By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle
AKDESÉ, Haiti — In this remote mountain village, water gushes from a well drilled by Healing Hands International.
As one woman pumps the handle, another gleefully splashes the clear, flowing liquid on her face.
Little boys and girls giggle as they cup their hands under the spout, taking giant gulps before filling plastic buckets to carry home.
In an area where donkeys ferry supplies and entire families squeeze onto small motorbikes, the $7,500 well’s dedication brings celebration and dancing — and the opportunity for healthier lives.
“The people wanted it so badly,” said Art Woods, president of the Nashville, Tenn.-based humanitarian aid organization, which is associated with Churches of Christ.
It’s a scene repeated hundreds of times in this impoverished Caribbean island nation: Since the Jan. 10, 2010, earthquake that claimed 230,000 lives and left 1.5 million people homeless, Healing Hands has focused on providing access to clean water.
“We truly believe that if you’re going to change the world, it’s going to start with water,” said Sean Judge, director of Walk4Water, fundraisers by Healing Hands that involve dozens of Churches of Christ.
Roughly 1,800 miles from Haiti, Janice Fuller — a 67-year-old grandmother of four — coordinates the annual Walk4Water sponsored by the Brentwood Oaks Church of Christ in Austin, Texas.
About 350 members of the congregation of 600 participate, said Fuller, who helps lead an outreach effort called Hands & Feet.
“It’s probably the biggest thing we do all year,” she said.
Fuller joined more than 20 Christians from the United States who traveled to this nation of nearly 11 million people to witness the completion of Healing Hands’ 1,000th water well — including 350 in Haiti.
“I just think how incredible this is,” Fuller said as trucks carrying the American mission team rumbled up a mountain road, making repeated stops to inspect pumps emblazoned with Healing Hands’ round, blue-and-white logo.
Read the full story online soon.