The Barnabas Well Project -Christmas 2012

We had quite a few christmas traditions growing up – many that draw a smile to my face.

My Christmas family tradition on my mother’s side was to draw the name of a sibling and then work for weeks either making something super special for them or buying a gift that we just knew would change their life. Mom would write our names down and we’d draw the names out of a hat. We’d try really hard to keep it a secret.

As we grew older, we’d do the drawing through e-mail. In college, I’d get the email from mom “I drew the names!” and we’d eagerly await the shopping lists from our not so secret santa. It has always been a solid tradition, something we could do as a family; but as we’ve gotten older, the gift of giving the presents -well, we’ve outgrown it!

For the most part, we just send each other gift cards to a local store so we can spend money in whichever way we see fit. The secret, the surprises, the homemade gifts or even the well thought out gifts were a thing of the past.

This past year, my family decided to do something different. We’ve all been feeling the nudge to establish a new tradition, something that can make a bigger difference in the life of someone else, as opposed to just a 30 minute shopping spree in the department store of our choice.

My sisters, mother and I decided to spend our money in a different way.

Each year, someone in our family will choose an organization, a family, a project, that we could give our “gifts” to that would make a substantial difference in someone’s life.

So, this is our inaugural year and Dale and I get to pick! I kept going back and forth between supporting something local or overseas. A single mother shelter in Pittsburgh or building a well in a needy community. But I didn’t want to just choose some generic organization to send a check to. That just doesn’t feel like Christmas to me. We have NUMEROUS friends and family that are serving in places where they need support but as I was pondering this year, I couldn’t stop thinking about a water well. I wanted to find someone who knew someone who needed our help and I kept coming back to building a well – giving people WATER!

So guess what? There is this special family here in Pittsburgh who have an incredible story that we want to share with you.

Meet Amanda, Barnabas and their 3 beautiful daughters.

Amanda and Barnabas go to our church and actually just moved into our neighborhood – about 3 blocks away. Amanda and I have enjoyed being in the same Bible Study. Amanda is one of those friends that will just tell you how it is. Completely down to earth – authentic. I am drawn to her because of that. I appreciate someone who doesn’t try to make their life look perfect, who can cry with me when I cry and laugh with me when I laugh. We’ve had fun in our small group and also have seen each other go through some difficult stuff in the past 3 years.

Barnabas’ family lives in Nigeria in a small village. His mother, sister, 2 brothers, and sister-in-law and many more family members.

His brother Jude, died 2 years ago due to an abscessed tooth.

That’s it folks.

There wasn’t any good medical care and because of his infected tooth, he passed away.

Jude was instrumental in bringing a well to the village 10 years ago – a place for their family and ENTIRE village to get fresh, clean water.

Sadly, this well is in need of repair and has been out of use for 3 years. THREE YEARS!

So, Barnabas’ mother and the rest of his family currently do not have access to clean water.

I can’t even begin to imagine having to wait for a plumber to come fix our water pipes for three years because we didn’t have the resources to take care of it.

So, here is where we decided to give our Christmas gifts, to Barnabas family and we couldn’t be more excited about making a BIG difference in the life of not just one person but an ENTIRE village.

It costs $3126 to fix the well. Barnabas’ brother, Domenic, wrote out an estimate of what it would cost to fix the well. Copy of the water well estimate.

Would you consider helping us reach our goal? Would you consider NOT giving a gift card or robe or coffee mug or diamond ring to that special someone (I’m not sure who in my life is giving THAT kind of a gift), but consider taking that money and investing it into something that is BEYOND the American Dream, BEYOND the commercialism of the season?

Can you help us help them?

When we asked Barnabas’ youngest brother Charles to tell us more about the village:

Since the Water Well is a ‘Charity Project’ and since source of good water is not quite common, people turn out to fetch some water before the breakdown. The number fluctuates depending on certain factors like season.

During dry season, one can record between 150-300 people on daily basis. During rainy season one can record between 80-120 people who come to draw water from the Well. Most of these people are widows.

It is a typical African village that is not backward. There is record of development and progress in human and natural dimensions. People are making honest effort to develop themselves and escape poverty since the government is not very responsible in providing their basic needs.”

And to think that the widows include 2 women in Barnabas’ family! His mother and his sister-in-law!

How Can You Help?
With 2 months until Christmas can we give this family and village an AMAZING surprise by funding their water project?

Just think about a relationship that you have with someone that you would like to get together with and instead of buying each other presents, buying into an investment that will last for years to come! Do you have a Sunday School class that can collect for a few weeks? Do you have a blog that you can share Barnabas’ story? (see the blog button to the right and share!)

Lindy was dumping her piggy bank in my jar when I was telling her about the project – so she has set aside a jar for her to collect change for this project!

Every little bit counts!

Let’s see how this could work:

20 people donate: $10
15 people donate: $25
10 people donate: $50
4 people donate: $100
3 people donate $250
2 people donate $500

We can do this!!!

All donations can be made securely through the below PayPal account. Since I (Hannah Harris) am not a non for profit, please note, your donation cannot be tax-deductible from our end. Maybe you are some financial guru and you know how to write-it-off, then let me know! This is MY Paypal account which will house the donations/funds for the Barnabas Well Project until we have completed the fundraiser and hopefully raised the $3126!

If you’d like to donate, please do so through the Paypal account above. If you would rather not use Paypal, send me a message and we can chat.

Now, the fun part about Christmas is handing over the present and seeing the delight in someone’s eyes when they open it up! So, for anyone who donates to the Barnabas Well Project, I will personally send you a Barnabas Well Project gift card that you can wrap and give to someone in place of a tangible gift!

Let me know if you have any questions and I will be posting updates as we receive information from the Barnabas family!

Excited to share our NEW family tradition with you!


Leave a Comment