Blood Water Mission started in 2002 and it was just in response to what we had been learning about HIV and AIDS in Africa. There is an overwhelming amount of people that don’t have access to clean water or proper medical care. And so we, knowing that as a band we had a platform. It wasn’t the biggest platform in the world, but it wasn’t the smallest. We felt like we wanted to do something and so we started really investing our time into learning stories about what was happening in Africa, getting to know people there and, you know, as a means to be able to bring those stories back to the U.S. and talk about them from the stage and to try and rally people here to offer funds that we could use to help give people in Africa access to clean water and support surrounding HIV and AIDS. And most of that work that we’ve been doing has been under the umbrella of what’s called the One Thousand World’s Project, which is a campaign that we started in 2004.
And that was based on the equation that one U.S. dollar equals clean water for an African for an entire year, which is a mind-blowing statistic. To think that a dollar can go that far is pretty amazing and a lot of people just made the connection that well, if that’s all it takes to help give somebody access to clean water then I can do that. For everybody that was trying to figure out what role to play in the story of loving the poor- this was a good way to connect.
Since then we’ve been able to complete about 700 water projects in 13 different countries in Africa. But it’s really been able to give water to a little over 500,000 people and so we’re going to hit the goal, we think, of one thousand wells by the first quarter of 2010. So, it’s been really exciting and just amazing to see the way people in the U.S. and people in Africa have really responded to the idea. And just that we’ve really been able to be part of the story, that is, making Africans heroes in their own communities and helping them grow their communities into something that is healthy and sustainable.
There seems to be one thread that’s woven into the fabric of the record and it’s the longing to know and be known. And I think there’s quite a few songs on the record that tackle that issue, “Closer” being one of them, and “Having” be another and it’s just the idea that there are so many barriers that keep us from trusting each other enough to let each other carry our burdens. But we don’t know how to trust someone else with the worst of who we are. And so what we always do is we present more of a caricature or we try to present what we want people to see of us. And that is a very tiring way of living, but we all do it and so most of us are very tired and very fake. And so I think that’s one of the things we’ve experienced is that we’re all tired of living that way. We really want to have more genuine, honest relationships with people and we want to be able to live in a world where there’s that freedom that goes along with bringing the fullness of who we are into our relationships and recognizing that there’s enough grace and enough love to cover those things. And so that creates a greater intimacy, so there’s a longing for that in quite a few songs on the record.