The Great Water Chasm - A Minute for the Congo Mission - September 29, 2019
Why did I choose to go to college? Was it for my future financial well-being? For me, I was not motivated by the prospect of being rich or poor. I didn't realize that there was this great chasm in earning power between a college educated person versus a high school graduate. Today it's well advertised that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics pay gap between those with a four year degree and those with a high school degree is at a record high. Those with a four year college degree can earn a median weekly salary of $1,137 whereas an employee with a high school degree earn an average of $678. But I hope that a college education was a bridge to a more comfortable working environment. I grew up in the heart of the Citrus Belt in central Florida where my teenage years my weekends and part-time jobs was spent as a day laborer in citrus groves. Mostly I picked oranges when they were in season and I tended to citrus groves before and after the season. Also, during the early summer months, I worked in the watermelon fields, and I worked in the peach orchards of South Carolina during the late summer months before school started again. All these jobs were hard and strenuous work. It had to be done in all weather conditions whether it was hot, cold, rainy, or sunny. Therefore, I wanted and longed for a better working condition. One of the most useful benefits I gained was the ability to sleep under any condition. Today that ability is great on my transatlantic flights from the U.S. to Europe or South America. Or from Europe and South America to Africa. Those working conditions served as a daily reminder to the hard work to finish my college degree. Anytime I felt alone or depressed when studying I remembered the hard working conditions and thought about the weather forecast for today. My desire for a comfortable working environment is similar to the chasm in the story of the rich man and the poor man name Lazarus, described by Jesus in the gospel Luke, Chapters 16, Verses 19 through 31. Verses 25 and 26 reads as follows, "But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things and Lazarus, received bad things, but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'" In the Congo, I see many great chasms beyond the obvious chasm between the rich and the poor. There is an access to water chasm. Over fifty-percent of the population of the Congo do not have access to safe drinking water. But in a rural area, this water chasm is much greater. Only about three out of ten rural Congolese have access to safe drinking water. Unsafe drinking water kills thousands of Congolese children each year. As a result, unsafe drinking water is the leading cause of death of children under the age of five years old. Congo Helping Hands have restarted a water well drilling program. We improve the water well drilling operations with the purchase of a more capable and efficient truck mounted drilling rig. As the result, we will be able to complete more wells in 2020. We believe water wells will not only improve the health of children and adults, and save the lives of the most vulnerable, but water wells will bring safe water sources closer to the village population. Therefore, girls will have more time to attend school, and to reduce their education chasm between girls and boys. Also, women will have more time to devote to income generation activities, which will reduce the chasm between the rich and the poor. Please consider donating to Congo Helping Hands water well drilling operations.
You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.