“We were running Maji:Hope in our house. We started in 2009 and it took over. We wanted a gift shop with items from Tanzania. Our dream had also been to have an ice cream shop. Now we have the Maji:Hope gift shop in the ice cream shop. Everyone is happy in an ice cream shop. It is hard to eat ice cream and be sad.
My wife started going to Tanzania on medical missions trips in 2007. The doctors told her that 80 percent of the illness they treat on those trips would go away if they had clean water. She said someone needs to help them have clean water. She went home and for three years fought with God about it. We are both teachers and knew nothing about drilling for clean water. We would think about why were born here verses there. We could have been born there just as easily.
She was on the back porch sweeping one day and said she was fighting with God. She told Him, ‘I need you take this passion from me or make it happen because I am going crazy.’ We decided to go for it and started taking little steps. The next summer we took our first trip and people wanted to go with us and we have been going ever since.
At first, I wasn’t really on board. My wife told me that in 5th grade she knew she was going to Africa one day. She went in 2007 and the third year I saw the passion and knew I needed to go and see it for myself. I went in 2010 and I am all in. We have five kids and our family goes together. They just got back and one of the projects hit water and they got see another community that needs it. We try to cast vision in people and when we go, we sleep in tents in the village with the people so we know what their life is like.
People walk miles to get water that isn’t clean. When the water comes to community they dance and celebrate. They are so grateful. When we started this organization, my wife would go into schools and sell a bottle of water for $1 and say how easy it is for us to drink water. It is everywhere. She told them to fill the bottles with change and bring them back. Those school kids paid for the first waterhole. A lot of people giving a little can help a lot of people.”