October 31, 2008


Riding in the Jeep this morning Nathan announces to me, "Dad. I just counted to 28!" And then he asked me the most confounding question of all time - "Is 28 a lot?" I thought about it for a second and then said, "Well...sort of." And if you know my son (or any 4 year old for that matter) you know that this answer - sort of - is in no way satisfactory.

As I sat there, driving down the road in this contemplative trance, I began to wonder to myself, "Is 28 a lot?" And I began to realize that it's all about perspective.

First of all, if we're talking about money - dollars to you and me - we would say, "No way. 28 is chump change! 28 won't fill up half my gas tank or even pay my cell phone bill." But then you begin to realize - if you're paying attention, that is - that 28 will pretty much feed and clothe a child from World Vision or Compassion International. 28 will buy a wool blanket for a person living in poverty. 28 can provide 2 families with bed nets to protect from Malaria - the nastiest child-killer in the world. Holy cow. 28 just got a lot bigger! And that's not even the beginning.

What about 28 gallons of water? How does that measure up? Well, to put it into perspective, the average family home uses about 68-69 gallons of water a day. That's from the shower, brushing teeth, running the dishwasher & washing machine, watering the yard, and of course, flushing the toilet. And this doesn't sting as much until you realize that there are still people walking 4-5 miles a day just to get 1 bucket of water (about 4-5 gallons max) for their entire family to use. And that water is usually contaminated, viral, and slowly killing them. 28 keeps growing.

If this is making you want to curl up in a sad ball on your sofa and watch Feed the Children commercials, sorry. Not the point. The point is: DO SOMETHING!

"What, you might ask?" Great question.

Here's a small list of places to start:

1. Take $30 a month and sponsor a child (www.worldvision.org)

2. Give to blood:water mission (www.bloodwatermission.com) and help a family or even an entire village build a well. In the last year, Olivet has paid for at least 5 wells to be built!

3. Stop flushing the toilet! I know - "GROSS" you say. Well, when we go to Mexico we have a saying: "If it's yellow let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down." Again, I know some of you find the thought of this detestable, and maybe you shouldn't practice this the night you're having dinner guest. But quit wasting water! You use approx. 3-5 liters of water EVERY SINGLE TIME you flush the toilet. (I drink 3-4 liters a day!) Turn off the faucet while you're brushing your teeth. MEN: when you go to a public restroom and use the urinal, WHY flush it? You're wasting H2O and putting your hand on that nasty handle. Stop wasting water!

4. Start making Christmas what Christmas is all about - Jesus Christ! It's HIS birthday for cryin' out loud. Give something away to someone else. Give your time. MAKE a gift for each other. Make the decision as a family to change to way you think...and take action. Visit www.adventconspiracy.org

5. Educate. Make sure everyone you know understands that lives are at stake...and that we can make a difference. Every single one of us can make a difference.

And in the middle of the chaos of your busy day, when the world is rushing by and time is running out and you're starting to feel like you're overwhelmed and don't know what to do...remember: 28 is a LOT!

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