International (MNN) — Americans typically spend $450 billion on Christmas
shopping every year. That's 45 times $10
billion, the amount Living Water International says would solve the clean water
problem once and for all.
How serious a problem is the lack of clean water around the world? One out of every eight people in the world's
population do not have access to clean water. These people have a high risk of contracting waterborne diseases. About 5,000 children die every day from
diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation. At any given time, half the population of the
developing world is suffering from these diseases.
In addition, water issues impact the lifestyles of people in the
developing world. Girls are less likely
to attend school, and women must spend large portions of the day on the
back-breaking task of water carrying.
only $20 per person, Living Water International can dramatically change all of
these realities by drilling wells and providing hygiene education.
In 2006, four pastors had a vision: Christmas can change the
world. They challenged their
congregations to do four things: worship fully, spend less, give more, and
love all. Many people decided to give
just one less Christmas gift that year, and
as a result, the Advent Conspiracy raised half a million dollars to help Living
Water provide clean water for the developing world.
From year to year, the conspiracy has continued to grow. In 2009, Christians raised $3 million to fund
various projects, including 230 water projects and medical care for communities
in countries like Peru, Sierra Leone, India, and Liberia.
To date, a total 340 water projects have been completed, changing the
lives of 200,000 people. None of the
money actually passes through the hands of the Advent Conspiracy, which intends
to remain a decentralized, grassroots movement.