Last Friday, Set Free gathered with friends and family at our 2016 Beyond the Well charity event. We celebrated the fact that we have reached a million people. We celebrated that millions have been baptized into the community of Christian believers in India and hundreds of villages there have thrown out the Hindu priests to become Christ-following villages. It was a great night of fun and fellowship, but it was also a night that recognized there is still much work to be done.
Celebrating the Work Done
This picture epitomizes the divide between celebrating the work we have done and acknowleging the work that is still to come. Standing together is our keynote speaker from the evening, Christine Tolbert Norman, and Rebecca Wasserman.
Rebecca is a story of celebration. She was found by a Set Free team as an infant, hours from death. And she was given a second chance at life. She would literally not be here if it wasn’t for Set Free. Christine is the mayor of Bentol City, Liberia. She lived through the military coup that killed her father, the late President Tolbert. She also lived through the Liberian civil war. And she continues to see her country struggle with disease and the lack of opportunity. Most of the struggle stems from unreliable or non-existent access to clean water. And so something Christine said that night has stayed with me through the weekend.
“You’ll leave your unfinished water on the table.”
There’s Still Work to Be Done
There were 250 people in that room all dressed in our best for a charity event. We knew the purpose was to raise money and awareness for Set Free. Guests heard stories of the need around the world. We experienced some of the beautiful cultures of the people we serve. But we also used more water in the showers getting ready for the event than the families we are seeking to reach use in a day. At the event, we joined in sharing a wonderful meal accompanied by 250 glasses of water of the table. Many of these glasses were left at the end of the evening still half-filled because we simply were too full to finish our drinks.
It was a great charity event, and Set Free has done great work this past year. 329,000 people were reached with clean water and the gospel of Christ. That’s incredible and should be celebrated!
Yet, this world still remains dived. These is a big gap between those who are richly blessed and those who aren’t. There are those of us who leave clean water at a charity dinner and those who must walk miles to gather water from a swamp. There are those of us who drive to church on Sundays to worship freely and those who are persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ or those who haven’t even heard of God’s great love for us all. So until all have access to clean water and all have been given the gift of God’s grace – we will continue on.