Water is necessary to sustain life. All life (plants and animals) must have water to survive. It is something we take for granted. We can just turn on a faucet and out comes water. We can shower with hot water. We swim in cool pools during hot summer months. Not everyone has this same access.
World Water Day, on March 22 every year, is about taking action to tackle the water crisis.Let’s take a moment to reflect …
Let’s take a moment to reflect. Look at these stats from a fact sheet on worldwaterday.org:
- Globally, over 80% of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused.
- 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking water contaminated with feces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio. Unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene cause around 842,000 deaths each year.
- 663 million people still lack improved drinking water sources.
- By 2050, close to 70% of the world’s population will live in cities, compared to 50% today. Currently, most cities in developing countries do not have adequate infrastructure and resources to address wastewater management in an efficient and sustainable way.
- The opportunities from exploiting wastewater as a resource are enormous. Safely managed wastewater is an affordable and sustainable source of water, energy, nutrients and other recoverable materials.
- The costs of wastewater management are greatly outweighed by the benefits to human health, economic development and environmental sustainability – providing new business opportunities and creating more ‘green’ jobs.
From Garrett Vickrey’s sermon on Sunday, March 19, 2017:
In developing nations women and girls are primarily responsible for collecting water; on average, 25 percent of their day is spent on this task. Collectively, South African women and children walk a daily distance equivalent to 16 trips to the moon and back to fetch water. If they spend this much their day just getting water imagine what they are not getting— education to improve their lives and the lives of their children. Today, there areover 663 million people living without a safe water supply close to home, spending countless hours trekking to distant water sources, and/or coping with the health impacts of using contaminated water. The children of God are thirsty; they don’t need to be. A few have improvised solutions to water crises. This Wednesday, March 22, is World Water Day. It’s a good day to consider a gift to an organization like Watering Malawi that provides access to clean water. God’s children are thirsty. Could we risk hitting the rock and seeing if water comes out?
Check out these resources to learn more and to help:
By Jim Gladson
Garbage – Recycling – Organics
At home, all garbage should be placed in large bags & then in the Brown Cart. Repeat until the cart is full or nearly so. Place cart by the curb on your service day after 7am & return empty cart to storage by 10pm.
The brown carts come in three sizes: The standard 96 gallon, 64 gal, & 48 gal. If you need one of the smaller sizes, call 311.
[Note: Jim has a passion for being a good steward of God’s creation and has done lots of research over many years. He has written many articles to help people know more about garbage, recycling & organics. Throughout 2017, we are bringing his insight to Woodland so you, too, can join Jim in taking care of God’s creation. Check out all the posts here.]
Cuban Immigration Situation in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. 3-1-17
Their story started over 9 months ago. Cubans by the hundreds left their native land searching for what they considered the promise land — USA. The journey took them through 11 countries with plane, boat, train, and by foot the necessary ways of travel. It took everything they had for this journey and more.
I interviewed one young Cuban lady who was 9 months pregnant. I wanted to hear her story. She and husband started their journey with the assurance that when they touched foot on dry land in the USA, then they would get their visa to stay. They would be able to have their baby in a safe way in the USA. That was the situation for Cubans for decades. But 2 days before our new President was inaugurated, that rule was abolished. How were the Cubans in route before that ruling to know this? This lady’s journey included hiding out from banditos in Mexico and Guatemala. It included long days in the jungle and on the water. She experienced about everything and anything during her journey but she never gave up. She had hope that she would be legally connected with her family in the USA. I did mention that she was pregnant. She is expecting her baby any day now. She is one of around 900 Cubans who are stuck in Nuevo Laredo. They are not interested in breaking the immigration law and crossing the border illegally. They just want to get away from their native country. They want a chance at a normal life. One with a future that is brighter than they had.
For the majority of us, their plight and stories are hidden because they don’t make a great fuss even though they are stuck in limbo in Nuevo Laredo. Our sister church in Laredo, Emanuel BC, and their pastor, Lorenzo Ortiz, are leading volunteers in the US as they try to help with the humanitarian needs of the Cubans. They have sorted food and water for their daily trips to Nuevo Laredo. They have raised money for medical supplies and gas for transportation. They have prayed for and witnessed to the Cubans with an uncanny and unbelievable heart and spirit. God is working through them in the midst of crisis.
Woodland BC has helped too. We were one of the first Baptist Churches to give monetary relief for this crisis. Our contribution went a long way to sustaining some valuable lives in the sight of our Lord. Now we ask you to specifically pray for some long-term solution to this crisis. Pray that the Cubans will be given work visas from Mexico so that they can work and live there productively. Pray that the pastors and churches in Mexico and USA will stay strong in their commitment to love our neighbors in Christ.
Thank you Woodland BC. You are always ready to help people in need.
Ben and Leonora Newell
By Jim Gladson
Garbage – Recycling – Organics
Some call it “trash.” Other refer to it as “clutter.” Or, perhaps some just say “junk.” But, no matter what you call it, the official name is Garbage!
At Woodland, we have almost 50 small garbage cans. They all eventually get bagged & placed in the large Garbage dumpster. Owned by Allied Waste Services [now Republic Services], they have the contract for removing our garbage.
By Lance Mayes
I spent yesterday learning about advocacy — how to give a voice to the voiceless and marginalized. I specifically learned about immigration, the child welfare system, and general advocacy. Today I get to talk with my representative and senator about what I’ve learned and what I think about bills that have been introduced.
The biggest lesson that I have learned is to keep the conversation open and going. This involves lots of listening and humility. It is easier to do this (especially with those you disagree with) when you remember that all people are made in the image of God.
What does this have to do with Ash Wednesday?
In Psalm 51:1-17 you see prayers like:
- “Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love.”
- “Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.”
- “Oh, give me back my joy again.”
- “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.”
These prayers keep us humble. If we keep these prayers in our minds and on our hearts, our advocacy for the voiceless and marginalized can be greater. We need to remember:
- From dust we came and to dust we shall return
- We are sinners
- We are mortal
- God provides mercy, love and joy to all (even those I disagree with)
The journey through Lent begins with taking a hard look inside and acknowledging the ugly parts we want to hide. The journey begins on Ash Wednesday with the imposition of ashes on our foreheads reminding us of our mortality and need for repentance.
Join us Wednesday, March 1 at 6:15 in the Sanctuary for our Ash Wednesday Service. Let’s individually and corporately remember we are all the same — we are all image-bearers and sinners. We all receive God’s mercy, love and joy. We must humbly listen more. And we must boldly (in love and respect) speak up.