It all started with a promise.
I’d gone to Burundi, Africa to share medicine and Jesus with some sick folks there and I’d come back with a big burden.
It’s clean water they so desperately need.
Upon my return, I shared stories of the adventure with my then six-year-old daughter, Shaina Hope. We thumbed through pictures sitting at the end of my king-sized bed, me feeling like we needed a king-sized solution to all their problems.
Shaina felt the burden too.
“What can we do to help them, Mommy?” she asked.
“Oh sweetie, they need water, clean water. And you have to drill water wells to get it. And that costs a lot of money.”
That’s when she piped up with huge, hopeful eyes, “Well, we can do a lemonade stand!””—such a precious moment I’ll never forget—it was all I could do to keep from laughing.
“Aww honey,” I said with a slight chuckle and warm smile. “A water-well costs thousands of dollars. I don’t think a lemonade stand will give us that kind of money.”
But after thinking a second, I cupped her sweet face in my hands, tears swelling, and said, “But you know what, Shaina? We could do a lot of lemonade stands. And we could do bake sales. And garage sales. And maybe even a car wash! . . . Would you want to do that?”
Her eyes lit up, “Yes!” So we agreed that evening: we’d do whatever it took to raise enough money to drill one Africa water-well.
We then sealed the deal by signing a contract. Okay, not really, we did something much better . . . we made a pinky promise, wrapped our little fingers and hearts together and promised each other it would happen, no matter how long it took us.
“You know, Shaina, you might be a teenager before we get this kind of money, but we can’t back out now, a pinky promise is something very special, it can never be broken.”
“Okay!” she said enthusiastically. And we began making plans.
That summer we colored an informative poster-board, attached it to an old plant stand my husband repaired, and placed it in the hallway of a near-by church with a decorated donation box on top.
The results? A whopping one-hundred dollars (almost).
Seems like the next summer just whipped by and was over before it even began.
But then, the following year—Shaina says after we “sat on it a while”—we decided to get serious about our promise, and when we are serious about something God wants us to do, He makes things happen we’d never imagine.
Our first fund-raising project was—you guessed it—a lemonade stand, combined with a baked goods sale. And we were wonderfully amazed at the generosity and involvement of others.
Eventually, with the help of a whole bunch of willing friends pouring resources and talents and ideas together, we managed to not only raise enough for one water-well, but to turn the entire thing into a non-profit organization with hopes for many more.
What started as a seemingly next to impossible dream has now become a sure, mind-boggling reality.
It is our prayer that the Pinky Promise Initiative creates an enthusiasm not only in us but in many others, and that it sparks a fire of love that blazes clear around the world, providing health and hope to those hurting there.
Obviously, we cannot do this alone. But a little individually goes a long way collectively, and great and mighty things happen when hearts unite with a common passion.
I used to wonder why there were promises in the Bible of the hungry and thirsty being satisfied, yet starvation and thirst remained. Now I understand, most often God uses people to fulfill His promises. It’s when we choose to follow His nudge, His prompting, that those promises come true. If He is nudging you now and you’d like to follow, just click the following link.
Deepest thanks! And may He richly bless you for following.