Living a better story by turning $5 into $5,000 to provide water for people who have none.

Pride, humility, and $5000 March 14, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — fivetofivethousand @ 5:38 pm

Today marks the end of the two week period for our project. Last night we tallied all the donations received to date. We were just shy of $3600. A great effort. One that we are very excited about, but we’d just been so sure that God was telling us to raise $5000 in two weeks to build a well for Just Hope International that, in the honest places in our hearts, we were a little disappointed. What’s that saying about pride being the root of all sin?  We reminded ourselves that this story was not ours to begin with. The purpose was to invite others to participate in something bigger than any of us and to see where the Holy Spirit could take our $5.  So we prayed that God would take whatever we had– all the donations that friends and family and strangers had given to us, all the enthusiasm we have had for this project, and the great need for this well to be build in Sierra Leone

We weren’t sure exactly what next steps to take… do we go ahead and give Just Hope International an uncompleted well fund of $3600?  Do we continue our project for a longer period of time in order to get to $5000? My prayer last night was for God to take what we had and make it fit the need–just as Christ and the disciples did as they fed the 5000 from 5 fish and loaves of bread.

The weekend that we received our $5 in the “Living a Better Story” project, there were 2500 envelopes passed out. Unknown to us as we were deciding to build a well with Just Hope International, a group of junior and senior guys from our youth ministry was also deciding that they would combine the money each of them had received and try to raise enough money to build a well with… JUST HOPE INTERNATIONAL.  Initially, neither of us knew about the other’s efforts and by the time we realized it, both of our projects were well underway. (ha!)

This morning, Travis spoke to one of the senior guys leading the project.  We’ve had rainy, gross weather in the last few weeks, but last Saturday we ended up with an uncharacteristically warm and sunny day. That happened to be the day that these guys had planned a car wash to raise money for their well. They’d pooled their money to buy supplies and on that Saturday were able to raise just over $1400– pretty good for a car wash fundraiser, but not quite enough for a well.

Does anyone see where this is going? We raised almost $3600. They raised just over $1400. Neither of our groups could do this alone; however, each of our groups raised the EXACT amount of money that the other one needed to complete a well.  I suppose this could be nothing more than coincidence, but it seems Travis and I have been experiencing a lot of coincidences lately surrounding this project. So, this morning, our groups decided to combine our efforts and bring clean water to an area of Sierra Leone, Africa!

As I write this, I realize how crazy this story sounds. Almost unbelievable. In fact, if it had not happened to me, my skepticism would probably make me doubt that parts of it are true. I don’t think all stories can be tied up neatly at the end as we want them to be or that we can always see the fruit of our efforts, but I am confident in this:  “In  all things, God works together with those who love him to bring about what is good—with those who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28.

And so, this chapter of our story comes to an end…incredibly. Five to five thousand… it actually happened. I’ve often wondered if I recognize the miracles that I am sure happen around me all the time. Reflecting on this, I can only say I think I may have witnessed a miracle in this community effort and seeing it,  I am in awe, a little unsettled, and overwhelmingly grateful to have seen and believed. Thank you for being a part of this adventure with us. Thank you for your compassion, your enthusiasm, and your willingness.

We can’t wait to see where the next chapter of our story takes us!


Tally to Date

Filed under: Uncategorized — fivetofivethousand @ 4:21 am

Hello, friends!

Sorry for the delay in updating the last couple of days. The update for tonight is $3529. After nearly 2 weeks, we are feeling so good about this project and can hardly believe how this has happened. WOW! We can’t wait to hear more tomorrow about the other projects that have grown out of the “Living a Better Story” challenge.


Lucky Thirteen and then some March 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — fivetofivethousand @ 9:33 pm

We are having some special family time to celebrate Amanda’s Grandmother’s 82nd birthday with her extended family. Updates and totals will be slow. We continue to be AMAZED at the progress of this project and grateful for all those who are donating, praying, and encouraging us in it. Thank you for being a part. We’ll keep you posted soon!


Day Twelve March 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — fivetofivethousand @ 4:35 am

Great day! We are just over $3100!

Thanks for continuing to share our efforts and this story with others. We are on our way to $5000!


Just Hope March 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — fivetofivethousand @ 9:36 pm

I love the name of the organization that we are partnering with to build this well. Just Hope.  Simply hope? Hope for justice? I don’t know, but the more I learn about this organization, the more excited I am that so many of you have helped to support it through this well project.  After speaking to the founder of Just Hope last week, I believe the well that we will be sponsoring will be in Sierra Leone. Below are some pictures from the JHI website and some information about the organization that YOU are supporting when you donate to this well. THANK YOU! We can’t wait to see what the next few days bring!

When it comes to helping people in need, we have two choices. We can continue enabling to the point of dependence – or we can move beyond charity and embrace empowering to the point of independence. Our philosophy is simple. We empower people to break through the cycle of poverty and brokenness.

Our philosophy is simple. We empower people to break through the cycle of poverty and brokenness.

Our mission: to meet basic human needs in places where people have been exploited, neglected, or forgotten and to empower them to hope for a brighter future.

Our vision is to change the world, one child and one community at a time.

Our strategy is proven. To begin we address the basic needs that are lacking in areas throughout the world. These may include water, food, or shelter. When life’s basic needs have been addressed, we work with people, helping them build their own micro-businesses and improving their access to education. This instills the dignity so desperately needed to make real progress toward self-reliance and independence. Our ultimate goal is to break the cycle of poverty by empowering people to take responsibility for their own lives.

JHI has completed projects in the United States, Central America, South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. The seeds of hope are being planted around the world and will be nurtured to ensure the proper environment for growth.


Day Eleven

Filed under: Uncategorized — fivetofivethousand @ 1:33 pm

Slow day on day eleven, but we are so close to another milestone! Hope we get there by tonight! Total=$2978!


Day Ten March 9, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — fivetofivethousand @ 2:26 am

Headed to bed a bit early tonight…grand total for Day 10: $2938. That’s right, we are just $62 shy of $3000! We have promises of more donations on the way and word of this project and the community effort to make it happen continues to spread.