March 22 is World Water Day, a day set aside to highlight the global water crisis, and TCW wants to celebrate it by featuring the work of Sandi Patty. Sandi Patty is no stranger to the challenges of life. After experiencing divorce, remarriage, and becoming the mother of eight children and step-children in a blended family, Sandi has recently turned her attention to assisting with the clean water crisis in West Africa. With 40 Dove Awards and 5 Grammy awards, she is the most awarded female vocalist in contemporary Christian music history. Sandi has traveled the globe for concerts and service projects alike. Recently she and several members from her family travelled to Africa with Water4, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing clean water to communities around the world.
Water4 brings teams together to construct water wells by engaging communities in drilling, pump manufacturing, and water services. Sandi recently opened up to TCW about the life-changing opportunity she had to bring clean water to a community in Sierra Leone, and gave tips on how to make small changes in our daily lives to help with a crisis that affects thousands of individuals every day.
What was it like to travel abroad with your family?
I've done a couple of other trips abroad, but I've not been able to be with my family. It's difficult to come home and try to explain to them what I've witnessed and the feeling of what I experienced. One of my prayers has been that I'd be able to share a trip like this with them. For God to answer that prayer in such a sweet way this year was an incredible blessing. Not only did I not have to explain things to them when I came back, but we were able to sit around every evening to debrief in Sierra Leone. We would talk about what we got out of the day, what we felt about the day, and how our days were going to be different when we got home because of what we experienced abroad. This particular trip was amazing because it was hands on, and we got to really see what happens in a village when you search for water, find water, begin to dig for water, then the reward when you see that fresh water come out. It was incredible to share that experience with my husband and six of our eight kids—to talk with our adult children about how this was going to transform our everyday was just amazing.
What was your experience with the people of Sierra Leone?
I had four daughters and one daughter-in-law with me on the trip, and when we came into a village, it was like they were magnets toward the children. Immediately they had the kids playing games, singing songs, and doing actions—it was so fun to watch.