Hello folks, let's chat...Tell me, what did you think of when you saw the title to this post? I can't say the words without thinking about my grandmother's porch in Natchez, MS, the one framed by the big beautiful hydrangeas, the one where I joined with my sister and our favorite cousin to take refuge from sudden storms and hold endless talent contests and beauty pageants-- acting as both contestants and judges. (My sister Rhonda always won the beauty pageant, and though Lisa and I secretly decried the results you really must give us our props for the honesty with which we continued to cast our votes.)
To be sure, the porch really belonged to the small country church next door were my grandfather preached his heart out, as did that house and every other house they ever lived in as a young married couple, and later as a growing family with four kids.
At first glance, I almost pass by this bit of porch information, considering it irrelevant to what it is I want to share today, but upon taking a closer look, it begins to dawn on me just how integral it is.
You see, it was from that porch that I watched my grandmother offer water over and again to men who came down Pine Ridge Road in Natchez, Mississippi, down on their luck and in sore need of a friend. Food was offered, too, and whatever spare money could be raked together. My grandparents always gave what they could. Only now do I realize that not once did they give out of an abundance of anything other than love. This is my heritage. Forgive me for being so nostalgic with y'all, dear friends and complete strangers, but my eyes have begun to water at the memory and the realization that such a heritage is a treasure without price. Water from the Porch. It's funny that I didn't see that connection until now.
I suppose it's a bit late for a proper introduction, we've backed into this thing from the get go, but in short, I'm the host of All Things Southern and right now "water" is on my heart and soul, pushing and pulling me to act.
I hate inertia. I hate to allow feelings of powerless over the size of a problem paralyze me from taking action at all. And yet, I do it all the time. All. The. Time. I do it when I change the channel from a commercial that breaks my heart. Reminding myself of the different ministries my husband and I support helps-- for about... two seconds, and then I realize that I could do more. I could always do more.
I pushed this cause away the first time it fell into my heart, knowing full well I would be just ONE MORE VOICE asking people for action, (not to mention suspecting that I'd possibly drive off readers who were as weary as I am about bad news and had thought they were coming to the All Things Southern porch for something else entirely.) The idea pushed back, again and again. Every time I saw Life Today's Water for Life program, every time I thought, "How cool would it be to partner with them to drill a well, not to offer a thirsty soul a drink of water once, but to be a part of giving an entire community fresh water for a lifetime!"
Even so, I continued to war with myself. Why this program, I asked, why when there are just as many other wonderful people doing wonderful work, (like my own dear sister-in-law and husband who faithfully operate a feeding ministry and orphanage in Kipsongo, Africa). The only answer I have is that not only did the idea refuse to go away, it grew! It beat within me like the tell tale heart from Edgar Allan Poe. (Sorry for the obscure reference.)
And then I realized that while I rationalized, a mother looked from a contaminated water source to her dying thirsty child and rationalized in her own way. Would she give her baby water that may kill him eventually or let him die of thirst before her eyes?
And so, I moved. I recently asked my dearly loved readers, to join with me to drill a well of life-giving water in cooperation with Life Today's Water for Life outreach program. A single well sustains a village of 1000 people for an entire lifetime, a worthy goal by anyone's measure. Our goal at All Things Southern is to raise $4800 so that children just like yours, grandchildren just like ours, won't have to drink contaminated water because it is all they have.
Oh, yes, I know people are hurting right here in America. I didn't choose this cause, it chose me. And yes, I know pocketbooks are tight and the economy is sickly. I live in the real world with you. (As I type this the rain is coming down and my husband and I are praying that it will stop so we can harvest.)
I also know I didn't dream this up. The Lord gave it to me, so I will see it through. Our current running total is $1,836.00. If you'd consider helping, I've asked my readers to give as little as ten dollars each. You can use the paypal button at my website to donate, or you may send your donation to:
All Things Southern
Water from the Porch
610 Schneider Lane
Lake Providence, LA 71254
Also, if you would be so kind as to post this on your facebook pages, twitter profiles, and or blogs, I'd be greatly indebted. "For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name... I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward." Mark 9:41
Thanks for listening! And now, back to your regularly scheduled blogging... ~smile~