Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December Update {God Multiplies}

(Please note that any time you wish to give you may reach our donation page by clicking on the picture on the right sidebar)

We originally planned to update the blog each month with progress and news from this project, but so much has happened in the first few weeks that we could not wait an entire month.

In a little over two weeks God has already used this project in ways we never could have imagined. God has brought people along to partner with us in ways we couldn’t have predicted. Within an hour after we made the first post on the blog, my brother Daryl called me. He graduated from UAB in May at the top of his class and married his wife Haley in August. Haley is still in school at UAB and Daryl has been unable to find a job. On the phone he told me that God had been stirring their hearts about giving above their tithe, but they didn’t really know what they were supposed to give until they read about this project. I would have never expected God to use Daryl and Haley, one without a job and one still in college, to partner with us to meet the needs of these people in Africa, but He has. It has also created many opportunities to have great conversations with believers and non-believers about what God is doing.

The most exciting news came this morning. There is a person who has committed to MATCH ALL FUNDS RAISED FOR THIS PROJECT! We were truly overwhelmed by this totally unexpected commitment. I didn’t mention this in the first blog post, but it seems more relevant now. The cost to drill a well in Sudan is actually $10,000, but the organization we are partnering with (Never Thirst) has a partner that matches all donations used in Sudan. Therefore if this project generates $5,000, the Never Thirst partner matches the $5,000 and there is now the $10,000 needed to drill the well. So now we have two partners matching all funds raised.

My thought went to the feeding of the 5,000 and how Jesus took very little and multiplied it to meet the needs of so many. While Jesus met the immediate needs of 5,000 people, the ultimate purpose was to give glory to the Father. It is overwhelming that God is doing the same thing through this project! For example, when someone makes a $25 donation, the matching partner for this project adds $25 to make it $50. When the project is complete, the Never Thirst partner matches the $50 to make it $100. It is amazing to me that God can take my $25 donation and make it $100 so that people in Africa will have clean water, will hear the Gospel, and that ultimately He would receive glory. We are so privileged that God allows us to partner with Him in this. Essentially God is going to take $5,000, which would normally only be half of what is necessary to drill a well, and turn it into $20,000 which will drill two!

Please continue to be in prayer for this project and for two things in particular. We want to be very careful that ALL glory, honor, and praise goes to the Father. We are thankful for everyone that is involved in this project, from the workers in Africa that will dig this well, to the workers at Never Thirst, to everyone who makes a donation or says a prayer, and for those matching these donations. However, as grateful as we are to them, they deserve no glory and honor from this. This belongs only to God. Next, continue to pray that the Holy Spirit would stir in the hearts of these people in Sudan that they would be receptive to the Gospel when it is presented to them.

As of today, December 1, there has been $635 raised (before any matching contributions). To raise the $5,000 in one year we need to be on pace for $417 per month, so we are ahead of that pace right now.

Finally, several people have asked about whether donations are tax deductible. I should have mentioned this earlier, but all donations are tax deductible. If a donation of $100 or greater is made, Never Thirst automatically sends a receipt for the contribution. If the amount is less than $100, you will need to send them an e-mail or give them a call, but they will be happy to send you the documentation you need.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Giving Life

Leslie and I wanted to let you know about a project we are going to be working on for the next year. God had been preparing our hearts for several weeks with questions and thoughts about the blessings and possessions we have and how we use them for His glory. On October 31 a group visited our church that made us aware of the urgent, deadly problem caused by the lack of clean water across the globe and particularly in Africa. Please follow the link below and click on “Watch Video” on the bottom right to see the video we saw:

It truly stirred our hearts to consider that millions of children do not have access to clean water. To briefly summarize, these children spend much of their day walking to a water source, which is usually contaminated, to get water to bring back home. This leaves little or no time to attend school. What water they do have is contaminated and used to cook, drink, and bathe in; literally covering their entire bodies from the inside and out. This leaves these children chronically sick and unable to attend school. Those children that are able to survive their childhood often grow up uneducated due to attending school so sporadically, which leaves them unable to get jobs, which leaves them in poverty. Water truly is the key to breaking their cycle of poverty, sickness, and death.

Of course water only addresses their earthly needs. The greater need for most of these children and people groups is that they do not know Jesus Christ. While the thousands of people that die every day from lack of clean water is a tragedy, the fact that they are dying apart from Christ is an even greater tragedy.

It was clear that God desired us to be involved. There were some monthly sponsorship options, but we felt that was not enough. So Leslie and I, along with the Carson and Renfroe families that we attend church with, have decided to do something about it. Over the next year we are going to sacrifice our finances, time, and efforts to raise money to drill a well in Sudan. This well will provide clean, safe drinking water for approximately 1,000 people per day for the next twenty years for a village in Sudan. The cost is $5,000. We have partnered with a group called Never Thirst Water, primarily because they emphasize the spreading of the Gospel along with bringing water that is crucially needed to these people. We have a page that is set aside specifically for out project at If you choose, you can go there and make a donation to help this cause. Leslie started this blog where you can follow the progress.

Why are we telling you about this? For Leslie and I, we are committing a monthly amount to this cause and looking for opportunities each month to earn some extra money to give towards this cause. If you would like to join us in that, wonderful. Maybe you feel like making a one time donation, which would be great as well. The only thing we ask is that you be in prayer for this village in Africa that will be impacted by these efforts over the next year, and that God would prepare their hearts through the Holy Spirit that when the time comes that the Gospel message is shared with them that they would come to know our Lord and Savior. But the biggest reason we are telling you this is because we want God to receive glory from this project. We want you to know what God is doing in our hearts and we look forward to the day in one, two, or three years when we can tell you that a village in Africa has clean water and people there know Christ. We hope that you will rejoice along with us when that day comes. If you will give financially, wonderful. If you will pray for this project, great. If you do not become involved at all, that is fine too. But we feel compelled to share this project with you, so that He will be honored through this project over the next few years.

If you have any questions please e-mail us at or

Derek and Leslie