Church raises $30k for African wells

Published 4:10 pm Monday, January 9, 2012

Andy and Colleen Kennedy of Clanton First United Methodist Church’s missions teams present Jacob Eubanks (right) of Water 282 with a ceremonial check for $30,780.40.

Clanton First United Methodist Church set out late last year to raise enough money to build two wells in a small village in Zambia.

But thanks to the work of the church and generosity of many, that goal was far exceeded.

The church raised $30,780.40 for the Water 282 ministry, which builds wells in the central African country. In the early stages of fundraising, the church’s missions team hoped to gather the $11,000 required to dig two wells in the village of Mazuka.

The church presented Water 282 founder and CEO Jacob Eubanks with a check for his organization Sunday.

“Our church, that is all of us together, have touched people tangibly and eternally who live halfway around the world,” said CFUMC Pastor Larry Anderson.

Eubanks, who has just recently returned to the States from Zambia, spoke during the church’s three worship services Sunday morning.

“The villages are really going to benefit from your generosity. Providing water to a village — it does more than you can wrap your head around,” Eubanks said. “You are really changing the world. In providing water, you have given the church in Zambia an unprecedented opportunity to preach the Gospel.”

Anderson said church members gave sacrificially and many donations came from outside the church. A $5,000 check came from Texas, he said.

“People want to be part of something significant,” Anderson said.

Eubanks answered more questions about his work in Africa during a luncheon at the church’s activity center.

The well in Mazuka won’t be dug until the rainy season ends this summer. Besides the wells in the mountainous town of 700, the church’s donation will allow wells to be dug in five or six more villages, depending on how far away they are from larger cities with drilling machines.

Besides providing clean drinking water, the wells will also allow the villages to do some irrigation, which will allow them to grow crops during the dry season. Doing so will help the villages “claw their way out of poverty,” Eubanks said.

“That’s the only way aid works, if you enable people to help themselves,” he said.

Each village will have a water committee to keep the water clean, install a fence around the well and train people on how to repair it.

After the wells are dedicated, Eubanks will share a video that shows how the new water sources change life in the villages.

Before being called into the work he does now, Eubanks worked as a videographer for a TV station in Montgomery.

The name of the mission came from 2 Corinthians 8:2, “Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.”

For more information about the mission work, visit