“Why do we still have cereal in the pantry if we’re not eating cereal any more?” my eight-year old son Zeke asked me.
“Well, after Easter, lent will be over and we’ll go back to eating cereal.”
“After Easter?” he shrieked. “But I thought this was going to take like two years! How much does a well cost, anyway?”
A couple of months ago, our family decided to see if we could raise the money to buy a well somewhere in the world where people don’t have safe drinking water. We had just bought a well for our own property, and having lived in places where whole communities don’t have access to a single well, we didn’t want to take our well for granted.
So we started asking people if they’d use the Lenten season as an excuse to do something crazy: let your gratitude spill over into giving money for a well somewhere. For some people, this meant giving up something like coffee or soft drinks and giving away what they’d save. We also suggested giving a dollar amount that meant something personally, like the amount of your own monthly utility bill. We decided we’d match every gift that came in, up to $15,000, the cost of a well giving safe drinking water to 300 people.
When we asked our kids if they’d like to give up something for lent to save money for a well, our daughter suggested cereal. She knows cereal is our most expensive breakfast option. It’s also her favorite option, but she figured we could eat oatmeal and eggs and other homemade breakfasts for 40 days and put a quarter each day into saving for a well.
We asked if that was ok with Zeke. He shrugged his shoulders. “Sure, sounds fine.”
Now there’s a jar on our counter where we drop in a quarter for every day we’ve been eating cereal.
Zeke is right – this is not about to total $15,000 by Easter. By my calculations, with each of the four of us adding a quarter a day, it will take just over 41 years for us to raise the money for a well.
So Zeke gave up cereal until he’s 49 years old.
He seems fine with that.
But I’m glad there’s help on the way.
So far people have given or pledged to give $5,400. With us matching that, it puts us over two thirds of the way to there. That makes us pretty giddy.
And it’s not too late to join in!
Here’s what you can do:
- CLICK HERE TO DONATE for this well. WE WILL MATCH EVERY DOLLAR GIVEN, up to the total of one well for 300 people!
- SHARE THIS POST with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
- Check out Waiting for Water for a free downloadable Bible study guide about Lent and water, plus info on more good water-related organizations.
- Talk to your actual, real-life, face-to-face friends at your church or workplace.
- Drink a glass of clean water with deep thankfulness.