JACKSON, Tenn. – Feb. 15, 2010 – Sudanese villagers will have three new freshwater wells in the near future, thanks to the efforts of Union University student Joshua Guthrie.
Guthrie, a high school junior who’s also dually enrolled at Union, launched his second annual “Dollar for a Drink” campaign in the fall in an effort to raise $24,000, which would pay for the installation of three freshwater wells. He surpassed his goal by raising $28,000 total, which included $3,000 left over from his first year, when he raised $11,000.
“It was really neat to see the variety of people who responded,” Guthrie said. “The Lord has really been good to the cause.”
The son of George Guthrie, the Benjamin W. Perry Professor of Bible at Union, Joshua Guthrie said more than 10 million people in Sudan lack adequate access to clean water. Digging wells is also expensive, because the dry climate requires deep digging to get to the water.
Guthrie said local churches and youth groups gave generously, as did local Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapters. One teenage girl in Germany joined the cause and raised about $1,000 for Guthrie. The Rebelution, an organization run by Alex and Brett Harris, also played a large role in helping him meet his goal. The Harris brothers promoted the project on their blog and donated $1,000 in matching contributions from their readers.
On Feb. 3, Guthrie handed a check to Jeff Palmer of Baptist Global Response, the organization with whom Guthrie worked and who will oversee the installation of the wells.
“Water and water development is a huge issue all around the world,” Palmer said. “There’s no place more needy than Sudan, and especially the western part where Darfur is.” Palmer said Guthrie’s work was a strong example to other teenagers that they can make a difference in people’s lives.
“He’s worked extremely hard on this,” Palmer said. “It’s nothing that we asked him to do, but something that God laid on his heart.”