Thursday, December 9, 2010

You are free to conspire.

Americans spend $450,000,000,000 on Christmas-- EVERY YEAR.

For $10,000,000,000 every person in the world would have clean water.

This is craziness.

In Sierra Leone, Africa (I have written a bit about my travels there in previous posts) there is a huge lack of clean water...and because of that...there is a huge amount of sickness and death. 29% of Sierra Leone children die before the age of five. That is more than 1 in 4. That is because of dirty water.

But, you don't need millions of dollars or anything to start saving lives.

I visited a village in April and this was the "water" they were drinking:

 They were drinking mud. They had nothing else. This would help them survive to the next day (maybe).

The people and especially the children were so sick. One day, a teenage mother brought her young baby to us. He was so sick. As I held him, I could feel him fighting to breathe. But, at that point there was nothing we could do. This baby would either live or die.

The well in that village was repaired and clean water became available again (for that village, it was the first time in years).

When I came back to that village 7 months later, this is what I saw:

The same mother. The same baby. The only difference is that NOW they have clean water. This is exciting.

It doesn't cost millions of dollars to save lives.

In Sierra Leone, it costs $3,000 to repair/build a well. Of course, I understand that $3,000 is still a large amount of money (more than I'll ever see at one time...if I keep up my current saving habits. ;-D). This is why I wanted to share about a movement that has inspired me so much.

It's called Advent Conspiracy. Advent Conspiracy works with Living Water International. LWI repairs and builds wells all around the world, including Sierra Leone (LWI is the organization we work with when doing wells in Sierra Leone).

Watch this really cool video to understand Advent Conspiracy:

I LOVE the idea of giving more relationally and giving less "stuff. Now, please don't get me wrong, I am not here telling you all to stop buying presents (I'm personally hoping for a season of one of my favorite shows...;-D). I just wanted to share about this awesome movement; about one way to give this Christmas.

It's not the only way. I know a lot of you guys give back in awesome ways, I've talked to some of you about it before. So...

What is your favorite way to give relationally? What is the coolest present you've ever created? (My caramel popcorn is KIND of amazing, just sayin'...;-D)

Thanks for reading this post! :-D

ALSO: If you have a little time to spare, I was wondering if you could go vote for my dad's water video right here. (It's just to the right of the video, you don't have to register or anything like that). This is a contest going on through Advent Conspiracy. The winner (aka the video with the most votes, I believe by the end of this week?!) gets to choose which country to have a well done in AND LWI will pay to fly two people over to see it happening (my dad BETTER take me if he wins ;-D). Currently he is second place.

Anyway. Thanks again! All my followers are seriously crazily amazing! I really appreciate you guys! :-D



Penny said...

Hi Millie!
I have missed my daily dose of "Millieness" :)
I am going to have to check out the Advent Conspiracy stuff. Too cool!
My parents have already announced that Christmas is going to be extremely lean this year, and considering the fact that we never go "wild" anyway, it will ah, small to say the least! :o
We have dear friends in Kenya (they are Kenyan}, and they have the cutest baby that reminds me of the baby in the picture. {He is well taken care of though}
I can't imagine being "there" and seeing all the suffering that could be fixed with just a fraction of the money we spend just on holidays. It literally makes my blood reach the boiling mark!!!!!!
Thanks for the post Millie
Olivia or Penny :)

Millie said...

Hey, Olivia or Penny! ;-D

Awwww! Thank you so much for reading this post AND commenting! That means a lot! :-D

Yeah. Same here. I understand the "leanness" of the year! ;-D

Wow! So cool! That's exciting! And I'm sure he is so adorable. I have some friends in Sierra Leone (they live there and are the ones who do the actually well repairs) and they adopted the most adorable girl. And she's SO SMART.

Yeah. It can be really difficult to think about (even though I'm just as bad at getting into a "stuff" mentality)!

Thank YOU for the comment! :-D

Raquelle said...

What a great post. You are such a good and genuine person Millie! I remember you talking about the story of that sick baby and his mother. I love that picture of him smiling and laughing! :-) It warms my heart.

Materialism consumes people, especially during Christmas time and I think people forget about others who are in need. This Christmas Carlos and I donated clothes, made a donation to our local food shelter/bank and we are setting a budget for presents for each other and using most of it for a toys for tots donation. I don't even feel like it's enough.


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