the number of projects we complete each year, moving ever faster toward the goal of safe water for everyone. Which, by the way, is our ultimate vision: safe water for everyone, in the name of Jesus.
To accelerate even faster toward our vision, we need you! With your gift today, you will be part of turning thirsting individuals into thriving communities. When you eat, drink and make merry this holiday season you will experience multiplied joy thinking of your friends in other countries who are also eating, drinking safe water and being merry because of your gift that God has blessed.
Thank you in advance for coming alongside us and investing in the future of so many beautiful people, not only because clean water is a basic human right, but because it gives life to body and soul.
Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas,