With the Faith of a Child

December 27, 2013 • United States
Samaritan's Purse Gift Catalog

A 9-year-old’s step of faith turns into $4,000 to provide 10 freshwater wells

When the Samaritan’s Purse gift catalog arrived at the home of Bill and Chantel Stevenson in Belmont, North Carolina, their 9-year-old son, J.D., got permission from his mother to send a gift for something special that would help people in need and reach them with the love of Jesus Christ.

Give Freshwater WellsAs he thumbed through the pages, the first thing that caught J.D.’s eye was an $8 soccer ball that could be used as a tool for sports evangelism. A few pages later he was drawn to shoes and clothing that might go to a hurting child. Finally, J.D.’s eyes and heart settled on the perfect project—a freshwater well.

It was partly the Bible verse in the catalog description that confirmed J.D.’s desire to provide a well.

Samaritan's Purse Gift Catalog

J.D. raised money to provide 10 wells for thirsty people with the help of his family.

“The verse was John 4:14,” J.D. said. “‘Whoever drinks the water I give will never thirst.’ It’s Jesus talking.”

“Momma, what I really want is a well,” J.D. said.

When Chantel discovered that the $8 soccer ball had turned into a $400 well, she knew just what to say. “We’ll have to pray about that.”

As a family, the Stevensons prayed about the project, and the next day J.D. went to work to raise some money.

First, J.D. went home-to-home selling his mother’s tasty jalapeno pepper jelly.

“I was disappointed that I only made $89, when a well was $400,” J.D. admitted. “So I prayed about it and got this idea about doing a 5K Walk for a Well.”

J.D. made a poster inviting people to make a pledge and join the Walk for a Well at the local high school track. His 4-year-old sister, Sarah, helped color in the letters on the sign.

News of the walk and J.D.’s quest to raise money for wells spread from family to friends, at church, and on Facebook to people in at least three states.

“People were giving him money left and right,” said J.D.’s father, Bill. “God just kept blessing.”

Seventeen people participated in the Walk for a Well, and when all of the pledges and donations were collected, J.D. had more than $3,800.

J.D. and a friend got another idea and made cookies and chocolate-dipped pretzels to sell. They went door to door in two new neighborhoods and made more than $100.

Recently, the Stevensons made the two-hour drive from Belmont to the Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in Boone, North Carolina. J.D. presented the staff with a jar of his mother’s pepper jelly and a check for $4,000—enough to provide 10 freshwater wells for thirsty families around the world.

Along with the check, J.D. included a letter written to Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham. In the letter, J.D. wrote: “It has been an amazing thing to be part of Jesus Christ’s work in providing wells for people with dirty water. My prayer is that these people will come to know The Living Water. Thank you, and all those at Samaritan’s Purse, for providing this ministry to reach people with The Living Water.”

J.D. was amazed that God had taken his $400 step of faith and increased it tenfold, but he wasn’t surprised. “I just prayed and had faith that the Lord would do it,” J.D. said. “And He did.”