My recent bout of the stomach flu has made me grateful for some things:
A comfortable bed.
A toilet inside my home.
Clean water when I’m dehydrated.
Money for a doctor (and a vehicle to get to the clinic).
Food to regain my strength.
And of course, plenty of hygienic products to eradicate every last vestige of the illness from my home.
What’s more, I’m especially grateful for these blessings because the flu didn’t just hit me – it also infected my wife and three children.
The illness is waning, and we are returning to life as usual, but this predictably happy outcome might not have been so predictable had I been subsistence-level farmer living in a poor, remote village in a developing country. When you lack basic necessities, and when the water you drink is contaminated with parasites, the stomach flu can become a death sentence – especially for small children.
This real and present danger is one of the reasons Cross Catholic Outreach supports water projects around the world. From Haiti to Kenya, we partner with local Catholics missions to construct reliable water systems that pump an abundant supply of clean, parasite-free water to the poorest of the poor. These projects save lives and can transform communities.
The next time you get a queasy feeling in your stomach, remember the thousands of children who risk contracting a fatal illness each time they drink a sip of water. And remember what our Catholic partners are doing to save lives and bless communities with safe water.