Have you ever wondered how much Americans spend on Christmas each year? According to Advent Conspiracy, Americans spend about $450 billion dollars each year (yes… billion!). But there’s an even better question to ask:
Have you ever wondered how much it would cost to bring clean, safe drinking water to half a billion people in the world today? About 2% of what Americans spend on Christmas!
These two statistics hold the key to having the best Christmas ever… if we’ll just ask two questions:
1. Why should I care?
From a spiritual standpoint, we should care because God tells us to care. But an interesting thing starts to happen when we help others: the world gets a little brighter, and we are renewed also. And most importantly, God is made known:
“Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.” (Is 58:10–11 NLT)
It also represents an opportunity to give back to Jesus, the one who gave so much for us:
“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink?” (Matt 25:37 NLT)
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” (Matt 25:40 NLT)
Most who read this don’t think twice about clean drinking water. But put yourselves in the shoes of over 783 million people in the world today that have to seek out questionable water, and then roll the dice in drinking something they must have to survive.
Unclean drinking water leads to all kinds of illness, which in turn has other serious ramifications for the cycle of poverty:
– Illness prevents children from getting an education
– Lack of education perpetuates the cycle of poverty
– Illness also prevents adults from working… with the same result of continuing the cycle of poverty.
And these are the “lucky” ones who only get sick from water. Others die.
Want to know more about the impact of unclean drinking water on the world? Click HERE.
But now that we know, the next question is…
2. What Can I Do?
Alone, it’s tough to tackle a problem that affects 783 million people. But together, we can make a difference!
Living Water International is an organization that partners to build wells and educate locals on how to care for the equipment. They also teach basic sanitation to ensure ongoing health. And more importantly, they offer Christ… the Living Water… with each well drilled.
Several times per year, Living Water offers international mission trips for folks to drill water wells for others. No experience is required. And because it’s a hand-pump driven well, the water keeps on coming!
But even if you can’t go on a trip, you can certainly contribute to their global efforts. In fact, we could solve this problem if every American just took 2% of what they spend on Christmas this year and donated to this worthy cause.
Instead of the same old Christmas this year, why not be intentional in making a difference in the world around you?
Maybe then, our same old Christmas will look more like the first Christmas… the best Christmas ever!
How will you make a difference this Christmas? What would it take for you to spend less this year so that you can give more?