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Global Vision Week Examines the Water Crisis

by April Overholt '11

Every year, the APU community devotes a week, called Global Vision Week, to specifically focus attention on issues occurring around the world. One of those issues concerns the lack of clean water for millions of people in third-world countries.

During this year’s Global Vision Week, a group of about 25 students met on Wednesday, November 3, to discuss and raise awareness about the water crisis. John Nadolski, a representative from nonprofit organization Living Water International, facilitated the discussion. He explained that the organization brings both physical and “living” water—the Gospel of Jesus Christ—to communities without. Wednesday’s discussion aimed to encourage APU students to actively participate in this process.

“The goal tonight is to represent those who don't have clean water, and to represent their stories,” Nadolski said as he kicked off the meeting. Students watched two videos that depicted the water-gathering methods of various cultures, allowing the group to witness the hardships many endure for their water supply.

Living Water claims that 884 million people around the world do not have access to sanitary water. These people, especially women and children, travel great distances on foot to collect water that may not even be clean. This creates “time poverty,” meaning people waste massive amounts of labor and time transporting water instead of working to earn their living. And since they often collect water from sources contaminated by livestock and sewage, Living Water estimates that a child dies every 15 seconds from a water-related disease.

Freshman biochemistry major Grace Kwak witnessed the urgency of this crisis for herself while traveling to El Salvador to volunteer at a children’s home. “I held a child in my arms once and noticed how hot she was; she had a fever [from needing water],” she said. “It’s one thing when you hear about it, but it’s another thing when you actually see it.”

Kwak and other students attended the meeting to learn how to help. “I’m so tickled that APU is taking the lead and getting the message out there,” Nadolski said in response to the turnout of students.

On measures students can take to have an impact, Nadolski said, “I believe that prayer is effective, that prayer works. We all need to pray about this.” The community can also help in a physical way by conserving water. Easy ways to do this, according to a bulletin available at the meeting, are turning off the water while brushing your teeth and shaving, and doing laundry only with full loads.

Despite the grim statistics concerning the water crisis, Nadolski concluded with a sense of hope. He explained that the death rates have actually dropped in the past few years. “Here’s what I want to leave you with: You’re on a winning team. There’s work to be done, and we all need to work together,” he said. “[But] I really do believe this problem can be solved within our lifetime.”

For more information on how you can help, visit Living Water International.

"I believe that prayer is effective, that prayer works. We all need to pray about this," said John Nadolski, Living Water International representative.