College students can be overlooked when it comes to making a difference in the world. However, students have many opportunities to step up and create a change.
Wishing Well is giving Oklahoma Christian University's students a chance to get involved and help those who do not have clean water.
Executive director of Wishing Well, junior Ryan Groves, wants to make people aware of the water crisis.
"The water crisis is the biggest crisis out there. It's the real killer," Groves said.
On May 3, a group of six Oklahoma Christian students will embark on a journey to Rwanda. Their goal is to meet different contacts and film a documentary on the water crisis.
Chase Layman, of Chase Productions, will be filming the documentary, and Esther Havens will be their professional photographer.
The main team will be there for three weeks. Travis Hughes and Ryan Groves will stay and go to Uganda to work with the Kibo group.
"Our documentary will follow in the footsteps of films like 'Invisible Children,' but the difference is that our problem kills 5 million people per year. I think that films like 'Invisible Children' have opened the door for modern society to address even larger issues." Groves said. "We will try to make contacts with Living Water and the Rwandan government. We are going there to learn."
Rwanda is a crucial step to help solve the water crisis.
"They have a big need and have been incredible at dealing with the crisis there. They don't want charity – only partnership. There is also a strong connection with OC, and it's a stable nation. God moved us there," Groves said.
While in Rwanda, the students plan to cover all the bases with the aid of a guide and translator.
"We will go to the villages where people have to walk three to five miles for unclean water," Groves said. "We will also go to the government and talk to them about the water crisis. Dr. O'Neal sent a letter to their president about us coming, and we will hopefully meet with him."
The idea of the Wishing Well documentary was a dream that started last spring.
"We want to understand the problem. We often approach Africa with a Western mindset, but we forget that Africa was more Christian at first," Groves said. "They have a deeper understanding of faith than we do. We want to truly partner with people and understand them."
The process of understanding the water crisis in Rwanda will involve different steps.
"We want to network and establish contacts of those who know how to build. We also want the documentary to tell a story," Groves said. "If people are engaged, then they will do something; Wishing Well is not about saving lives but about changing them."
Along with the upcoming trip to Rwanda, Wishing Well is giving students the opportunity to get on board and help make a difference. This week, Wishing Well is having an art show, a benefit concert and a banquet on April 12.
"Wishing Well believes not about playing favorites to rich people. It's said that college students have big hearts but small pocketbooks," Groves said. "However, there are people God has blessed, and we are hoping to partner with them."
Wishing Well is asking community leaders in the church, education and business world to partner with them.
"The students who give will be the guests of honor," Groves said. "We think that the leaders will be interested in students doing something rad."
Oklahoma Christian students are asked to donate their meal plan points to help pay for the banquet. The deadline to donate points is today.
"All you have to do is e-mail Amy Butler with your name and student ID number and how many points you want to give," Groves said.
Wishing Well wants students to be involved even though many believe they aren't capable of helping.
"If you have a heart to do something, just showing up at one of these events does count," Groves said. "Coming means someone has clean water. You will actually do something that night."
Sophomore David Bowden donated his points for this banquet because he loves the mission behind Wishing Well and wanted to support it, even in a small way.
"I've been hearing about Wishing Well for the past two years in various forms, and I am constantly encouraged and convicted to support this effort," Bowden said. "I would have to say my prayers and heart are more with Wishing Well than my thoughts. I think the Wishing Well mission embodies a much needed social outlook on our suffering neighbors that can and should be applied to several avenues of our lives."