Wake up, turn on the sink, brush your teeth. Go to the kitchen fill the coffee pot, drink your coffee. Go to the sink fill a glass of water, take your vitamins. Fill a pitcher, water the plants around the house. Get a glass of water sit down at your desk start your day. I probably turn on the sink 5 to 6 times during the first 30 minutes of my day, but when you literally have a water source at your fingertips that's no big deal.
Now, compare that to this. Wake up strap four 5 gallon tanks to the side of the motorcycle. Travel a half mile down to the local pump. Fill all 4 tanks, now strap those tanks to the side of the motor cycle. Drive the half mile back home. Unstrap the tanks. Take the first and pour it into a container to be filtered for drinking water. Take the second and pour it into another container for brushing little teeth and washing little hands. Take the third and heat it up to make breakfast. The fourth can be used to wash dishes afterwards. Now, if you intend to do laundry today you will need to make at least two more trips to the local well before the kids get back from school. Then there will be the afternoon trip to the well so that you have water for dinner, drinking, and nightly teeth brushing and general washing up. If it's bath night forget it, that's at least two more trips in order to have enough water to shower the 30 plus people living at the orphanage. I am exhausted just writing about it.
As soon as we met Makencia Hannah and I knew that God intended for us to be a part of each other's lives. We were excited to help all those precious orphans she cares for, but we were also excited to help her. Makencia, this precious woman who has literally dedicated her life to saving these children, she deserves more. We wanted to help her, to problem solve for her.
The first time I visited her orphanage, one of the things that struck me so deeply was how hard Makencia worked. I struggled with raising 3 children, in a modern home with modern conveniences. She was raising 27 children in a hut with a dirt floor, no electricity, and no running water. I complain because I have to bend over to load laundry into my fancy front loading washing machine. Makencia washes clothes for 30 people by hand in a washtub filled with water she has to transport up a hill several times a day. I complain if I run out of hot water for my nightly bubble bath. Makencia has to bathe 27 children in lukewarm water, which she pours over their heads as they stand over a grate. If, after that, she happens to have enough water left over, and she is not too tired from her day of manual labor, she then can bathe herself in that same outdoor shower.
I see a problem, I solve a problem. It was such an easy decision to plan to put in a well at Makencia's orphanage. A fresh water well on her property would literally change her life in an instant, as well as the lives of her family and the children they cared for. We estimated that she spent approximately 60 to 80 minutes of her day just lugging water. Then, she had to worry about the purity of that water. Was it clean enough to drink, bath in, or use in meal preparation?
We contacted Daniel at Schools for Haiti and asked him to price out a well for us. The quote we got was $12,000. Wow, I had no idea that to dig a well could literally cost as much as building a building in Haiti. Well, the well would have to wait. At least that is what I thought.
But God....I had put a post on our website asking friends to pray with us about funding a well at our orphanage in Haiti and an amazing thing happened. Some friends of ours, Jody and Laurie Johnston, from One Ball One Village saw our post and reached out to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
One Ball One Village is an amazing ministry based in Tampa that travels the world seeing to it that people in need have access to good, clean fresh water. The way they do this is by installing water filtration systems on wells and other bodies of water and then maintaining those systems for life. Well, Laurie was reading about what we were working on in Haiti and they just happened to be taking a team to Montrouis in 3 weeks to install 7 filtration systems. Laurie told me that they felt like God told them to help with our project, so they would be sending an extra filtration system to put on our well. When I told her that was so wonderful, but we didn't actually have a well yet, she said that that was ok, God would take care of it and they were sending the filtration system anyway.
I love it when your friend's faith smacks you in the face. So, Jody and Laurie were shipping us a filtration system for a well that we didn't have yet. They were actually sending a team down to Haiti to install a filtration system on a well we didn't have yet. God is so good.
The next day Daniel reached back out to us. He found some local guys that would be willing to dig the well for $3,000 and he thought that they could do it pretty quickly. Could they get it done in 3 days, because that was about how much time we had until One Ball One Village would be in town to install the filtration system. Wow, Lord, I guess you want Makencia to have a well as much as we do. Our well went from costing $12,000 to $3,000, and our friends were not only going to install a filtration system on the well, they were going to service it for, well basically, forever.
As you can see, the well was a huge success, and has become so much more than just a source of water for our orphans. Access to fresh water has literally added hours to Makencia's day and her well has become a gathering place for the neighborhood, providing fresh pure water for the surrounding homes. Local women come and socialize as they sit in clusters around the well sharing stories and scrubbing clothes as neighborhood children bathe and play in the water.
I can't say enough good things about One Ball One Village. Their ministry is filled with people who just want to love Jesus and love the world. The way they do that is by filling two of the most basic human needs. They give people fresh water and the love of Jesus. When they came down to Montrouis, however, they did so much more. Their team added a 400 gallon water tank for storage, as well as a generator to run the system. They extended the distance of the well, so that we could have running water in both the new orphanage location and the old, and they loved on the kids at the orphanage like only One Ball One Village can. I can't say it too many times. I love this ministry.
I am so grateful for a God that loves his children. I am grateful for fresh water for us here in America and for our family in Montrouis, and I am grateful for friends like Jody and Laurie Johnston and ministries like One Ball One Village who care enough to share their fish with us.