It was a few weeks ago. There was a request that came in for $4000. Most people's initial reaction is to see that high need, think YIKES, and move along. Not surprisingly, it sat there for about a week. The original request was for $4000 on a well. A family of 4 generations had gone without water for a year. When the local school found out, they reported it as a safety concern for 2 little children. So DSS posted it in the hopes of keeping a family together.
After about a week, Church of the Holy Spirit committed $1000.
That made Ray think: okay, now we got it started. He invited all the point people in the area to participate, suggesting 10 churches put in $130 each and they could knock out the request pretty quickly.
Then Together Church, a small home church in Roanoke, pitched in $1200.
Then Bedrock Bedford joined in with $500.
Summerdean Church of the Brethren added $1300.
Wellspring Presbyterian jumped in with $300.
Together Church came back with another $100.
Church of the Holy Spirit came back with another $1500.
Then Patmos Methodist jumped in with $250.
Orchard Hills got their email and donated $130.
This brought the total to almost $7000 on initially $4000 request. As CarePortal responders talked to the family, we found out the reason they didn't have water was because they had been sharing a well with the neighbor. When their neighbor moved, the new next door occupant not only refused to share, but also refused to accept monthly payments for its use. Then the family began working hard to save for the well. They had gotten as high as $6000. But then the great grandmother passed away of Covid, and the family had to take $2000 out of their savings to cover funeral and burial costs.
Shortly after understanding the family's contribution had lessened, we discovered that the estimate was almost a year old. Kim Motley is the point person for the CarePortal program at Church of the Holy Spirit. Her husband Ben, is an architect. He looked at the situation and requested Bedford Well Drilling redo the estimate, and do it for 500 feet vs. the 300 feet in the original estimate, because one never knows how deep you have to go to hit water. The estimate for drilling without the pump was $8756.
We are so pleased to share that just a matter of days later, the company is beginning to drill. We still have to get the costs for the pump, so this story isn't over. But we are overjoyed at how a community of churches came together in such a significant way. Two children weren't removed from their home, and their family, as a whole, is in a more secure position in life. The Church was able to take away so many burdens in this moment: purchasing clean water to drink, to cook, to brush teeth; having water to shower; having water that launder clothes, instead of running to a laundry-mat, etc. What weight was lifted! And this made space for such joy.
Patmos Methodist is a quick 2 miles from their home. They are going to keep contact with this family, and continue to show them the love that God has for them. May God bless this relationship.
And we celebrate these many churches who gave selflessly to change the trajectory of not only the lives of two children, but four generations of family together.
Ray Moore is the executive director of 127 Place and the local program director for both CarePortal and Safe Families. Kelli Moore is the board Chair for 127 Place and the Kyrgyzstan Director.