Bottled water has become the indispensable prop in our lives and our culture. It starts the day in lunch boxes; it goes to every meeting, lecture hall, and soccer match; it’s in our cubicles at work; in the cup holder of the treadmill at the gym; and it’s rattling around half-finished on the floor of every minivan in America. Fiji Water shows up on the ABC show Brothers & Sisters; Poland Spring cameos routinely on NBC’s The Office. Every hotel room offers bottled water for sale, alongside the increasingly ignored ice bucket and drinking glasses. At Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFMI), the upscale emporium of the organic and exotic, bottled water is the number-one item by units sold.

Meanwhile, one out of six people in the world has no dependable, safe drinking water. The global economy has contrived to deny the most fundamental element of life to 1 billion people, while delivering to us an array of water “varieties” from around the globe, not one of which we actually need. That tension is only complicated by the fact that if we suddenly decided not to purchase the lake of Poland Spring water in Hollis, Maine, none of that water would find its way to people who really are thirsty.
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What is our response as Christians who believe in social justice?  Do we purchase the water and send it to the places where safe drinking water is needed?  Are we willing not to purchase a bottle of water from a company who does not drill wells or provide water for the indigenous communities where the water is not accessible to the people who actually work to provide us with this convenience.

Worldwide, 1 billion people have no reliable source of drinking water; 3,000 children a day die from diseases caught from tainted water.

This type of injustice should motivate us to take action.  We can offer prayers, and form discernment committees but really the people who are without water really need us to find ways to get water to their villages and towns.  Before you tell me that I am asking too much, read this.

So Quartey and his wife Grace, 40, also a Ghana native and a certified public accountant, founded the nonprofit Building Solid Foundations Inc., to ease the water crisis in their homeland, where their parents and most of their families still live.

The couple asked fellow members of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in York to get involved.

“It’s divine,” says Grace Quartey of the resulting ministry. “I just believe God has his hand in this because how we all met and the group we have together is nothing more than a miracle.”

Even a cynic would be struck by events that turned the Quarteys’ dream into a $450,000 clean water project.
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We can make a difference whether we challenge the water bottling companies or help build water towers and drill wells.

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