Sower of Seeds

Blog

World Water Day: Building Our Future

March 20th, 2014

By Season Fulton

Sari LadyThis morning on my way to work as I listened to happy, peppy music, I drove passed a large crane lifting a piece of cement. A new bridge was being built. A moment later I passed a team constructing a parking garage and another working on a hospital. In the ten minutes that followed, I spotted workers installing pipes, signs and sidewalks. The song mentioned something about the future and I thought about my own. This is what my community is building for our future, for our children’s future. These roads and hospitals will be here long after we’re gone.

I arrived at my office and sat down to review new pictures from our projects. The images appear to be from a time long past. Barefoot, dusty children and dry, colorless landscapes contrasted only by bright and glittery fabric masking an old woman’s wrinkled skin, falling over her shoulder and draping down to frayed and darkened ends that hung just above a sooty floor. These were people who don’t dwell in the future but simply try to make it through today alive.

As I noticed the bright, woven fabric of the woman’s sari again, it reminded me of us. Like a tapestry, common threads connect us all. Some of us are the brightly colored portions that stay safely wrapped around her face. Some are the frayed edges, torn and muddied, barely hanging on. But as a shawl salesman in Bombay once showed me, it only takes one thread to unravel the whole fabric.

It is a painful and heartbreaking thing to see people like these in extreme, urgent need. We’re often so far removed from them and it is unlikely that we’ll ever come face to face with somebody like this in our everyday lives.

The Internet has opened portals through which these images of suffering appear normal. Being half a world away can make pictures seem as unreal as the pictures we see of surface cracks on Mars, but the woman in the picture I look at this morning is feeling and living and breathing the same breath that God grants us all.

We are connected in time. What we are neglecting today could unravel tomorrow.

If we don’t give attention to those living on the edges of society, we risk building a world that, when failing at its margins, may just as easily fail at its core.

Because our organization helps to drill water wells throughout India, I hear the quote often, “water is essential to life.” This true statement means so much more when I hear it from those who do not have it.

For those without water, this statement is referring to more than a shower and clean hands. Having water means that getting an education becomes a possibility for a girl. Having water means health for another day of hard work. Having water makes life possible. For a gift as little as $7.77, any one of us can provide water for one person. SOS helps provides water to communities all over India and because it meets a need today as well as a need in the years to come. I have been blessed to see many communities changed by a water well, to shake hands with teary-eyed grandmas who put their hand over their hearts in gratitude. This means life to their babies, and an end to generations of death and disease. Yet it is so simple to us.

That is a future I want to be building for my children; one build with strong bridges and paved with acts of kindness… one with water for a thirsty world.

To change someone’s future by giving him or her access to clean water, visit 777water.org  & help spread the word.

World Water Day 2014

March 20th, 2014

March 22nd is World Water Day. Droughts and increased agricultural demand for water is steering India towards a crisis, especially in communities that are dependent on contaminated surface water or unreliable groundwater from shallow wells. It is the Vision of Sower of Seeds International Ministries to partner with local Indian churches in providing wells and offer water freely to communities. Your contribution, no matter how small, can help save a life when combined with someone else’s gift.

“I believe it reveals something of Jesus’ sacrificial love and God’s infinite grace when individuals choose to sacrifice a portion of their precious resources to meet someone else’s most precious needs on the opposite side of the world.” – Mark Davidson, Indian pastor/S.O.S partner.

World Water Day 2014 from SOS International on Vimeo.

Photo of the Week: Unlocking Their Future

March 17th, 2014

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” Isaiah 55:1

The burden of collecting water rests heavily on the shoulders of woman and children in India. From a young age girls must walk an average of three miles a day, carrying pounds of water to meet the bare minimum their families need to survive. Thanks to our Indian and American partners, Sower of Seeds International Ministries is drilling bore wells like this in villages and communities all over india. These wells change the destiny of little girls and boys, providing safe drinking water and unlocking their future.

 

Water Well

One Village

March 13th, 2014

The lack of safe, clean water affects everyone. Drought and increased agricultural demand for water is steering India towards a crisis, especially in communities that are dependent on contaminated surface water or unreliable groundwater from shallow wells.

You can participate in this life saving outreach in the following ways:

$4,800 provides one well for a village community
$777 provides water for 100 people
$388 provides water for 50 people
$194 provides water for 25 people
$39 provides water for 5 people
$7.77 can save one life by providing clean water for one person

… for the next 30 years!

“When the poor and needy search for water and there is none, and their tongues are parched from thirst, then I, the Lord, will answer them.” -Isaiah 41:17 (New Living Translation)

Photo of the Week: Life in the Village

March 10th, 2014

“He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor…” 1 Samuel 2:8

70% of Indian’s 1.2 Billion people live in rural areas, according to an Indian census. Life in the village is rough and nearly 883 million people live in harsh conditions without proper access to food and clean water. The brutal realities of village life show strongest on the children, with an annual 1.8 million dying before completing their 5th birthday.

Children

A Place at the Table

March 6th, 2014

By Season Fulton
WomanFree It was one of my very first trips to India. Back when the beeps and barks kept me awake all night. Back when a whiff of cardamom and curry and the stench of rotting cabbage and fish bones sent my head spinning. Walking down the streets of Bombay felt like a dream coming almost too alive, almost more real than anything I’d lived before. Sometimes cruel, sometimes amazing. Always mysterious.

One sight I will never forget came on a longest-of-long day when I was traveling with a friend and pastor from the city. He was meeting up with some other pastors from remote villages, and I was shooting footage of various things on the long journey out of the city. There were several sights that day that struck deep, but the most unexpected was at the home of a sweet family who had invited us to lunch. They were a husband and wife with a young son and a slightly younger daughter. They didn’t speak English, so I was left to observe the scene, smile and nod. The wife took her daughter into the kitchen to prepare the meal while the father and son took us into the dining room where we sat down at the table.

The smells from the kitchen snuck into our noses and where they continued down to everyone else’s stomachs they seemed to detour up to my head and dizzy it. As the wife and little girl set all the dishes before us, I wondered how many days a month they ate like this. Maybe none. My travel companion said a prayer and everyone dug in except for me. I was waiting, as my mother had taught me, for the lady of the house and preparer of the meal to sit at the table and have her first bite. It felt strange that she was nowhere to be found, but I started eating to avoid confusion. A moment later, I spotted her through an open doorway; she was in the kitchen, eating cross-legged on the floor with her daughter.

At first I was confused, and that confusion quickly turned to anger in my heart. This man clearly loved his wife and daughter. I could see it in his eyes, in the way he picked up his little girl and made her laugh. They had joy, this little family. The wife looked up from her spot on the floor and smiled at me, her face and hands covered in red curry like the rest of us. She was honored to have us in her home, to share a fine meal with us, yet her culture hadn’t provided a place of honor for her. All the noise and smells of the big city had faded away in this rustic home, but I felt that I caught a glimpse of an ancient system of discrimination that had buried itself into the culture like a tick into skin, going unnoticed by everyone but me. For all her grins, I still found frustration and sadness in my heart for her. She deserved a place of honor at the table.

As I think about that woman and her daughter sitting on the stone floor, I remember how Jesus treated women. How he served them. How he forgave them. How he defended them. Once, when he was busy teaching in the synagogue, He stopped what he was doing to heal a woman whose back was bent over because an “evil spirit” oppressed her. (Luke 13:10-17) For years she had been facing the floor, unable to even lift up her head. Jesus sees her across the room and says, “Woman, you are free!” With that, she stands up straight and praises God. The Pharisees go on to scold Jesus for healing on the Sabbath, which was against the old law, but Jesus was ushering in a new law, the law of Grace. And He didn’t just teach this Law of Grace, He acted on it at the expense of His reputation.

To our shame, many women around the world are still oppressed, physically and spiritually, by unrighteous customs, unfair laws, and social norms that cause behavior towards women that break their spirits and bow their heads low.

The Law of Grace demands our action. Like Jesus, I hope we notice the mistreated around us and choose to intervene on their behalf, to shake off their oppressors and in doing so, teach them what great worth they bear as women, and that there is a place for them at the table.

It is an honor to serve them by providing water wells that allow girls to attend school in their villages, providing free education to both boys and little girls born into slums so that they are able to continue their education as they get older. It is our honor to work with and rescue women of all ages from being enslaved against their will in red light districts and brothels.

Will you join us as we serve and strive to inspire others to value and support every wife, mother, sister and daughter, regardless of social or cultural circumstance?

Our message to women is an echo of Christ’s message to the bent woman that day in the synagogue. “Women, you are free!”

“I Am There To Be Found”

March 6th, 2014

777water.org from SOS International on Vimeo.

Photo of the Week: Ears to Hear, Eyes to See

March 3rd, 2014

“Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 82:3-4 NIV

“God strategically puts us in the body of Christ at certain places and certain times. There are things happening around all of us that God wants to change, that God wants to do something about. Things that you might become burdened with for a moment and then release. But sometimes the burden won’t release, sometimes that burden is intense and heartbreaking. Nobody wants to be heartbroken, none of us do. But the Bible says that a hearing ear and a seeing eye are a gift from the Lord. (Proverbs 20:12) There is something that God wants to do and he is looking for people, people who are willing to get a burden, people who are willing to get a passion.” – Dwayne Weehunt, CEO- Sower of Seeds International Ministries

 

Girl

Meet the Team: Katrina Mueller

February 27th, 2014

My name is Katrina Mueller. I am 23 years old. And I already have my dream job.KatrinaMy journey with Sower of Seeds started 17 years ago, when I was 6 years old. I met the Weehunt family when my dad’s job moved our family from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Park City, Utah. At that time, Dwayne Weehunt, the founder of Sower of Seeds, was the associate pastor at one of the only churches in Park City. We joined the church and quickly learned about the work that the Weehunt family was doing in India. My parents became friends, donors and a support system for the Weehunts as they pursued the work that the Lord had called them to. The Weehunts eventually moved to Texas and my family, along with my dad’s job, moved to Texas shortly after. As Sower of Seeds grew, so did I. I watched as God opened doors and poured out His favor on the ministry. I watched as my family became more and more involved and eventually both of my parents joined the Sower of Seed’s staff. I loved the Weehunts and the ministry, but never imagined I’d be working for them. Then I went to college.

I began attending the University of Texas at Arlington in 2009. After the usual 2 years of “I have no idea what I want to do with my life”, I decided to join the business school with intentions of getting a degree in Marketing. I also joined a program for about 30 of the top business students that focussed on raising up ethical business leaders. Most of my classmates had aspirations of becoming CEOs, CFOs and world famous entrepreneurs. Although I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I “grew up”, it quickly became clear to me that I wasn’t motivated by the same things as my friends were. As I continued in the program, where we were frequently introduced to CEOs, CFOs and world famous entrepreneurs, I began to feel the need to do something more with my life than just make a bunch of money. I began to realize the desire to do something that would impact the lives of others rising up in me. I began to dream about what that would look like.

One day around the beginning of my last semester of college, I decided to watch “Nefarious: Merchant of Souls”, a film is a documentary about human trafficking around the globe. I only made it halfway through the film, when I turned it off. It only took half of the movie for me to realize that the Lord was calling me to work somewhere where I would be able to help fight the trafficking of young women and children. I can’t quite put the emotions that I felt when I stopped that movie into words, but the closest I can come up with is furious anger. Furious anger at the fact that anyone would think they have the right to treat these girls as possessions to be used for profit.

I immediately started thinking about Sower of Seeds and their ministry in one of the largest and most notorious red light districts in India and started dreaming about working with Sower of Seeds.

Fast forward through my last semester and the summer to the fall after my graduation. Following the American motto of “Go after your dreams”, I decided to start pursing my desire to join the Sower of Seeds team. I shared with them my passions and the skills that I had learned while in college and I watched as God opened the door for me to step into my dream job. I watched as God lined up every little detail that needed to be lined up for me to be able to accept the job. I watched as God answered a desire that I had had for years to spend more than 2 weeks in a foreign country by sending me to India for about 6 weeks with my new job. I watched as God answered prayers that I had long since forgotten about. Ultimately, I watched God be faithful.

My job at Sower of Seeds is to work with the next generation in raising money for the projects that we do in India. Not only do I get to help rescue girls from the Red Light district, but I get to help provide whole villages with water, orphaned and abandoned children with a home and families, and children in the slums with education. And the cherry on top is that working with and pouring into the next generation is another one of my passions. I get to help students and young adults see how they can make a real, tangible difference in the lives of people halfway around the world. I get to help them see the value of missions and loving people that they may never get the opportunity to meet. I get to help them see outside of themselves, into the greater picture of what God desires for us as believers. I get to make an impact on the lives of people in both America and India simultaneously. I get to do what I love, with the people I love. And above all else, I get to see God move as he makes my dreams come true.

93 Million Indians live in Slums – Boston Globe

February 25th, 2014

India has about 93 million slum dwellers and as much as 50% of New Delhi’s population is thought to live in slums, 60% of Mumbai.

via One billion slum dwellers – Photos – The Big Picture – Boston.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: