It may sound silly, petty… possibly even insensitive, but I think we live in a world where awareness and campaigning and taking “action” via social media reign. We are so quick to take a stand from behind our phones or computers, but when we’re asked to really sacrifice for a cause– to bear one another’s burdens, in the truest sense of the phrase– we are suddenly so busy with work and life and self that the reality of another’s need can be quickly and easily lost in the shuffle.
It is exactly this tendency in our culture today, the tendency to avoid inconvenience at nearly any cost, that makes my heart so tender toward true self-sacrifice; whether in friendships or teachings or the love of a Savior, selflessness appeals to the broken, undeserving depths of me. And it is this sort of embodiment of humble self-sacrifice that has made me fall in love with the 10 Days.
The 10 Days is a campaign that started several years ago when a group of college students first heard about the water crisis- the fact that at that time, nearly 900 million people in our world lacked access to clean water. Something stirred in their hearts as they realized that a daily commodity they so readily took for granted literally meant the difference between life and death for 1/8 of the human population.
In response, they prayed, and they wondered, and they researched. But in addition to all of that behind-the-scenes work, they boldly began to acknowledge a call from Jesus to reach out to the thirsty. And with that, they did.
“But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.”
– James 1:22-25
Now, 6 years later, the 10 Days is happening at over 100 schools across the country. College students all across America are giving up all beverages but tap water for 10 days and donating the money that would have been spent on coffee, sodas, etc. to clean water projects in Rwanda instead.
There are so many facets to the 10 Days, and I believe that’s what makes it work: in part, it’s a fundraiser- it’s a sacrifice of resources to give to others in need; with that, it’s a community event- it brings people together for a common goal, showing them how powerful we can be when we unite (whether that’s seen through mornings of desperately needing coffee and recalling our fellow 10 Days participants who are sticking with water that day, or whether it is seen through the collective power of the donations of many when compared to those of just one person); and finally, it’s a hands-on project that fosters humility and gratitude in the depths of our hearts- for to give up everything but water is to many of us a great sacrifice, yet to hundreds of millions of people across our planet, to drink the water we are settling for would be life-changing, and even life-giving.
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink … Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? … The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”
– Matthew 25:34-40
It is good to know the needs of the world, and it is good to publicly take a stand for those in need, whatever their source of poverty. But if you ask me, nothing is more beautiful than pairing those passions and opinions and softened hearts with a cause that lets you, no matter the minute nature or magnitude of your giving capacity, take an active part in bringing social justice to this world.
Join alongside hundreds of people across the nation in the 10 Days this year. Starting this Wednesday, October 10, give up all beverages but water; share the story of the thirsty with your friends and prepare yourself for the Lord to move in ways you could never have imagined! Acknowledge the power in community taking action, for with every dollar donated by you and your friends, one person will receive clean water for an entire year. Become actively grateful for something you take for granted in order to change the lives of others forever.
I’ve committed to doing the 10 Days. Will you?
For more information on the 10 Days campaign, visit http://10days.cc.
Commit to 10 Days of drinking good water to give good water and share videos like this one with your friends.
Find out more about the 10 Days’ parent nonprofit, Living Water International, at http://www.water.cc./