So our church is doing this 10 Days project with our local college students. When my family first started hearing about it I think we all kind of thought it sounded like something we should do. No one really mentioned it though. Until the weekend before it started and my husband and I just kind of looked at each other and said, "So, are we gonna do it?" We are.
My family is a bit too into our caffeinated beverages. We aren't big coffee drinkers but pop is a big thing. Mostly for Brad and me. Mostly for me really. Brad can go with just water and maybe one pop a day. I on the other hand wake up craving Diet Pepsi. So I have one and then I have another around lunch time and then maybe another around 3:00 and then one or two (or three) at dinner time. I try to not let the kids drink it but they sure love Dr. Pepper/Diet Dr. Pepper. It's a bad habit that I've allowed them to start early. So we figured we'd give this whole "Drink Water to Give Water" campaign a try.
We are currently on day 8 with just 2 days left. I've gotta be honest here...I really wasn't sure we'd all make it this far. Last Monday when we started the Today show did a story about the cholera outbreak in Haiti. While the kids and I were up and getting ready for school and whining about not being able to have anything but water for breakfast our tv showed images like this one.
(People suffering from cholera-like symptoms lay on the floor at a hospital run by the Haitian government where Médecins Sans Frontières is treating people. October 27, 2010 in St. Marc, Haiti. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
I took the opportunity to tell the kids that this is why we are drinking water only for 10 days. The money we would have spent on other drinks during those 10 days will go towards building wells in Africa so that this sort of thing can be prevented. We know that it is going to take a whole lot more than our family of 6 drinking water for 10 days to really make a difference, but we can help. So while that news story helped a bit and gave most of us the focus we needed to get started it didn't really do much for my 10 year old daughter Sadie. She doesn't like water. At. All. Watching the story my youngest was obviously sad about the people she saw on the screen. Sadie...not so much. She just really wanted a big glass of milk with breakfast. And the opportunity to have some Dr. Pepper with dinner. I figured I was in for a pretty long 10 days with that one.
Then something really really awesome happened. She whined a bit. We all did really. But when one of us wanted a pop there was someone else there to say we couldn't have one. Sadie and Teagan shared what they were doing with their classmates. Then they shared with me that some of their friends had decided to join in and participate too. On Thursday after school when we were pressed for time we stopped at the gas station for an after school snack. I was sure to remind the girls that they couldn't have a pop and expected to have eyes rolling and a bit of whining and was thrilled when they both said, "we know."
Then we got in the car and Sadie shared the COOLEST story with me. She told me that her friend Macy had decided to join in and drink water only. Macy's Dad was already doing it at home but Macy wasn't and since she saw Sadie put her milk back at school she thought she'd do the same. A little boy at their table asked why they were taking their milks back and so the girls explained the 10 Days program to him. He said, "Well, your parents won't ever know if you have a milk at school. Why don't you just sneak one?" to which the girls explained in a very matter-of-fact way that then they wouldn't be sacrificing anything.
She gets it. She REALLY gets it!
I can't tell you how my heart fluttered when I heard that. The daughter that I thought was most likely to spend 10 days whining and crying and begging for pop is out there being the hands and feet of Jesus and shining her light. Woohoo! I'm looking forward to Wednesday now. When we can all sit down together and tally up how much we would have spent over the last 10 days and write a check to help build a well.