Ash Wednesday & Week 1
Feb. 14 - 18

Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights in the desert. Can you imagine how thirsty he must have felt?

Sadly, many people are thirsty right now. In Zambia and Malawi, many families go all year without clean water. These families drink water from muddy rivers, streams and pits. Sometimes, these water sources dry up during the dry season from May through November.

The girl in this photo is Miriam Lungo. She is 13 years old and lives in Kwenje Village in Zambia. Every day, Miriam helps her mother collect water. They walk one hour to fill up buckets of cloudy, dirty water from a hand-dug pit. During the dry season, Miriam has to walk even farther to find water. As the Lenten season begins, please remember the hardships girls like Miriam face.

Miriam’s Prayer Request

This week, pray for Miriam and the other children in Kwenje Village. Miriam has fallen behind in school, because collecting water leaves her little time to study or do homework.

The dirty water also gives Miriam terrible stomachaches. “When we are sick from the water, we miss school, so it makes it hard for us to achieve our dreams,” Miriam said. “I pray for a good life free from illness and evil.”

Gospel Reading From the First Sunday of Lent

Mark 1:12-15 (NRSVCE)

And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”

Take Action: Collection Cup

Families in developing countries collect water in jugs or buckets to carry back to their homes. To get into the spirit of the project, make a paper water cup with the origami pattern and instructions below. Use your cup to collect money that you plan on giving to help provide clean water.

1. Take a large, square piece of paper and turn it so that it looks like a diamond.

2. Fold the diamond in half to form a triangle.

3. With the long edge down, fold the left corner diagonally across the center so that the tip meets the right edge.

4. Repeat step 3 for the right corner, folding it diagonally across the center so that the tip meets the left edge of the triangle. It should overlap the side you folded in step 3.

5. Fold the front-top corner down toward you.

6. Fold the rear-top corner backwards away from you. Use your fingers to widen the opening at the top and complete your cup. Decorate the outside to represent Wells of Salvation.

Alternatively, you can use any wide-mouthed cup or water bottle to stay focused on the project’s central purpose: to provide water for those who have none!

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Learning Corner

Life is hard for families living in small villages in Zambia. Almost half of the people who live in the countryside don’t have clean water. These families usually get their water from murky rivers, streams, ponds or shallow wells. This water is often filled with animal waste, parasites, bacteria and chemicals that can cause people to become very sick.

Source: CIA World Factbook

Family Discussion

1. Miriam walks about 2 miles from her house to the nearest water source. How many steps do you think it takes to go from your bedroom to get a cup of water?

2. What are some ways that having clean water makes life easier?

3. How does it make you feel knowing that many families in Zambia and Malawi don’t have clean water to drink?

Prayer to Begin This Lenten Journey

God our Father, come to the rescue of families who live without clean water. May your Holy Spirit give them refreshment and help us as a family to meet this pressing need. Be with children like Miriam and bring clean water and the Gospel to families struggling to survive. You are their hope and salvation! In your holy name we pray. Amen.

Proceeds from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures incurred through June 30, 2024, the close of our ministry’s fiscal year. In the event that more funds are raised than needed to fully fund the project, the excess funds, if any, will be used to meet the most urgent needs of the ministry.