From Small Town Family Doctor to Nonprofit Leader Providing Clean Water in 13 Countries
I think one of the most amazing things that happens when we surrender ourselves to God’s will in our lives is that He doesn’t just toss us out there and expect us to perform the task using our own knowledge and expertise.
During The Global Leadership Summit over 10 years ago, our church leaders heard the singer Bono pronounce an indictment of the “Church” due to its absence from helping with the greatest social disaster of our time—the AIDS epidemic in Africa. So, our church subsequently got involved in Ethiopia. Then I read The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns, former president of World Vision US. In the book, I learned about the world water crisis and felt God give me a passion to do something about that crisis.
As a busy, small town family doctor, I tried to resist, but God revealed to me that I was to start a for-profit bottled water company and sell water, and then use the profits to provide safe water in the developing world.
I knew absolutely nothing about bottling water, marketing it, drilling water wells or operating drilling equipment. However, God put the right people in my path exactly when they were needed to accomplish the task that God expected of us at that time.
I took my vision to other like-minded people in my community, and we founded those companies. We have had lawyers, CPAs, pastors, businessmen, architects, professional oil well drillers, marketers, truck drivers and community hygiene education experts show up to help Hope Springs Water accomplish what God expected of us. God doesn’t give us a task to do for His kingdom without supplying us with the people and tools to make it work. I think that God made sure people would know that it was Him making this happen by selecting a medical doctor as the founder, and my first board member was a mission’s minister at my church, FBC Athens, Texas (a GLS host site).
God doesn’t give us a task to do for His kingdom without supplying us with the people and tools to make it work.
That was 10 years ago, and Hope Springs Water has now been involved in safe water projects in 13 countries on three continents. We currently have focused WaSH projects in Ethiopia, Belize and Guatemala, including drilling water wells, helping with sanitation projects, hygiene education in the schools and, in partnership with Days for Girls, providing washable, reusable feminine hygiene products to school girls, which allows them to stay in school during their menstrual cycles.
God has used our obedience in His plan for us in a powerful way and has honored our commitment to it.
I am leaving my medical practice at the end of this month to be the highly leveraged volunteer executive director of our nonprofit organization. I am convinced that this is exactly what God wants me to do, and equally convinced that God will use us in exactly the way that He has planned for us. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t always easy. There have been some bleak times, when it looked like we might not be able to continue, but God has always showed up, brought us through those difficult situations, and put us on paths that were even better than where we were.
The GLS has played an incredibly important role in my life, the lives of the other dedicated people involved with Hope Springs Water, and of course, the people in those countries whom we have been blessed to serve.