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Education Update: The Multiplying Effect and Lifelong Learning

2,268. As of our April session, that is the number of people who have gone through our Clean Water U (CWU) training over the last 15 years. Regular folks, like you and me, from states across the U.S. as well as over a dozen other countries. Different languages, accents, and gifts for sure, with one thing in common: A heart for sharing the love of God and clean water.

That over 2,000 people have set aside time and resources to help ensure that a community has clean water is astounding. What makes it even more amazing is that the sharing doesn't stop there. It multiplies: The team leaders who come to CWU for training go on to train others at their church or organization. This expanded group then trains leaders in a local community to provide a sustainable source of clean water and on-going health education. They, too, go on to train others and before long, it becomes hard to keep track of how far it goes!

I’m reminded of a children’s sermon illustration I used recently at church where you start off with a piece of paper with “God’s Love” written on it and you ask the children to imagine that the four corners represent God’s love.

"Four corners" of God's love

Then you ask them what would happen if we shared some of God’s love with someone else by cutting off one of the corners and giving it to them - how much love (how many corners) would we have left? Without hesitation, most of us would answer that then there would be three corners. But when we actually do it then count the corners we now have four corners turn into…

…eight! (Go ahead and count them to make sure.) We end up with more, not less. I love how that works! 15 years and over 50 training sessions in, we have had some great opportunities to learn:

  • Numerous students have come back to take a different workshop or a refresher course (we love repeaters! And they can return at half price!)

  • Almost every Network staff person has attended CWU, some more than once! (sometimes visas are a challenge and we continue to work on that)

  • Several Initiating Partners (i.e. water team leaders) have brought someone from their Operating Partner team (i.e. the community with the LWW water system) to be trained at CWU. We have a scholarship fund specifically for this to pay up to half of the tuition costs - email me to ask for details!

Add to this a solid staff of experienced volunteers who have learned by leading their own team. These volunteers are committed to being lifelong learners and spend a great deal of time listening and reflecting on what they’ve learned so they can better convey those lessons to others - more multiplication! Are you or a member of your water team in need of training? We have one more session this year, Sept. 11-15. I encourage you to go ahead and sign up - we have openings in all of our workshops as of now (101, 102, 103, and 103 ROS.) In order to help you plan ahead, the 2019 dates have been set:

  • April 9-13

  • October 1-5

Please note that these are Tuesday-Saturday sessions which is new for us as of this year. That will give you a chance to get home for church - something I know you and your pastor appreciate! Speaking of lifelong learning, so many people have signed up for our upcoming (and first ever!) IP Sharing Summit July 27-28 at First Presbyterian Church in Franklin, Tennessee! This will be an opportunity for us to gather face to face to share and reflect on what we are learning together. Teams will be sharing a variety of challenges and successes - from fundraising tools to ways to grow and sustain a water team. There will also be a time for 101s, 102s, and 103s to gather and share what they are learning as well as a time for Network-specific gatherings. If you plan to come and have not yet registered, please do so as soon as possible (no later than July 13) - this will help us plan. Also, we have a block of rooms at a great price at a nearby hotel - if you’d like to stay there, the deadline for reservations is July 8. You’ll find more information here. I hope to cross paths with you soon. Please feel free to email me at any time with any questions or comments you have to share or just to catch me up on what your water team and partners have been up to - I love to hear from our partners. Here’s to the multiplying effect, lifelong learning, and sharing God’s love with one another!

Four corners turn into 20!


Kendall Cox is the Director of Education for Living Waters for the World. She attends First Presbyterian Church in Greenville, MS whose water team partners in Cuba.

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