God calls each of us to use our talent and treasure to serve others. Whether this means giving to certain causes, volunteering in our communities or working at our jobs, these callings are unique and don’t necessarily fit a specific mold.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” — 1 Peter 4:10
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For former college baseball player Kyle Hanlon, his passion is to help end the global water crisis that impacts 2.2 billion people.
Hanlon partners with Water Mission, a Christian engineering nonprofit, to help provide safe water, sanitation and hygiene solutions for people in developing countries, refugee camps and disaster areas. In 2019, he joined former MLB pitchers Blaine Boyer and Jason Standridge to travel to Uganda with Water Mission on a vision trip. Former MLB player and current Water Mission staff member Scott Linebrink led the vision trip. The group visited the Bidibidi refugee settlement, where Hanlon witnessed the global water crisis in person for the first time.
“Hearing the various stories that were shared with us [during the visit to Bidibidi], from villages being raided to young children and women being slaughtered — the things that these people are going through are absolutely unimaginable,” Hanlon shared.
While the settlement now has reliable access to safe water, the stories he heard impacted him deeply.
Many of the residents in Bidibidi sought refuge from South Sudan, a war-torn country that is still enduring turmoil and strife.
“Before coming [to Bidibidi], I lost my child and my husband,” said Mary Yangi, a South Sudanese refugee living in Bidibidi. “After my husband died, I asked myself, ‘From here, what do I do?’ I had to be strong in my faith so I could manage.”
So much of what refugees witness in their lifetimes is laced with tragedy and sorrow. Through trauma healing seminars, Water Mission walks alongside those who are suffering by sharing God’s abundant love, grace and healing power.
“Being in the refugee settlement has been eye-opening — the dire need for necessities like water and shelter and how life-changing it is when we see these people with true joy for the access to clean and safe drinking water for the first time in their lives,” Hanlon said.
Hanlon first got involved with Water Mission through his family members, who are longtime friends of the ministry. The trip to Uganda in 2019 was “transformational” for him — moved by the faith of the individuals he met in Bidibidi. He later shared with the Water Mission team that days before being invited on the trip, he prayed that God would give him an opportunity to expand his faith. This trip was that opportunity.
Today, Hanlon is heavily invested in the sanitation portion of Water Mission’s work, as nearly 4.2 billion people lack access to a safe place to use the restroom. His prayerful support is making a difference.
No matter where you may find yourself in this season of life, consider using your time, talent and treasure to serve others with safe water and sanitation solutions.
Learn more about Water Mission at watermission.org.
Acadia Munari is a freelance writer for Water Mission.
– Jason Standridge helps Water Mission to bring God’s love to refugees
– SS PODCAST: Jason Standridge — serving others with Water Mission
– Former MLB pitcher Blaine Boyer finds purpose off the field through Water Mission
– SS PODCAST: Scott Linebrink — Water Mission ambassador, former MLB pitcher
– Benjamin, Kirsten Watson create lasting impact through work with Water Mission