Chicago WOV visit the Hillby Lynne Cassell, Women of Vision Chicago
Here is a shout out to my fellow Women of Vision, women whose hearts are pierced for the poor, who love to love, and who love to act with hearts of compassion. I have good news for you. News that will delight you and spur you to action. My news is this – we have a voice and we are able to use it. Not only that, our voice has the power to ultimately change the lives of the poorest communities in the world. Let me tell you how.
I watched the video “Walking in Sabina’s Shoes”, and my heart was broken for the millions of women who have to wake before dawn each morning and begin a long back-breaking journey to get water for their families’ daily needs of drinking, bathing and cooking. (Have you ever tried walking four miles carrying 50 to 70 pounds?) The water these women collect comes mostly from contaminated ponds or water holes and is full of bacteria that make their children chronically sick with diarrhea and other water-born diseases, often resulting in stunted growth from chronic malnutrition or death. That’s the bad news. Here is the good news.
There is a proposed bill called the Water for the World Act. If passed, our government will be bringing sustainable clean water wells and sanitation to the communities deemed the poorest in the world. The government already has the money to do just that; we are not asking them for new funds. However, we cannot begin to know the workings of Congress, except to know that bills like this, although not controversial, are often shuffled to the bottom of the pile and never actually make it to the floor to be voted on. When I found this out, I decided to head to Washington D.C. to the H20:DC Conference and find out what we could do. There I learned some simple basics in meeting with our representatives. But more importantly, I was reminded that Jesus calls us to compassion and advocacy (Matthew 9:36, 37). This is a bill that will bring life and health to the women and children we care so deeply about, therefore, advocating for this bill is acting on what Christ has called me to.
We are blessed to be living in a nation that encourages us to use our voice to ask for what we want. Our representatives want to hear from their constituents. Three of us from Chicago Women of Vision were thrilled to find this out first hand when we met with our representative, Congressman Peter Roskam. The congressman was kind, fun to talk with, and very informative. He enthusiastically agreed to co-sponsor the bill and encouraged us to put a lot of energy into advocating for the bill between now and the end of summer. We learned so much from him, including the fact that in the process of establishing our country’s legislative branches, our forefathers made things difficult to be passed. It is a way of safeguarding our country, but it makes things complicated when we want something done yesterday! He told us to strongly encourage each Women of Vision chapter across the U.S. to do what we had just done – meet with your representatives. Each chapter probably has women who are constituents of several different representatives. If you each went to meet your congressperson and asked them to co-sponsor this bill, we could move this bill from the bottom of the pile to the top, hence bringing clean water and life to millions of women and children.
Everything that you need to prepare for your meeting can be found www.beyond5.org/advocacytools. We are each only one voice, but together we can do great things and follow our Savior’s bidding!
“We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 1:3
– Peter Roskam cosponsored the Water for the World Act on May 7th, along with 8 others on that date
– Join our advocacy training call on May 23rd to find out how you can continue the push for Water for the World!