Uganda (MNN) — While most professional American football players were either gearing up for the Super Bowl or winding down from the end of a long season, one was giving back.
Seth Olsen of the Indianapolis Colts just returned from an eight-day voyage in Africa. Olsen traveled to Uganda to explore the work of Lifewater International.
It was an overall eye opening experience for Olsen, who gained a wealth of knowledge about Lifewater as an organization, as well as the severity of the water crisis.
"Before I went, I thought I had a good idea of what life was like," reflects Olsen. "Really you just don't know ‘til you go. I was just so moved by what I saw."
Olsen says the reality of the water crisis in Uganda was unnerving. "The statistics say between 800 million and one billion people lack access to safe water," comments Olsen.
Olsen knew those facts going in. But seeing poverty firsthand made him staunchly aware of how blessed he and the developed world are by having their simplest–but most important–need constantly met.
"There are so many needs around the globe and in these rural communities, in these areas of extreme poverty. But the most basic–and I think was really solidified for me as the number one need for those communities–is water," says Olsen. "It all starts with water."
It does start with water, and Lifewater International is also able to include much more than earthly water in their work, says Olsen. He was impressed by the way the organization truly lived out their mission statement in their love for Christ and others.
"There are a lot of water organizations out there that provide clean water. But [Lifewater] also addresses safe sanitation and hygiene education, and they introduce stories of Jesus through that curriculum," notes Olsen.
The Gospel message has been driven home with a number of showings of the "JESUS" film in Uganda. Lifewater has been able to reach 50,000 Ugandans with one film and one life-changing message, says Olsen.
Back in the United States, Olsen will keep spreading awareness about the water crisis and about Lifewater's commitment to defeating it while proclaiming the Good News. He plans to keep using his professional football platform for the sake of the Lord's work.