Founded by the multi-platinum, GRAMMY® Award-winning band, Jars of Clay, and activist Jena Lee Nardella, Blood:Water began as a call to personalize the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa.
Blood:Water is an equipping agency that partners with African grassroots organizations to address the water and HIV/AIDS crises. We do this by identifying Africa’s hidden heroes and coming alongside their vision for change. Through technical, financial, and organizational support, we expand the reach and effectiveness of African civil society organizations and the communities they serve.
Partnering with Africa to end the water and HIV/AIDS crises
Since 2004, Blood:Water has partnered with grassroots organizations in sub-Saharan Africa to join them in serving the communities where they work and to improve the health of community members. Through outreach and intimate knowledge of the areas where they work, our partners identify and empower local heroes to champion issues affecting the health of community members.
Water committees are formed and maintenance teams are trained prior to the implementation of a water point. People who have adopted healthy behaviors and seen the health benefits in their own lives begin to share with their neighbors what they've learned about safe sanitation and hygiene. Support groups emerge where people who have been socially isolated or stigmatized begin to see that there is hope for the future.
When these changes begin to take place, health is improved, lifetime disabilities stemming from waterborne diseases or malnutrition are reduced, hope is born – all of which is especially important for those with compromised immune systems. When people are cared for in this way, and gain the tools needed to affect change in their lives, whole communities are impacted for generations to come.
Standing within the context of historic orthodoxy, we confess that our beliefs about God, ourselves, and the world are most simply set forth in the Apostle’s Creed. From the earliest centuries of the Church, Christians in every culture have chosen these words to be the contours of true faith.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
He descended into hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting.
To live more fully into its meaning in the modern world, we confess that it is C.S. Lewis’ vision of “mere Christianity” that is our common ground as a staff and board. Acknowledging that honest faith can be expressed in various ways—within Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions—Lewis set forth a “central hallway,” which he called mere Christianity, a vision of belief and behavior that is common to all who confess Jesus as Lord. We take up our work within that central hallway.
Therefore, we commit ourselves to the common life required of this kind of work. We forsake the temptation to autonomy that is deep within the human heart, and promise to submit ourselves with honest humility to the virtues necessary for us to accomplish our mission. For 2,000, years the Church has ordered its life by justice, temperance, courage, prudence—and faith, hope, and love. Together, they form the heart of the good life, giving us contours for holiness as well as happiness. We will flourish as individuals and as an organization to the extent that we make these our ends.
As staff and board members of Blood:Water, it is with gladness and singleness of heart that we confess this to be true of us, giving shape and substance to who we are and how we live.