With poverty so evident around the world today, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to ignore the daily realities of those living in impoverished communities. It’s hard to connect with their circumstances when so much is readily available here in America. But as we become more open to understanding the realities of poverty, our hearts break for the men, women, and children who suffer without access to such basic resources . . . especially those without clean water.
We begin to realize that each of us has the ability to make a difference—to change a life by intervening on their behalf. Being burdened by the devastating realities people face without access to clean water, Dominic Lau and his family were moved to action.
“Although I heard about the water crisis [many years ago], my heart was not ready to do anything about it,” Dominic said. But after traveling to Tijuana and seeing poverty firsthand, God opened his eyes to the need and burdened his heart to get involved and make a difference.
“To see people and especially children living in very close proximity to a city dump so they can salvage things to resell as a means of living was extremely humbling and left an imprint on my mind and heart,” he said.
In 2011, Dominic and his wife began planning a “coming out” party for their third child as it was a tradition and part of their Chinese heritage. While working on the invitation, they felt prompted to consider doing something different than receiving traditional gifts. They decided to ask that guests provide a monetary gift toward clean water that they could donate rather than receiving toys or monetary gifts toward a college fund. Through this unique opportunity, they raised a few thousand dollars for clean water.
“Sure it would have been a great head start to have that money in the bank in a college fund,” Dominic said. “But again, that’s where faith can become practical instead of merely theoretical or head knowledge.”
Dominic shared about this great need with his local and sister church. Through those presentations, a Sunday offering was collected to go toward funding a clean-water well in addition to an offering through the church’s Vacation Bible School. Through these opportunities and other individual gifts, the Lau family was able to fund a clean-water well in Ngongolo, Uganda.
Dominic was excited to see the difference this clean-water well would make. After completing the fundraising for this well, and with some funds remaining, he was determined to continue raising funds for a second well in an effort to provide clean water for more than one impoverished village.
While continuing to fundraise on social media, Dominic wanted to personally create a way to give toward clean water. He had a side business established selling sports cards on eBay, so he made the deliberate decision to take 10 percent of his earnings to devote specifically to providing this second well. Between his earning and fundraising through Facebook, the additional well would soon become a reality.
The final donation came from a friend who, after earning additional profit on the sale of his home, wanted to give back to God. He gave the final $3,000 needed to complete the second well, which is currently under construction in Nigeria. Dominic is eager to continue investing in providing clean water to impoverished communities worldwide and knows that this well in Nigeria will impact a multitude of lives just as the one in Uganda.
Clean water changes everything, and Dominic and his family have played an integral role in meeting a great need for people in Africa. Just like Dominic, each of us has a unique ability to use our gifts, voices, and resources to impact lives around the world.
“I think it all starts with the individual and then trusting that God will use you to be an influencer,” Dominic said.
Will you take action and use your voice, talents, or resources to provide clean water to those in need? Some of us may have the resources to provide funding for a water project while others have the unique opportunity to be an influencer in our communities . . . starting a fundraiser and sharing the need with others.
You can choose to be an influencer and invest in the gift of clean water . . . you can make an eternal impact today.