Clean Water – Change a Life

Posted on January 4, 2010 by

Picture taken May 2008 by Julie West. The weekend of Ian's fatal diagnosis.

We are truly blessed to have the opportunity to run a bed and breakfast. One of the greatest blessings is meeting the extraordinary guests who stay with us. Our guests come for so many reasons – some we meet for a moment – some become our friends – some impact and inspire us forever.

One of those inspiring guests are Tom & Deb Henderson. They came to us first to celebrate their anniversary, but their lives were transformed forever before they even arrived. Their son, Ian Thomas Henderson, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Our inn for them became in Deb’s words “an oasis in the desert…a spring of living water that has brought comfort and healing to our parched lives.” We have followed their journey through their Caring Bridge Site, and have inspired by them over and over.

I recently received an email from Deb sharing a fundraiser they began in Ian’s memory. We have decided to support this fundraiser at the Nicolin Mansion by donating $5 for each room our guests stay with us in the month of January. With their permission, I am sharing their story and their vision for buying a Traditional Well through the Clean Water Fund.

Until Ian got sick, we were “blissfully unaware” of the suffering that much of the world lives with on a daily basis.  We understand all too well that some things cannot be changed; they must somehow be accepted.  But we have hope and feel drawn to enter into the circumstances that can be changed. One of the things we’ve felt our hearts drawn to is children who die of preventable causes – like hunger and lack of clean water. 
To mark what would have been Ian’s 8th birthday on July 19th, 46 of us went to Feed My Starving Children and packaged 14,400 meals in two hours.  That was enough to save the lives of 38 children for one year! We were delighted that the parents of these 38 children wouldn’t have to walk in our footsteps – at least not this year. 
We have long supported World Vision and when we received their Christmas Gift Catalog this year our hearts were drawn toward the idea of supplying Clean Water.  Lack of clean water and proper sanitation kills 3,975 children every day – that too is something that can be changed.  
Before the year anniversary of Ian’s homegoing, on February 19th we hope to raise enough money to provide a Traditional Well for a community.  It would allow 150 people to have safe water everyday for years and could cut that communities child death rate in half. 
We can’t do this alone…so we’re humbly asking for your help.  If you would like to help, here are some ways:
  • Download a brochure, print a few copies out, and share them with people you think would be interested in helping.  Note – it is a double –sided brochure.
  • Most importantly: Pray that God would use this opportunity to show an entire community in a very real and practical way that Jesus loves them.
Thanks for considering joining us in this life-giving effort! 
Tom & Deb Henderson

Update 2/1/2010: Our contribution has been made, and Ian’s fundraiser is currently at 82% of it’s Clean Water Fund goal of raising $7,700. Follow the above links if you would like to add to this goal yourself.