Photo: Participating in Safe Water September has been an awareness-raising challenge for Kodie. 

Lusi, Kodie and Sam share a thirst for a good challenge and a good cause, so this year they took on Safe Water September 2020. Here they reflect on their experiences.

Lusi Frost

I first did the challenge in 2018 after hearing Jessie Skelly explain the need, which seemed like a really simple sacrifice to significantly change lives. I’ve found it challenging to cut out all the sugary drinks that usually get my taste buds through the week. I didn’t realise how much I relied on milkshakes and frozen cokes. I want to inspire other people to take part in the challenge and raise enough money to significantly change lives; hopefully a whole community. Clean water is such a simple solution to so much disease and can send women and children back into meaningful work  and school.

Kodie Ninness

Safe Water September was not in the forefront of my mind until a week before it started. A good friend asked if I would put a team together. Trying to form team turned out to be a tough gig, which unfortunately I was not able to do. This was my first challenge – understanding others’ needs. As I have participated in the month, it has pressed upon me how much I rely on tea to allow me to wind down after work and assisting me in setting my mind towards study. The journey of realising just how much I rely on something so simple as a drink instead of God has provided me with a renewed perspective of how things can have a hold on us. Through Safe Water September, I hope to point others towards those who do not have access to this vital source of life, and how we take it for granted in a society filled with choices. I also hope to display to others that participating in such a noble cause is achievable and something they can do.

Sam Tolman

I participated in Safe Water September last year and it was such a good initiative – to sacrifice something for others in need. The biggest challenge for me is just social hangouts – giving up having a coffee or a beverage when I am with friends. It’s always good to work on my discipline of sacrificing something and sticking to it, even though the pressure is always there of “just one drink – surely no one will know”. It’s good to come out of the challenge having completed it properly and then seeing that sacrifice be used in a practical way, aiding people around the world with safe drinking water, something taken for granted so easily because we live in a beautiful part of the world where it’s normal and so accessible. My prayer is that the money raised goes to the most needy and that this initiative saves lives physically and paves a way for people to be saved and set free in Jesus.

The Safe Water September challenge is an annual fundraising event run by Embody, an extension of Global Mission Partners. Participants commit to drink nothing but water for a month. To date, participants have raised $160,000 surpassing the $150,000 goal for safe water projects in rural Zimbabwe and Vanuatu.

Safe Water September started in 2014, raising over $58,000 in its first year. Last year it raised just over $162,000 with this year’s totals looking on target to exceed that figure. This year 370 people signed up to take the Safe Water September challenge, including 52 teams.

“Our small team has been completely blown away by the generosity churches have shown this year,” said Embody National Co-ordinator Mitch Salmon. “We’ve hit our fundraising goal against the backdrop of a really difficult year, and churches across New South Wales and Australia have shown that their generosity and compassion for people in vulnerable communities has not been lessened. You have shown, once again, that when we work together and share our resources generously, we can change lives together!”

Donations for Safe Water September are still welcome. Go to https://www.safewaterseptember.org.au/

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