A Water Wake-Up Call

Water poverty Ninety-nine percent of the time, I get ready for my day after my 6½-year-old goes off to school. My 15-month-old daughter takes her morning nap around this time, and my 3-year-old plays on starfall.com. It just works better this way.

But for whatever reason, one morning last month I woke up early — too early in my opinion, and I could not fall back asleep.

“Might as well get up,” I thought. So, I got a shower in and, wouldn’t you know, not 10 minutes after I stepped out, I hear a loud “CHUG CHUG CHUG!” coming from my cellar.

I ignored it (mainly because I don’t like going into the cellar) and went to brush my teeth. No water.



After mustering up my courage, I ventured down into the cellar where I could hear the pump or softener making a loud racket.

Now, I’m not a Mrs. Fix-It by any means, but I did know that I should probably turn off the breaker so whatever it was wouldn’t burn out. (Pat myself on the back …)

My husband told me to call the plumber, and thankfully by 3:30 that afternoon, the plumber had dug up our well and found that the iron in the water had corroded part of the well pump pipe (or something like that), which caused the pump to stop pumping the water up.

Purely maintenance, but I was happy the problem was solved. To a degree anyway.

I was informed that I was not to use the water for a couple days so that the filter could go through a few cycles to clean the water.

“Roughly 12 percent of the world’s population, or 884 million people, do not have access to safe water.”

“Yeah, okay, no problem,” I thought, but I soon realized that I use water for way more things than I thought:

  • brushing my teeth
  • taking a bath or shower (which I had to chuckle at, because God made sure I was up before this little event happened … am I that bad before I shower?)

  • rinsing off the dishes
  • running the dishwasher
  • running the washing machine
  • cooking

  • ice
  • flushing the toilet — which was okay to do after they fixed the pump, the water was just a murky gray.
  • washing my hands

“Diarrheal diseases can be reduced by more than 40 percent through the simple practice of washing hands with soap and water.”

“The average person in the developing world uses a little more than 2.5 gallons of water each day for drinking, washing and cooking. Whereas the average person in the developed world uses 13 gallons per day only for toilet flushing. “

My “water poverty” problem lasted only a few days and just required some simple adjustments to our lifestyle. My husband picked up several gallons of water on his way home from work, which allowed us to continue in a fashion pretty close to normal. But as I waited for him to get home with the water, I stood in my house — and I broke down.

What about my sponsored children?

Where do they get their water?

How far do they have to travel?

Is it clean?

“Water-related diseases are the second biggest killer of children worldwide. This is around 5,000 deaths a day.”

Sources: www.who.int, www.wateraid.org, www.unicef.org

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Out of the Ordinary

Out of the ordinary

“All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.” – Acts 2:44-45 (NIV)

In today’s world, that’s out of the ordinary. Unfortunately, society preaches the opposite: More is better! People seem to acquire more “things” that they seem to hold onto with a firm grip. Of course, I understand necessities or essentials – for example, people need transportation to get to work – but WHAT IF you and I sold our *nonessentials* in order to provide for those who truly have need?

Here’s what worked for me: Go into your closet, around your house, your basement (I know, it might be intimidating!) Imagine God with you – imagine God cleaning those places out with you. What would He throw in the “to be sold so others may eat” pile?

In my pile were (just to name a couple):


Me: “But God, I really like those bags. This cute little black one, yeah I use it when I go out to dinner with my husband.”

God: “Britt, when was the last time you went out to dinner with you husband?”

Me (shuffles feet): “Um … does PB&J in our backyard when the kiddos go to sleep count?

God: “Britt, you really don’t use that bag, do you?”

Me: “I guess not.”

A fancy dress that I wore back in 2005:

Me: “But God, this was a dress that I wore to a very special ball. It saw important people! I looked so good in this dress! What if I go somewhere fancy again and need this dress?!”

God: “Britt, have you worn this dress since? And don’t start on who you think important people are – remember, I have no favorites. Oh, by the way, give me a break – the dress couldn’t possibly see anyone because it’s not living – whereas I have children all over the world who could benefit from you selling this dress.”

Me (bites lip): “Well, when you put it like that …”

Can you think of some things that you are holding onto? Why are you holding onto them? Are they really that important?

This will be hard. The enemy will try and deceive you. Here’s what he tried whispering in my ear:

“Ah, but what sort of difference would one, two or even a hundred people make? This is a waste of time. Besides, you deserve to hold onto these things. Someone else will take care of those kids.”

But fight back!

Remember that your faith tells you that we serve an amazingly loving God who will work through us – can you imagine the possibilities if you take that first step?

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I Pray

As a stay-at-home mom of three girls, ages (almost) 6 and under, my To-Do lists are never ending. Yes, you read right — list(S). When I don’t get them done, which is quite frequently, I feel lazy, discouraged, and just plain ole’ not good enough.

Thankfully, I am aware that Satan is just trying to deceive me again. So I turn to the One who can get me through those feelings — God.

Sometimes those lists gets smaller, my energy goes up, and I’m not so discouraged if everything seems to not get done in time.

And sometimes it doesn’t. Boy does Satan love what happens next — I doubt myself and God. Did He hear me? Am I not good enough in the eyes of my heavenly Father? Maybe I ticked Him off (by snapping at my kids, the dogs, and my husband) and he’s giving me the silent treatment. Hmm … Perhaps I didn’t pray the right way?

Then I really start to wonder: If Satan is trying to deceive me, then you can bet he’s trying to deceive those who are truly suffering: those without food, medical attention, water, clothing, the list goes on and on.

Just a little background as to why I think this.

I have always felt that my sponsored children’s faith was stronger than mine. They have so much hope. They seem to always be positive and thankful. I figure that Satan would try to deceive those who have a stronger faith.


Because whenever something goes “wrong” for me, I start to complain:

My daughters and I had ear infections awhile back and our doctor is an hour and a half away. I complained.

Or, my husband had to work late and I had made dinner to be ready for him when he got home. I complained.

Or, “Mr. Fast and Furious” speeds past me, but I am the one who gets pulled over by the policeman for going 5 miles over the limit. I complain.

I know I should be giving thanks to God that we have a doctor, my husband has a job, I have food to prepare, I have my own mode of transportation, and that He will hold other people responsible for their actions.

It seems like even though my sponsored children are living without basic necessities, they’re so thankful for what they DO have. They know what it truly means to be without — they see God working in big ways, because they have so little.

Whereas, since I have more and live with so many more opportunities, I don’t see (or it’s harder for me to see) how God is working.

So, I pray for those who know what it is like to suffer. I pray for my sponsored children.

One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 54:17 – “No weapon formed against you shall prosper.” I pray that my sponsored children will be protected from any weapon — sickness, hunger, thirst, violence, loneliness, discouragement, fatigue and deceit. That those weapons would crumble into dust as my Savior protects them.

After praying for THEM, my lists don’t seem all that important. In fact, my focus has, more often than not, turned toward another piece of paper, one that will contain the words to build up my sponsored children’s self-esteem and to help them battle Satan’s lies. I write my sponsored children and assure them of God’s infinite love, of how special they are, and how proud I am of them.

Interestingly enough, I find that as I write those words, God speaks to my heart as well: God loves you, He hears you, and you are His beloved.

Visit the Clarke family website.

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