Wisconsin Church Digs Deep for Water in Africa

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Members of Brookfield (Wisc.) Christian Reformed Church dug deeper to find water for a small community near Nampula, Mozambique. Deeper into their wallets, that is. The church raised nearly $100,000 for a well-drilling rig for the community where some of the church members had been working for several years.

Approximately eight church members, working through Partners Worldwide, helped the community start a small chicken processing plant that has since expanded to two egg farms and a technical college. In addition, several local chicken farmers work together in the community and share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

However, according to Brandon Haan, associate pastor of Brookfield CRC, “One of the biggest roadblocks has to do with water. . . . Most people have to walk a kilometer or more in order to get water, and it’s not necessarily safe to drink.”

So for three months this spring, members embarked on a giving project named “Dig Deep.” They raised $98,604 for a well drilling-rig for the community, surpassing their goal of $75,000.

Church members organized rummage sales, sold lemonade, and put up signs in their front yards advertising the campaign.

On a Sunday, May 4, they circled the church neighborhood on a “water walk.” Members placed water bottles on doorsteps with attached labels advertising the project. Church members established a presence in the neighborhood, and some residents responded with donations.

“There is a little bit of fortress mentality [in the church]. We don’t always look beyond our doors. God’s kingdom is bigger than our service on a Sunday morning at 9 a.m. There is justice and evangelism. This was a holistic project” said Haan.

This project was part of a program called Generous Church. Church members hope to continue similar giving projects—both local and global. “Really, we want as many people as possible to participate in, experience, and benefit from God's generosity. He’s been so generous to us. Now we want to spread that generosity around in word and deed,” said Haan

Dig Deep: Water for Africa - Part 1: The Idea from Josh Kappers on Vimeo.

About the Author

Amy Toornstra is a freelance news correspondent for The Banner. She lives in Salem, Oregon.

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