“I’D RATHER HAVE WATER”

By , May 13, 2002

During the week of April 30th – May 4th, 2002, Operation Compassion sponsored Celebration of the Nations, a weeklong event leading to the dedication of the First American Dream Center in Gallup, NM. As part of this Celebration, Jimmy Jones, Director of Christ Central Mission Station in Columbia, SC, held a Kid’s Kamp for the Navajo children each evening.Jimmy Jones is a specialist in the field of children’s ministry and brought his team of thirty-three to the Navajo Nation. Their plan was to inundate the children with food, toys, candy, special prizes, inflatable rides and the gospel message. Unfortunately, the high winds during the week prohibited the use of the inflatables. However, that did not dampen the spirit of the children or the workers.

Each evening was filled with anticipation of what new surprise Jimmy and his staff had prepared. The children were excited as the numbers of children swelled every evening. One by one the children were in awe as Jimmy had them sitting on the edge of their seats.
It was amazing to watch the children respond to the gospel message of Jesus as the altar call was given and children would crowd around the workers seeking a personal encounter with a risen Lord.

At the end of each session, Jimmy would take the children to the cafeteria for a hot meal prepared by the volunteers from the local churches and guests. Before the children were dismissed they would each receive a large bag full of candy, chips, toys of all kinds and a bottle of water.

On Thursday evening, Jimmy noticed a little boy had left his gift bag and went back for more water. As Jimmy approached the little boy, he noticed his arms were full of water and he could not possibly carry it all, including his bag. Jimmy asked the little boy to put down the extra water and only take one bottle like the other children. Then he could carry his gift bag as well. However, the little boy had a far more pressing need than the gift bag on his mind. His reply to Jimmy was “I’d rather have the water!”

When Jimmy enquired further, He found out the little boy lived without running water and his family, mother, father and siblings, needed the water more than he needed the toys, candy and other prizes. Needless to say, the little boy went home with a couple of cases of water as well as his gift bag.

Sadly, this story can be repeated many times over throughout the Navajo Nation. Many families, especially, the elderly and widows do not have running water and in many cases no electricity. In fact, there are more than 20,000 widows that do not have running water or electricity and no one to help them.

Operation Compassion is working ahead of a five-year plan to supply fresh drinking water to the Navajo Nation through the First American Dream Center. The goal is to purchase a 6,000-gallon tanker, several 3,000-gallon stationary tanks and multiple 50-gallon tanks for the Navajo Nation. The plan is to provide the 3,000-gallon stationary tanks in central locations for the families to come and fill their 50-gallon tanks and return home with fresh drinking water. The 6,000-gallon tanker would supply the central locations with fresh water several times a week.

Your financial support of this vital, life-giving project could keep another Navajo child from having to say, “I’d rather have water!”

Anyone interested in supporting financially, donating products or providing a corporate lead may contact:

Operation Compassion
Dr. John D. Nichols, President
David Lorency, International Field Director
Tim Burdashaw, Communications & Development

114 Stuart Road, NE Suite 370
Cleveland, TN 37312
423.728.3932 Office
423.728.3958 Fax
www.operationcompassion.org

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