By: Katie Burns
It started as a desire to help his congregation overcome consumerism in the Christmas season. Now it is a full-scale mission effort involving hundreds of churches. Chris Seay ‘93, pastor of Ecclesia Church in Houston, is helping to bring clean water to hundreds of communities worldwide.
Seay first developed a passion for bringing clean drinking water to the world on a mission trip to Liberia several years ago. He asked a woman how many children the town had lost due to contaminated drinking water. After a moment, she answered, “For me, three.”
That experience inspired Seay to start a program in his own church to help provide drinking water to as many people as possible. Members of his congregation partnered with members of The Living Water Project in creatinc videos to increase awareness of this need.
“If we tell the story with a video, we can bring the entire congregation there,” Seay said. “We capture video stories to raise money for the greatest needs.”
One of these needs is the African country of Ethiopia, the subject of the church’s latest project. Ethiopia is experiencing a drought that is complety devastating the country. Without rain, the crops can’t grow, and hundreds of people are slowly starving to death.
“All the water they need is right below their feet. They just don’t have the technology to get to it,” Seay said.
Seay and church member Stan Perry ‘87 traveled to Ethiopia in November to create video pieces to show in Ecclesia, and other churches around the nation. This trip changed their outlook on the whole project.
“Every day I put clean water in my dog’s dish, and every day children are drinking water dirtier than the water I give my pet,” said Perry.
The videos have been shown in hundreds of churches in America. Ecclesia Church raised $230,000 in just one month for the project. Another church raised almost a million dollars. Right now, there is no way to track how these videos will affect the country of Ethiopia.
“Until you see the suffering, it’s hard to grasp,” Seay said. “Once you see it, you can’t help but give.”
Seay, Perry, and Ecclesia Church will continue to raise support to fund the drilling of wells in Ethiopia and other parts of the world as well. They plan to continue for as long as there is a need for drinking water. Their efforts are changing lives the world over.
Seay and Perry’s video can be viewed online. Support for this project is encouraged as they continue to fight for clean drinking water all over the world.
“If we focus on a community in great need,“ Seay said. “It’s amazing what we can accomplish.”