It all began in December 2012. Our youth group had just finished walking together through the book “Do Hard Things” by Alex and Brett Harris. Now, it was time to decide. What hard thing was God calling us to? After some discussion, they decided to try to raise money to build a well in an underprivileged country. But that was not all. They wanted the well to be built in a location where they could follow up with a mission trip after it was constructed. 19 months later, through yard sales, selling handmade items, collecting cans, receiving some generous donations, and a lot of hard work, they had raised $9000. That was July 2014. We sent the funds to Canadian Global Response (CGR) with a letter stating the desire to connect the well to a place where a mission trip could follow. CGR contacted us within weeks with an opportunity. So, in the fall of 2014, phase two of the project had begun: Mission trip planning.
Over the next year, we connected with an IMB field worker in Chad and began building a relationship. Since we are a bilingual congregation and Chad is a French-speaking country, it seemed to be a perfect match. After many emails and discussions, I had the opportunity to meet him and his family when they were on furlough in the States. Our youth group paid for my trip to meet him, in order to begin planning the trip to Chad. That was October 2015. So, a new fund raising effort began. The mission trip dates were set, January 2017.
With $3000 already raised and $7,000 more to go, the youth began working hard raising money for the trip. After another yard sale and a golf tournament, they were still a long way away from their goal.
As they came to the end of November, they were missing still over half their funds. They were discouraged and wondering what they were going to do. We called a meeting to consider our options. Then something cool happened. “A God-Thing”. The day before the meeting we received a call from someone who heard about our trip. They had sent a check in the mail that was enough to get us to 95% of the funds needed for the trip!
Our two weeks in Chad were beyond amazing. In order to support the mission and vision of the IMB field worker, we were able to serve in numerous ways. We conducted a soccer clinic, visited neighbors, and helped with the registration process for English classes. Our ability to communicate in French opened up numerous doors for us. But, the highlight of the trip was our visit to the village that received the well. What we began four years earlier was realized. As custom in all the villages of that region, I stayed with the men, while Mallorie and Lorie-Ann, two youth who were a part of the original group in 2012, visited with the women. We were able to share with them why we had come all the way from Canada, and why we had hard worked so hard to raise the money for their well. In using the story of the Good Samaritan, we had the honor of sharing the gospel to a people who have practically no real access to the gospel.
After visiting the village, we realize that the well and the trip are just a small part of all that God is doing in Chad. And we are so grateful that God’s grace allowed us to go. We continue to pray for the people we met there, the field worker, and the unreached. We are grateful to be a part of a convention that helps the local church go on mission to the unreached. We are grateful for CGR and their passion to practically show God’s love. We are grateful for the IMB who sends faithful followers of Jesus to the ends of the world. Finally, we realize one very important thing. Doing hard things is hard. But, when God calls you to it, it is so good. Most of our youth in 2012 have moved on and now a new wave of youth have come. Now the question is, what hard thing is God calling us to?
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