Advent Conspiracy meets need in India

By October 19, 2009

India (MNN) — As flood waters recede, waterlogged southern
India faces the threat of a secondary crisis in the form of waterborne disease.

With stagnant water everywhere, India is in desperate
need of clean drinking water. Providing access to this water is among the
higher priorities for aid groups.

Living Water International is among these groups, and they
are pitching in through the Advent Conspiracy project.

Three years ago, Living Water became involved with Advent
Conspiracy, which focuses on Christians changing their mindsets about the
Christmas season.

"First, we give relationally. We give our time to each other.
We make stuff for each other. Then, we take what we would have otherwise spent
on sweaters and fruitcakes and gift cards and distribute that," said Paul Darilek,
who works with the communications and development teams at Living Water.

All of this came about when a group of pastors got together
to discuss how commercialized Christmas had become and how the focus of many Christians was skewed.

The group looked at four things they believed needed to take
place. First, they needed to let their congregations worship fully during this
season.

Next, they realized that their attitudes towards giving needed to
change.

"God gave a Son, and our tendency is to give gift cards,"
said Stan Patyrak, Living Water's senior director of development. They asked
what it would be like if Christians gave more relationally, like Christ did, rather
than the materialism so many are use to.

The third thing the group challenged the Church to do was to spend
less. They realized that Christians accumulate
debt over the holidays to give gifts that are forgotten within a few weeks.

Finally, Patyrak said they wanted to encourage
Christ-followers to devote their time to loving others nearby and across the
world.

Through a lack of spending and a new attitude about
giving, donations to Living Water have enabled them to restore or provide wells
in countries with a severe need, including India.

Through Advent Conspiracy and clean water, Living Water and
those they are partnering with across the world are not only preventing the
spread of waterborne illnesses, but they are also sharing Christ's love in a
powerful way.

Every time a well is repaired or dug, Patyrak said it
shows "the declaration of the love of God being available for everyone and
that this well that's being provided is available for everyone–regardless of
what they believe, regardless of what caste they may be in."

No one is turned away. In fact, when a community well dried up in
India where Christians had not been allowed to gather water, the believers in
the area reached out to these people and shared water from their own well.

"Water was a powerful testimony–to be able to sit down with
a pastor and say, ‘How can you use us as a ministry tool to draw people into
your church?'" said Darilek.

Patyrak added that through the churches in India providing
these wells for those in need, the size of many churches has doubled, and it
has also made the church an oasis of physical and spiritual living water.

Please consider helping out in this effort as the advent
season approaches. To repair wells in certain areas may cost only $3,000; some families spend well over this amount on Christmas presents. Visit
water.cc to help.

Also, visit adventconspiracy.org and check out their
three-minute video.

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