A few months ago, I learned of a place called Burkina Faso, Africa. Burkina Faso is rated as the third most miserable place on Earth. Water is scarce and death and illness are a part of every day life. In fact, 1 in 3 children in Burkina Faso will die before their 5th Birthday.
Most of these deaths are caused by water born illnesses from water that is diseased and dirty. People in Burkina Faso have to walk many miles just to get water that could kill them. When I first learned about Burkina Faso, I instantly felt a responsibility to help the children of Burkina Faso, like I was their older sister. I went to bed that night praying, “Please God, tell me there isn’t really a place like this.”
When I woke up the next day, I knew God was calling me to build a well.
In a truly poor country like Burkina Faso, there are no simple solutions to the poverty the people face, but providing clean drinking water can drastically change their lives. Clean drinking water prevents illnesses and helps them grow food to feed their families. Can you imagine giving dirty water to your child to drink? Or bathing your newborn baby in a tub of filthy brown water? Water is something we take for granted here in the United States, but WATER IS LIFE in Burkina Faso!
Over the last 6 months, I have been raking leaves, shoveling snow, and sharing my story to raise funds to build a well. In January, I reached my first goal of $2000 to fund that well, which will be dug next month by a work team from Indiana! I am now working on a second well and I hope to be able to help dig a well myself next Spring when I visit Burkina Faso.
Digging a well isn’t my only goal. My second goal is to be a light of inspiration to others. Since I started this project 6 months ago, I have inspired others to fund wells. In fact, there will be 7 wells dug in Burkina Faso because people were inspired by my story. 7 Wells will provide clean drinking water for 7000 people.
I have received letters from people all over the Country thanking me for the work I have been doing, and telling me that I have inspired them to help others. Some want to help people in Burkina Faso. Others are helping people in different places. I have a really hard time grasping that me – a 12 year old from Indiana – can have that much influence… But it’s NOT all about me! It is about the way GOD is using me to help His people. That’s what we are all called to do! It’s funny how the world takes notice when we serve like that. It is inspiring! And it shows people who God really is.
I know that sometimes, the troubles in this world seem too big for us to do anything about. But I believe that TOGETHER, with God’s help, we can make a difference one day at a time, one village at a time, one life at a time. Not only in Burkina Faso, but all over the world!
Will you join me?