Drilling wells in geography class

By May 29, 2012

USA (MNN) — For some students, world geography class can be a drag just staring at maps and coordinates all day.

But for ninth-grade students at Bellaire High School, the things they learned in world geography class moved them to action.

World geography teacher, Bryan Berry, taught his students about the disastrous results of not having clean water in developing countries. The statistics sparked something.

“It’s something we take for granted,” says student Daniela Fuentes, “but many people don’t have [clean drinking water]. There are kids who don’t go to school because they have to walk miles to get water.”

For Berry, his heart for those without clean drinking water is leading him and his wife to join Living Water International on a short-term mission trip to El Salvador this summer. There, they will help drill a well.

When Berry suggested the idea of a fundraiser for clean water, he was pleasantly surprised by the way his students picked up the idea and ran with it.

“A lot of these kids may get into trouble, but it is amazing to see how generous they are when they really care,” says Berry.

Starting last November, students from Berry’s class began fundraising to provide either a sub-Saharan or Indian village with well water. Many of Living Water International’s statistics and information about the need for clean drinking water were used by students to promote the cause.

Fundraising activities included selling bottled water, and sponsored pledges by students to drink only water for 10 days. Some students even gave a part of their Christmas money.

One activity even had students donating money for a chance to challenge a teacher to eat a mystery jelly bean. Some jelly bean flavors were innocent, but some got as bad as “skunk spray” or “moldy cheese.”

Over the past six months, Bellaire High School students raised $2,600 for a well. Next year, Berry hopes to raise enough money for two wells and already has several students ready to take another plunge for the cause.

Living Water International exists to “be the hands and feet of Jesus by serving the poorest of the poor,” according to their Web site. By drilling wells and providing life-sustaining water, they put the love of Christ into action and live out the Gospel to others.

Pray for raised awareness of the need of clean drinking water, and that the Lord would continue to raise up people who will bring aid with the Good News all over the world.

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