Digging deep


I’m doing research and interviewing people for a story on Texas Baptists ministering in Africa. One of the first places I turned was Steve Akin at First Baptist Church in Athens, which is part of a 12-church network doing a variety of ministries in an Ethiopian village. They’re really taking a holistic approach to ministering in this area. Steve mentioned the youth groups of these churches are leading the efforts to support well-digging in Ethiopia.

Then I found this blog post from the youth minister at FBC Athens, who presented the idea for the well-digging efforts. May we all have this much enthusiasm for the work God has called us to.

Have you ever felt like a certain day was a turning point?  Was there a day when you knew everything about life had changed?  These days bring to mind weddings, pregnancies, new jobs, Boston winning a World Series.

Last night was the beginning of something new that will ripple through my ministry in Athens and through lifetimes in Ethiopia.  At a meeting of pastors, church members, and Buckner reps, I presented an idea to collect students from across East Texas and catalyze them to raise funds for water wells.  A recently dug water well in Bantu, Ethiopia cost $30,000 and the goal I have for our team is to dig at least 1 water well per year.

78% of Ethiopians don’t have access to clean water, but we are able to drive to Wal-Mart and buy cases of the stuff.  We use potable water to flush our toilets.  We can get it free from any tap.  And yet, in the rest of the world, a child dies every 15 seconds from water-borne disease.  Our team is going to start bringing water and hope to the people of Ethiopia.

We are going to dig deep. 

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One Response to “Digging deep”

  1. Charles Wade Says:

    John, thanks for posting this about the young people in Athens and their determination to be used of God to make a difference in the lives of children and adults in Ethiopia.

    this is surely what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 25: “I was thirsty and you gave me (clean? surely, clean else it would be no blessing) water to drink.”

    One thought…are they in conversation with Texas Baptist Men? They have a lot of experience in drilling water wells and could be a good partner or network resource for them. I know the church has a good working relationship with TBM, so they have probably already checked that out…but want to mention. God bless and keep them safe and useful! CRW

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