Acteens learn to sacrifice to help Africa
KANSAS CITY—In the spirit of giving, thousands of Acteens partnered with five different missions around the world during “Blume.”
Titled “5 Ways of Giving,” students were able to choose which ministry they would give to financially and beyond. Each ministry focused on women and children, allowing the girls to see how people their own age live in different countries. Acteens learned about each mission through presentations, kiosks, and interactive experiences.
Blume partnered with the missions: Arab Women Today, Beginning of Life Foundation in Moldova, Locks of Love, The Ricks Institute in Liberia, and Blood:Water Mission. The students were encouraged to get involved and give to the mission that God was leading them towards. This allowed the Acteens to feel connected to the missions effort and take ownership of their support.
Blood:Water Mission issued a challenge to Acteens to raise support during the convention and back at their homes. Started by Christian rock band Jars of Clay, Blood:Water Mission seeks to provide wells with clean water to 1,000 African communities. The mission believes that a way to stop the AIDS epidemic is to bring clean, healthy drinking water to African villages. The initiative allows Africans to take control of the well, improve health, and bring about a better quality of life.
Acteens were challenged to take part in the “Two Weeks of Sacrifice” campaign, where the girls would give up two weeks of their normal beverages and only drink water. At the end of two weeks, the money that would normally be spent on beverages would be donated to the mission. Students who pledged were given a blue band to wear as a reminder of their commitment. Acteens can provide further help by starting their own campaign possibilities in their hometown.
Three Acteens from First Baptist Church, Odesssa, were so moved by the need for clean water in Africa, they have pledged to start their own campaign.
“Before we went to Blume, our Acteens group studied the five missions projects and we were assigned to learn about Blood:Water Mission,” Sarah Rafferty, an 11th-grader from FBC Odessa, said. After the girls had raised a little money at their local church, they were able to watch a video during Blume showing the work of Blood:Water Mission. “It was really touching to see the people on the movie and to see how far they had to walk to get water and how dirty the water was,” Cassie Short, a 10th-grader from First Odessa, recalled. “It was like I was there!” Rafferty added.
The girls immediately decided to personally take the “Two Weeks of Sacrifice” challenge. “I took the two-week challenge because seeing how water is the only thing they have to drink and we have so many things—tea, milk, soda—anytime we want it,” Olivia Biondi, an 11th-grader from First Odessa, explained. “I think it is amazing that only one dollar will supply water to one African for one whole year and sometimes we will spend two dollars for one bottled water.”
After discussing the challenge with each other, the girls were determined to get their peers involved. “Our idea is to share the mission with our high school band,” Rafferty explained. “We have big organizations at our school—we think we can tackle the band by splitting the group in three different ways and each of us will talk to a section. We want to see if they will give up other beverages for two weeks and have them give the money they would regularly spend on pop and give it to us.”
The Five Ways of Giving has sparked a light in the hearts of Acteen girls, and giving will continue beyond Blume. Acteens raised $45,251.49 toward the five missions.