A new project aims to tap into millennial Christians’ strong social conscience and release a new wave of support for efforts to bring lasting spiritual change to needy parts of the world.
Missionary organization Reach Beyond is launching Fill My Cup to raise money to drill a clean water well in a part of Africa where people have been resistant to the gospel, anticipating that the better health project will open doors to share the gospel.
The organization believes that by its demonstrating how practical projects like providing clean water can become a bridge for evangelism—sharing the good news of the “living water” of which Jesus spoke—more young Christians will be inspired to rally behind similar efforts.
“We admire how so many millennial Christians have a high concern about issues of social justice,” said Reach Beyond President Steve Harling. “But they also tend to be less invested in sharing the gospel. We want to help them learn more about how the two can go together—a practical demonstration of God’s care naturally leading to opportunities to share the gospel.”
Through its longtime media- and medical-based ministry, Reach Beyond is well aware how much a lack of clean water negatively affects thousands of communities in the developing world, from poor health to the loss of educational opportunities for young people, especially girls. They are often forced to miss school to instead walk long distances to hand-carry home water for cooking and washing.
Over the past few years, the organization has worked with partners to provide more than 20 wells in four countries in Africa as well as Central Asia, Haiti and Nepal. “We have been able to use the opportunity of providing life-giving physical water to share about God’s great gift of eternal living water,” said Harling.
The 60-day Fill My Cup campaign focuses on millennials and aims to raise at least $12,000 to fund a well-drilling project in a predominantly Muslim area historically resistant to the gospel. Targeting social media platforms favored by younger people, the campaign launches March 1 to incorporate two important dates on the calendar—World Water Day (March 22) and World Health Day (April 7).
Donors will receive a thank-you gift for their support: a handmade African keychain, a T-shirt bearing the message “Nsupa ye de,”which means “Good water is tasty” in the Akan language, or an exclusive signed African-themed print from Reach Beyond staff member and artist Brian Mellema.
“We believe that many young Christians will want to be part of this kind of two-handed presentation of the gospel, when they see how providing practical, physical help in God’s name can become a vehicle for sharing the wonderful message of the gospel,” said Harling. “By bringing people clean water, we can also introduce them to the source of living water.”