Teaching Kids about Pure Water, Pure Love

Water is kind of a big deal. Having clean water is an even bigger deal. Access to clean water can be a real challenge in some parts of the world. This is where Pure Water, Pure Love comes in. You may not know much about Pure Water, Pure Love or the ways it eases the challenges of obtaining clean drinking water; but don’t worry—I’m about to tell you all about it!

Pure Water, Pure Love is a pretty incredible ministry of WMU. It provides missionaries with water filters and the people they serve with wells that offer clean drinking water—free from disease-causing microorganisms. Pure Water, Pure Love provides thousands of filters to missionary families and helps to fund clean water projects through grants. This ministry is a very tangible way to provide for the physical needs of our missionaries and the people they minister to.

So now that you know more about Pure Water, Pure Love, how can you teach your kids about it?

Like many people, I learn best by seeing and doing—and many kids do, too. A fun and engaging way to teach kids about the importance of clean water is to have them conduct a water filtration experiment. It’s super easy, and most of the supplies are items you probably already have on hand. Here’s how to do it:

What you need:
• 2 jars, cups, or containers
• clean sand
• clean gravel
• 3–4 coffee filters
• plastic cup
• scissors
• water testing kit (optional)

What you do:

  1. Start by filling one of the containers with dirty water. Try being creative with this! If it has rained recently, get water from a puddle outside. Or if you have a pond or stream nearby, take your kids to collect water there. If you don’t have a natural source of dirty water, you can always take water from the faucet and add some dirt.
  2. Cut a hole in the bottom of the plastic cup, no larger than a penny.
  3. Put the coffee filters in the bottom of your plastic cup to line it. Then, add in a layer of clean sand, followed by a layer of clean gravel. (You can clean these yourself just by rinsing them off.)
  4. Set your plastic cup in the rim of your empty container. (If the container is too large for the plastic cup to sit without falling through, just hold it.) Now, take your dirty water and pour it into the plastic cup. The water will filter through the gravel, sand, and coffee filters and come out clean(er) into the container! You may have to pour the water through the filter several times until the water looks clean.
  5. The water will appear to be clean—but only in appearance! The water will most likely be unsafe to drink, and I would not recommend it! However, this will give you an opportunity to take the experiment a step further, which is great if you are doing this with older kids. You can purchase an inexpensive water testing kit from most stores that sell pool supplies. Most of these kits will tell you how much bacteria is in the water. This is a great way to show your kids just how hard it can be to get safe drinking water. Just because the water looks clean, that doesn't always mean it is!

While you are doing the experiment, be sure to tell your kids about Pure Water, Pure Love and how this ministry provides water filters to missionaries all over the world similar to the ones you are making. Talk about how important it is to have clean and safe drinking water. Ask them which container of water they would rather drink. Use this as a chance to talk about fun ways your group can spread awareness of the water crisis and the ministry of Pure Water, Pure Love to your church and community. This project is also a great opportunity for kids to earn the Pure Water, Pure Love badge/patch or even badges like Working Together or I Led A Project.

Now that you know about Pure Water, Pure Love and a fun way to teach kids about it, go out and do it! If you would like more information on Pure Water Pure Love, fun activities and projects to inspire kids, or other ways you can help, go to wmu.com/pwpl.


Bayley Sharp is a summer intern at national WMU on the Children’s Resource Team. She will be a junior at Samford University and is studying Secondary Education. Bayley loves to binge watch Netflix and usually has a cup of coffee in her hands!


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