The Wells In Liberia - A Stewardship Story
Researchers have found that the word "love" appears in the Bible 714 times and the word "give" appears 2,172 times! We all understand the importance of love, but the act of giving obviously is also a major component of our journey as growing Christians. I am blessed to work with people who have found a way to mix a passion for loving others with the joy of giving.
A few months ago, I talked with one of our donors, Evelyn Caldwell, about the best way to use a grant from The Thomas Wilson Mission Fund Endowment. She established this fund in memory of her dad to honor him for the wonderful Christian home he provided for his children despite being a widowed father. Mr. Wilson set a high priority on supporting foreign missions, so Evelyn and her husband, Martin, established this fund in the 1980's to carry on his example of Christian stewardship.
In past years, distributions from the fund had been added to conference mission initiatives or sent to help other Global Board of Ministries initiatives. Evelyn listened politely as I shared a couple of options for the distribution. None of it "melted her butter." She was a bit frustrated at the process and said, "doesn't anybody just do something simple like dig wells?"
The donor had spoken. We started a searching for a more hands-on and direct use for her gift. Within just a couple of days an email just happened to arrive from Mary Zigbuo, a missionary at the Ganta Mission Station in Liberia. Mary wrote about the hope and the hardships in Ganta in the aftermath of the Civil War and destruction in Liberia. Much of the simple infrastructure that had been in place before the strife had been destroyed. In Ganta, a village of around 30,000 people located about 128 miles from Monrovia, there is a great shortage of clean and safe drinking water. Many people came to the Ganta Mission Station for assistance, but only two hand pumps were available. Mary went on to describe the need for two wells to be hand-dug, protected by concrete pipes and sealed with new hand pumps. The new wells would be supervised by quarter chiefs and would be available for three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon for those coming to fetch safe drinking water. She added that it would cost $4,500 to complete the project?the exact amount we had available in the fund!
At the last Annual Conference I shared the story of the wells, which were to be built. Now the wells have been completed and clean water is quenching thirsts in far off Africa, in the name of Jesus Christ, through the generosity of a grateful daughter around the world in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee. While the whole project cost $4,500, no one can really place a value on what it is worth!
There are more donor stories yet to be told and more giving opportunities to share. Call us if the Foundation can help with your stewardship journey.
I was thirsty, and you gave me drink.
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