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T he kids at the club had seemed excited when Jack presented the idea of collecting enough dimes to build a Jesus Well—even more so when he pitted the girls against the boys. But after the first night of the contest, the children had pulled in a whopping $2.60 to buy a $1,000 well. “It was such a low amount that I couldn’t believe it,” Jack says. In 29 years of serving with Awana, Jack has organized many girls-against-boys fundraising contests, all with modest results, but he had good reason to feel hopeful about this year’s campaign to fund a Jesus Well: The year before, they had given three times what they initially expected. That year, Jack set his hopes on buying a cow through Gospel for Asia. The children’s initial excitement was encouraging, but the adults in the congregation surprised Jack by asking if they could compete too. By the end of eight weeks, the Awana club and congregation had raised 110,000 pennies—enough to buy three cows and a flock of chickens. But Jack didn’t know what happened the following year. Don’t people care? he thought. ‘WATER WELLING UP’ While Jack struggled with discouragement, Chaitra struggled with the well’s pump. She was thirsty, but without someone’s help, she wouldn’t be able to drink. When a man came to her aid, he introduced himself as Pastor Nadin, and as he and Chaitra talked, he shared about Jesus Christ. When Pastor Nadin left, Chaitra saw that the well’s sign had something written about “water welling up to eternal life.” When she arrived at her relatives’ house, she was full of questions. BEATING THE ODDS After the first week’s dismal results, Jack prayed, “Lord, I know that You want us to help these folks, but we gotta do something other than this, I think.” The next week, God did. As Jack encouraged the church with stories about people and villages impacted by Jesus Wells, the Lord moved in people’s hearts. By the contest’s end, the church had raised enough money for two Jesus Wells. When it came time for the next contest, the whole church was excited to raise money for another Jesus Well. But the church’s pastor, Lee, felt unsure about the goal. “One well is great,” he told Jack, “but can’t we do better than that? Why don’t we shoot for something high and see what God does?” With only $95 collected and only four Sundays to go, Pastor Lee and Jack announced that there would be a special offering. Their total goal: $5,000. A LIFE-CHANGING PHONE CALL Chaitra asked her relatives about the message she had heard and read at the well. Being Christians, they eagerly told her about the Living Water and gave her Pastor Nadin’s phone number. Chaitra called him as soon as she got home. “I want to become a Christian and attend a church service,” she told him. “Definitely,” Pastor Nadin said. BEYOND WHAT THEY COULD DO ALONE On their special-offering Sunday, it was up to the 120 people in the service to make up the remainder of their goal. After everything was tallied, Pastor Lee was astonished to read the total: $10,116. In one Sunday, the church gave enough money for 10 Jesus Wells. Added to the rest of the contest’s total, they were able to fund 11. “When Pastor announced it, the church basically went nuts,” Jack says. “It was quite a moment for our little tiny church.” Encouraged by the people’s response, Pastor Lee told Jack, “We have to stop thinking so small all the time and think about what a great God and wonderful God we have, [who does] a lot more than we could ever do by ourselves.” TASTING THE LIVING WATER After talking to Chaitra, Pastor Nadin directed her to a church in her own village, led by a Gospel for Asia pastor. Chaitra now attends regularly, drinking deeply from the Living Water. And now, thanks to Jack’s church, hundreds of others are going to experience the same refreshing love of Jesus Christ through the Jesus Wells. July 2014 | GFA World | 17