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Wading in the water: Gospel artist Sandi Patty drills for water during African mission trip

Gospel recording artist Sandi Patty, now an Oklahoma City area resident, recently visited Sierra Leone, Africa, as part of a mission effort with the faith-based nonprofit Water4.
by Carla Hinton Published: March 25, 2013

“It made me so happy to be part of that and to see the joy in that village where most of these people would be outcasts. To see that there was a place for them to celebrate their brokenness and to have a place where they can enjoy their families, love their families and live the rest of their lives, to me, that was so exciting,” Patty said.

She said the most inspirational aspect of the trip was interacting with African mothers and learning about the difficulties they face due to lack of clean water.

“As a mom, the thing that touched me was seeing the other moms and knowing that there is nothing that we as moms wouldn't do for our children,” Patty said. She said she and her daughters gathered with many women in one village and learned how grateful the Africans were for safe water. So many of them had watched as their children died of waterborne diseases because one in five children under the age of five will die of waterborne diseases, according to statistics, Patty said.

”That's just their normal. It's so common that there is not even emotion attached anymore sometimes,” she said. “I'm sitting in that circle and I have eight children and I'm thinking that would mean one of my children — or two — would just die. I just could not stand to think that I would let that be their normal.”

Patty said she would like to see more Oklahomans embrace the Water4 mission and help support the foundation's efforts to provide safe water to places that desperately need it.

“I would just so love Oklahoma, the spirit of what we know this state to be, to get behind Water4, because this is something that is going to radically change our world,” she said.

“I want to issue a challenge to every single person reading these words that we can be part of the solution for as little as $10. This will give water to one person for the rest of their life. There are people who can give $100,000 that will sustain an area in West Africa or Central Africa for their rest of their life,” Patty said.

“We are going to be able to say ‘remember when there was no water and Oklahoma was one of the states that stepped up and said we can't allow this to be the normal in Africa or in India or in Central America or wherever it may be.'”

by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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