Remember this post last month, when Katie found out her Advent Conspiracy video was one of the contest winners? The prize for winning is a trip with Living Water International, to help dig a water well in another country. Katie knew about that prize and really wanted to win the contest so she could go on that trip.
But there’s a catch: Living Water has a safety policy which requires attendees to be at least 14 years old before they can go on a trip like this. I totally understand (and fully agree) with this policy; I do not want my seven year old going to a village where the inhabitants regularly suffer from water-borne illnesses.
I’ve been in contact with staff at Living Water, discussing alternatives for Katie’s prize. They are graciously agreeing to give Katie an IOU: when she turns 14, she can finally take her trip to dig a well. Woo hoo! I’m so excited about that. I shared the news with Katie, but she was less-than-enthused. It’s hard for a seven-year-old to delay gratification. She said, “I so bad want to go see those kids.” And then her face brightened as she said, “Maybe I can get a pen pal instead!” We talked about using the next seven years to earn enough money to dig a well. She liked that idea a lot and said she could sell more bracelets and have another lemonade stand.
On Saturday night, God worked His magic and our lives intersected with Living Water again. We went to our church at a different location (kind of like a satellite location) and found out one of the guys from Living Water was visiting our main church that weekend. I told Katie about it after worship that night, and she gasped, “Can we go meet him?!” So on Sunday morning, we went to church again to meet Stan from Living Water.
Katie was so nervous about meeting him. She brought her camera to take his picture, and she brainstormed questions to ask him: how many wells has Living Water built? Where do you build them? How much does it cost to dig one well? When she first saw Stan in the lobby, she hid behind a wall because she was so shy to meet a big hero. I finally dragged her over to say hello, and she asked questions. Stan says it costs about $5,000 to dig a new well, and $2,000 to repair one that’s already been dug. Katie and I told him about our idea to save enough money to dig a new well before she turns 14. Stan really liked our idea, and said Katie could earn enough to build a new one every year. Wow!
Katie spent the entire ride home from church jotting notes about how to earn more money for Living Water. Her favorite idea was to open a fruit stand called “Fruity Fruit Stand” and sell apples, bananas, oranges, lemonade and water. She came home to tell Daddy about it, and they turned it into an even cooler idea: grow their own vegetables in our garden and sell those instead! They’ll call it The Veggie Stand. Katie went back to the drawing board and came up with this inventory list: Cucumbers, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, bracelets
I am participating in Living Water’s H2O Project for Lent right now. At the end of Lent, I was planning to donate the money I saved directly to Living Water. But now that Katie has this seven-year-plan, I will donate it to her water well fund. I told her I’ll be the first to donate, and she said “No you won’t! I will be!” She reminded me of the Living Water jar she’s already been saving her money in.
I am continually amazed at what God can do through our children.
Stay tuned for updates on the Seven-Year Plan as Katie starts saving. Let us know if you’d like a chance to help!