Join Us in Something Crazy This Lent (Even if You’re Not a Christian)

Update 4/14/14: With one week to go, we are now up to $7550 given! That’s over half of the goal, enough to provide clean water for 151 people! Yes! Tell your friends–let’s dig it!

Update 3/7/14: Our friends (and some strangers!) have already given $1385–with our match that’s $2770, enough to provide clean water for 55 people, and 18% of the goal! Dig it! Give and share this with your friends! Thanks, y’all!

All my burps taste like rotten eggs.

My abdomen is swollen.


I am lying on a cot in our room in a barn, sweating.

My body feels like I was trampled by the scrawny cattle strolling past.

I am on top of a remote mountain in Nicaragua. The nearest clinic is a half-day hike away. The only transportation is one 30-year-old tractor. There is no electricity, let alone a cell phone.

I am 23, and my young wife is trying to figure out what is wrong with me. Chrissy pages through Dónde No Hay Doctor (Where There Is No Doctor). Dengue fever? Brucellosis? Malaria? She’s not sure.

Some days later, the tractor heads down the mountain. We climb into the steel wagon and bump and shudder through the three-hour journey to the city of León.

I am handed a Gerber baby food jar and asked for a stool sample. I realize they aren’t kidding.

It turns out I have giardia lamblia, a “flagellated protozoan parasite.” I get some meds, take them, and the lethargy and nasty burps go away.

For two weeks.

They returned, and I lived with them for the rest of our year in Nicaragua.

Giardia was endemic in El Porvenir, the village where we lived with 40 families. There was no well there. To drink people had only rain water, captured off of roofs and collected in big, open tanks. Chrissy and the other women would haul it in  five-gallon buckets on their heads. Bird and rodent feces would end up in the water. And that made me—and our friends there—sick. You can read more about this in This Ordinary Adventure.

Lent is the 40-day season leading up to Easter. It starts on Ash Wednesday, which this year is two days away, March 5th. Lent is profoundly counter-cultural, as Chrissy wrote in this piece for RelevantIt’s a time of fasting, of contemplation of the suffering and death of Jesus. It ends with the celebration of his resurrection. (Yes, I know it’s crazy, but I believe it.)

A lot of people still fast in some way (e.g. meat, chocolate, coffee, Facebook). Some people use fasting to free up time and resources to pray and to give to the poor.

Whether you are fasting for Lent or not (heck, whether you’re a Christian or not), Chrissy and I want to invite you into something that is a little bit crazy but also really good.

Our family has this tradition of donating things through World Vision to people in hard places like El Porvenir. When we got chickens, we gave some people chickens. When we got trees, we gave people trees. Read more about all this in this post on Chrissy’s blog.

Last year, our house needed a well—a 260-foot well—for good drinking water.

Now we want to give a well to a whole village of people, so they have fewer stinky bumps and other water-related health problems.

We were saving up to put an addition on our house, but that’s not going to happen this year. So we have some money on hand. But we can’t quite swing the $15,000 it takes to put in a well for 300 people somewhere overseas.

That’s where you come in!

  1. CLICK HERE TO DONATE for this well. WE WILL MATCH EVERY DOLLAR GIVEN, up to the total of one well for 300 people!
  2. SHARE THIS POST with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers, using the buttons below.
  3. Check out Waiting for Water for a free downloadable Bible study guide about Lent and water, plus info on more good water-related organizations.
  4. Talk to your actual, real-life, face-to-face friends at your church or workplace.
  5. Drink a glass of clean water with deep thankfulness.

No more crappy water! Let’s dig it!

Please leave a comment with any questions.

  • Steve Tamayo

    I’ll talk to my wife about it tonight. This sounds like a great idea, Adam. Thanks for sharing it!

    • Adam Jeske

      Great, Steve!

  • Randi Schieber

    Hey Adam, the Waiting for Water study link is broken even though it looks like it should be good. This one goes right to the study