I have to confess at the top of this post that I am not much of a coffee or tea drinker, so a big cheer for everyone doing Safe Water September who is giving up that caffeine! My favourite drinks are chai lattes, hot chocs, and all the fun treat drinks! When I have embarked on the Safe Water September challenge it hasn’t been as big a sacrifice as it is for others, but it still did have a profound impact on myself and the team I took the challenge with.
Boronia Community Church of Christ has had a group participate in Safe Water September for years. It’s an accessible challenge for all ages—it runs for a good amount of time, long enough to have a few social occasions where you are longing for that one beverage, but short enough that it’s totally achievable—and it’s a great challenge to take as part of a team!
But it’s not just about doing a challenge to test your will power and your ability to go without, or for the hype of doing something different. The Safe Water September challenge has profoundly impacted everyone who has participated in our group in the ways we follow Jesus. It has reminded us that we are part of a bigger picture, that what others are lacking across the globe should impact us in a personal way, and that when Jesus says to ‘love your neighbour’ (Matthew 22:36-40) we can do that not just by raising amazing amounts of money together, but also stepping slightly into others’ shoes by going without our luxuries, including the luxury of choice. We are all able to show generosity and be a part of a bigger story of bringing hope across the globe.
We have found that youth and people of all ages across the church can engage in this campaign easily, and it can really bring that intergenerational mission story to life. It takes you into the shoes of someone else, it causes you to sacrifice something small (although it feels big sometimes!) for the sake of another person, and it is a really fun campaign to do with your community, as it brings you together in a shared experience. Each time we have participated in the Safe Water September challenge, it has brought the community together in mission and hope, and reminded us that we are part of a bigger story, where people all around the globe matter to God and should matter to us.
When we finish the challenge each year, I am reminded that while I can go back to my iced chocolates, others do not even have safe drinking water. So we do what we can in September each year to do the good we can, where we can, for those we can!
Gather your Safe Water September squad and sign up at safewaterseptember.org.au.
By Laura Young, Boronia Community Church of Christ