In a remote village in the bush in Zambia, far off the beaten path lies a village. In this village there are babies dying each year from dehydration and disease. There are children running around, supervised only by their older brother or sister because their mothers are tied up several hours each day gathering water. The ladies all have severe back problems from carrying 40+ pound containers on their heads for hours every day. The children are not in school. The men are nowhere to be seen because they are walking and hitchhiking into the nearest town to try to trade their meager crops for shoes or clothes, but most of the time because they have no irrigation they have nothing to trade. In this village, disease and sickness are the norm instead of the exception. On the other side of the world, in a little town in the United States, there lies a church. In this church there are people who want to make a difference in the world. They know that there are huge problems in the world, but they don’t feel like their little church could possibly make a dent in the problem. This church is full of people with great hearts that have the willingness and the resources to do something, but don’t know where to start. The Zambian village and the American church are going to change each other’s lives. They just don’t know it yet. The church is about to dig a well in the village, to provide the 300-400 villagers with fresh, safe water for the next 25 years. The story of the African village is going to touch the hearts of the church so much that they are overflowing with generosity towards the village. All the church members are going to grow closer together as they tackle this common goal and rally together to attack such a huge need in the village. They will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they had done something awesome to change the world and impact hundreds of lives in a huge way.
That connection is the reason for the existence of Water282. We believe that we can do something big to change the world in a sustainable way, and use the model of connecting one church with one village in need of water to accomplish this. We will visit a specific African village and tell the story of that village through video and pictures so that the church knows the people they are helping and the depth of their plight. Church+Village+Water. That’s how we are going to do our part to end a very solvable problem.
Jacob (pictured on far right) along with other members of our local church with a Zambian leader
We believe that...the church will really connect with the villagers' stories and will be changed as much by being the hands and feet of Jesus to those people as the villagers lives will be changed by having water. This dual-impact is what makes our ministry different. We don't just ask for someone to shell out some money to a good cause. Rather, we let the villagers tell their own story and then let God work in the hearts of the church as they see how their lives can make a tangible impact to people that they now know.
Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. ~2 Corinthians 8:2
So, what does this mean to you and how can you get involved?
PRAY: Yes, really, right now: Pray for the villagers who will be receiving the wells and the Gospel one day soon. Pray that God would move people’s hearts to fund the ministry. Pray for the churches that will be partnering with us to dig the wells.
GIVE: Fundraising is very important at this early stage of the ministry. Contact the ministry at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can give.
CONNECT: You can help by connecting the ministry with pastors or local churches who we can speak with about partnering with us and adopting a village to dig a well. Even if the church leaders can't commit to partnering with a village, they might partner with the ministry to help us get this thing launched.
Visit the website to watch VIDEOS, learn about VILLAGE LIFE in Zambia, and to GET INVOLVED. You can also drop an email to email@example.com to sign up for an email newsletter (don't worry, I will never ask for money in the update because I really hate it when the newsletter is just a donation request wrapped up in a different wrapper), or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
That's the long but abbreviated story of Water282. Thanks for reading to the end. I promise in future posts that I won't ask you to give money. I leave for Zambia on Sept 21 and will stay for three months, then come back to the States for a month (to talk with churches and individuals that might partner with us and ones that have partnered with us) and repeat this cycle for at least 1 year. Every couple of months I will leave an update on this blog so you can follow my progress. I am confident that this ministry is going to accomplish huge things through God's strength, so be prepared for some fun stories in the future. Thanks to the Price's for letting me tell the story here, and thanks for reading!
** a little late addition to the story. Read it here. http://www.water282.org/ah-mazing/. It's too long to add to this already too-long post. I will have shorter posts in the future. Just had a lot to say this time.
-- Jacob Eubanks Water282