Tears came to my eyes last Sunday as I sat in worship at Birdville Baptist Church.
Two years ago, I got a call from then pastor Tom Howe asking me how much it cost to dig a water well for people in need. This initial phone call turned into a series of conversations, prayers and church visits. (By the way, the cost of a water well depends on the context.)
I gave Tom, Patrick Kelley and the Birdville crew a list of Texas Baptist Hunger Offering ministries around the world in need of water justice: wells, renovations, water pumps, you name it. As we talked, dreamed and prayed, one community kept rising to the surface—the Lott Carey Mission School in Brewersville, Liberia.
25,000 people needed clean water
Lott Carey Mission School is a faith-based school for kindergarten through 12thgrade. The school needed substantial renovations to the water tower to ensure access to clean water for about 25,000 people in the community—water free of Ebola and other dangerous diseases.
For the Birdville church, something clicked. Pastor Tom preached about living out the biblical mandate to serve food and water to our neighbors. Church members started to be aware of the school’s need. It was as if the path was laid out already, and we just needed to uncover the steps.
An entire community responded
Birdville gathered their entire community around this cause.
They partnered with Haltom Road Baptist Church to host a fundraising walkathon in Birdville Stadium with about 150 people attending.
They hosted two volleyball tournaments and took offerings to help with fundraising. Church members knocked on their neighbors’ doors and asked their Bible study groups to join in the fun. One of the youth even held a Mr. Birdville High contest at the local high school with all of the proceeds going to the water project.
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All in all, the church and community raised $29,345.33, enough funds for the water tower to be completed.
Last Sunday, I had the honor of showing them pictures of the nearly completed water tower ready for all of the students and community members to drink clean water.
You need to know, we celebrated God’s faithfulness.
Celebrating the joining of two communities
This story isn’t about just raising money, although financial generosity is important. This story reveals a picture of how the Holy Spirit was doing a new thing in lives in Brewersville and Birdville, and we got to be a part of it.
I had no idea two years ago that a conversation on a Tuesday afternoon would turn into an avenue for blessing.
Birdville is not a big church, but it is a willing church. They were open to getting out of their daily routines and following the Holy Spirit’s lead.
One of my favorite verses is Psalm 126:6: “Those who go out weeping bearing the seed for sowing shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.”
There are many Scripture references to sowing and planting. Many times, we don’t see the fruit of sowing and planting, but sometimes we do. The joy!
When we follow the Spirit, we may never imagine where God takes us and who we can meet along the way.
Christ followers in Brewersville and Birdville have been able to minister to one another, though they may never meet until heaven.
Ali Corona is the Hunger & Care Ministries Specialist for the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission and is a member of First Baptist Church in Marble Falls.