Since this is July, when many churches are taking the offering for One Great Hour of Sharing, I would like to testify to its worthiness and effectiveness, inviting you and your churches to give boldly and liberally this year.
One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) is “a Christian effort to empower communities, provide water, supply food, alleviate poverty, and respond to disasters.” (http://onegreathourofsharing.org/)
Current global efforts to contain the Covid-19 virus – shutdowns, quarantines, social distancing, business closings – make life even more difficult for poor communities. Many cannot leave their homes to work. Many do not have access to water even to wash hands.
Gifts now to OGHS are used to provide food relief, face masks, and economic support. Please help by contributing to and promoting your churches’ OGHS offering.
Many of IM’s Global Servants administer projects made possible by your generous partnership with One Great Hour of Sharing. I have had the privilege of participating in three projects sponsored by OGHS: disaster relief after the earthquake/tsunami in Chile, and two designed to provide water and help people recover ownership and stewardship of their water resources, Rainwater Harvesting in Chile, and the Water for All project in Central America, coordinated by Global Servant Ricardo Mayol.
In Responding to the Call, IM’s strategic plan, two remarkable statements appear, which inspire Water for All:
The narrative of Scripture and, most especially, Jesus himself, reveal that God’s mission is nothing less than the healing, reconciliation, liberation, and salvation of all of creation (2 Corinthians 5:19; Ephesians 1:9-10). (p.1)
International Ministries will promote care for God’s creation through improved agricultural practices, promoting the use of renewable resources and environmental stewardship. (p. 7)
As I traveled throughout the region with Ricardo Mayol, who leads the project, the refrains heard everywhere were “there’s no water,” or “not enough,” or “it’s contaminated.”
Water for All is an example of participatory development, in which local people take ownership of problems and solutions. Education, theological reflection, and community organizing lead to practical solutions and alternatives.
Even in times like these, where our own movements are restricted, community leaders in Guatemala are monitoring water quality in springs damaged by mining, testing for arsenic levels using high-quality laboratory equipment. They have also started a nursery to raise seedlings for reforestation, thanks to this OGHS-backed project.
In the same community of Volcancitos, leaders are modifying the roof of a centrally located school, making it ready for installation of a rainwater harvesting system.
This may be our first “Zoom-enabled” training, design, and installation of a rainwater harvesting system!