Well, this story is really special to me because you finally get to hear from my hubby! I absolutely know you will fall in love with him + his heart. He is the most passionate person I know. His fight against the injustice of people who have no access to clean water is inspiring. Literally, one day earlier this summer he decided he was going to carry a jerry can full of water each day to raise awareness + money for people in South Sudan + Burundi that don’t have clean water. Since then, he has raised close to $5,000 through his Water is Basic fundraising site [http://waterisbasic.donorpages.com/StephenElderBirthday/StephenElder/] and it’s not too late to give. Read below + see what he’s up to next. I’m so proud to introduce you to….Stephen Elder.
Anybody can change the world, I am just a Dad (of 2 beautiful Ethiopian beauties)
Before we took our first ManUp trip to Africa in the summer of 2011 I started to research Africa. I learned about the water crisis and it resonated with my most inner being. The Holy Spirit shook my soul and I had to do something.
Like everyone else, I thought that water was accessible to most everyone in the world….I was misinformed as most people are. Water is not accessible to everybody and is deadly if not decontaminated. Half the hospital beds in the world are occupied by people with a water related illness…all preventable.
I was angry at first to learn all about the statistics about how many kids die everyday from dirty water (5,000) and how many people lack access to clean water (about a billion). I started to talk to God about all this new info and what he wanted me to do about it. During this time, a friend of mine told me about this cool charity in NYC called Charity Water; they fundraise specifically for clean water projects all over the globe. One of the things that drew me into this was that you could give up your birthday for clean water. This was my in.
Give up my birthday, what would that do?
God can do big things thru small beginnings. So I gave up my 29th bday for clean water and as a result we raised almost $7K dollars that provided water to about 400 people. I was blown away by what God had done thru that first project. But I was wanting more.
So this year for my 31st bday I did it again. But this time I went thru a different group called Water is Basic. So far we have raised almost as much as my first bday campaign in 2011. But I am going to keep going, my goal is $10K!!
Part of my campaign, that started 45 days ago, was to carry a jerry can full of water, about 50 pounds worth; I planned to run everyday for the 45 days leading up to today. I ended running about 140 miles in that time period. I did this because women and children do the same thing everyday all over the world. They spend millions of ours walking for dirty water. They need help, someone to come drill them a water well. I can’t drill it myself but I can raise some money for them to drill it!!
I have never had the problem of not having water. But my heart breaks for the people that face this struggle everyday. I can’t stand by and do nothing. So I will continue to walk for water, even beyond my birthday, because more people need help. I will continue to fight for these people. If we won’t help these people then who will???
People are dying right now from water related disease, these people may not know who Jesus is. This is not right. This pisses me off. All the water they need is about 60 feet below their toes; they just need help getting to it. Water is Basic and everyone should have the right to access it. Life cannot happen without clean water.
My dream is to actually drill a well in person somewhere in Africa and get to celebrate with the people who are on the receiving end of the clean water. I want to dance and laugh and cry with these people and tell them about my savior. This is what I want to eventually do for a full time job. (Lord willing)
What makes you mad? What social injustice fires you up? Anybody can change the world. What are you going to change? What are you going to fight for? I challenge you to say yes to something that has been on your heart, something big and scary. Say yes to something bigger than you. Say yes to something that only God can do thru you. You will be blown away by how he blesses as a result of honoring and glorifying him.
I challenge you to give up your birthday for a cause and see what happens. I guarantee you that giving the gift of clean water will change someone’s life and it only takes about $4 bucks to make it happen. GO DONATE and become apart our mission: http://waterisbasic.donorpages.com/StephenElderBirthday/StephenElder/
I would love to talk more about the water crisis. If you have questions email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
– Stephen Elder