Our 13-year-old son’s vision: water in Ghana

(Here we’re standing on the site where they tried to get water)

Here is an article Aidan wrote for a major Christian publication last year. The water for Sankpem has yet to be found, so we continue to raise money for it. You may donate here. On the pull down menu, click “fresh water: Ghana” to donate to this specific project.

Wells in Africa: My Dream

It was the happiest night of my life. Here I was at twelve years old, dancing with tribe members on the other side of the world. The drumbeats pounded in my chest. I felt the Lord’s presence like I’ve never felt before while I danced in a circle with my new Ghanaian friends. Together, we were dancing for Jesus while bugs the size of Oreos buzzed all around us. But that didn’t stop us from dancing.

This crazy adventure started a year before when my parents talked about the need for wells and water in Africa around the dinner table. When I started sixth grade, I decided to run for treasurer of my school. I had to write a speech and wanted to have something catchy in my speech. So I decided to use raising money to dig wells in Africa as my main point. But unfortunately, I lost the election.

I came home from school very sad. I told my mom what happened, and she thought I was sad because I lost the election. I stopped her and said, “Mom, it’s not that. Now I can’t raise money for wells in Africa. God has burned in my heart a desire to dig wells in Africa and I can’t get that out of my heart.”

That night, my parents were having dinner with our missions pastor. And he decided to open an account at church so I could raise money for wells on my own. Right after that, I had to decide which country in Africa I would help. Our church had well projects in two places: Nigeria and Ghana. I prayed about the decision and I chose Ghana.

Soon I found out that there was a village in Northern Ghana called Sankpem that desperately needed water. Almost every year, a woman died trying to get water for her family. I found out there was a team of people going to the same area of Ghana in the summer. So my mom and I raised money to go to Ghana with the team. And I also raised money to complete the well project in Sankpem.

While we were waiting to go, I got two discouraging emails about the well project. The well-digging company drilled once, but did not hit water. They tried again, and still didn’t hit water. Despite all that, I still wanted to visit Sankpem for myself.

In June of 2008, we flew to Ghana. We started out in a town in Northern Ghana called Tamale. Every day, I went out with my translator, Emmanuel, into the slums near a seminary and shared about Jesus with the people. I told them the story about God creating the world all the way through to Jesus’ death and resurrection. I got to see a lot of Muslims come to faith in Jesus. Before I went to Ghana, I prayed one person would meet Jesus. And here I was seeing several people come to Him.

Later during the trip, I got to see Sankpem. About 1,000 people live in Sankpem, and about twenty adults attend church there. I saw little children playing in the fields, and I watched as a lady walked past us, a huge jar of water on her head. I stood on the two places where they tried to dig wells. The ground was all dry rock, no water. The village elder told us, “We’re very sorry that you spent all that money and we still didn’t get water. If we had hit water, we’d be having celebrations right now.” We prayed that one day Sankpem would have water in their village.

I hope that a pipeline can be made from Sankpem’s nearest village neighbor about ten kilometers away. I’m raising money for that (cost approximately $10,000) and for a rainwater capturing system for the village. Next year, when I go to Sankpem, I pray the village elder will be holding a huge celebration because water has come to Sankpem.

This trip has changed me in many ways. I don’t take the water that comes out of my faucet at home for granted. I’m not as much of a consumer as I used to be. I now have many friends on the other side of the world that taught me how to truly follow Jesus and trust Him for everything. One of my friends said that for ten years he never knew when his next meal was coming, but he learned to trust God. I want to have that kind of faith in God, not in stuff.

I never knew that at the beginning of my sixth grade year that God would take me from a failed election to where I am now. Losing the election was probably the best thing that happened in my life. I will never be the same.

What I’d love to see is a bunch of young people like myself to begin to dream bigger dreams, dreams that only God can give, dreams that only He can bring about. My dream is to bring water to a village on the other side of the world. What is your dream?

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