By: Dr. Barry Corey, President of Biola University
For the American Church in the 21st century, the question of whether or not we should be actively engaged in ministry of compassion is no longer really a question. Not when the news of worldwide suffering and hardship is so instant and pervasive. Not when there are so many shocking statistics placed right under our noses, daring us to ignore them.
Statistics like this:
Statistics like these (especially that third one…) should convict us to action. It would be un-Christian and inhumane to ignore a problem as elemental as not having enough drinking water to survive!
So we’re all on the same page I hope: Something MUST be done. The Church must act. But what can we do? We can start by being more mindful of how we use our own water. Take shorter showers. Don’t leave the faucet on. Surely we can survive on less than 100 gallons of water a day! We can lead by example as Christians, committed to more wisely stewarding God’s creation and the life-sustaining resources within it.
But we can also take steps to more directly address the problem.
One of our recent graduates at Biola University, Danika Dahlin (’09), has been an example of how even college students can make a difference in this global effort. Ever since she was 18, Danika has spent her summers in Malawi, working with her parents’ nonprofit, Water Wells for Africa, where she has helped build wells for the many in that country who do not have access to clean water.
My prayer is that Biola would be a university where that sort of action-oriented attitude is cultivated—where students, staff and faculty recognize that the Gospel isn’t just an inert idea for Christians; it’s a movement of action and grace for the world.
At Biola University, we believe that social action is a calling for all of us—to make a difference in the world for Christ by serving the world in his name.
And it comes first and foremost out of God’s love for us and our love for Him. We can’t help but spread it to others and let the good news of the Gospel spill out from our classrooms and church walls and into the streets, slums, and parched corners of the world.
That’s why I’m thrilled to see organizations like Water Missions Int’l calling on the church to mobilize and direct its Gospel energy outward. The global water crisis is something the people of Christ cannot ignore. If we truly believe that Jesus is the living water, how could we stand by as millions across the world go thirsty day after day?