I'm am not very good at telling this story, but it's one of those that just has to be told, so am going to do my best and you guys can fill in the rest for yourselves.
My brother spent his entire summer in 2009 working to buy a Canon Rebel XSi camera, and as soon as he brought it home and let me play around with it, I fell in love and promptly starting saving up for it. Of course, scrubbing toilets every other week brings in a different kind of income than a college kid working five days a week in the library, and so that leaves me in the spring of 2011 only almost half way there, but believe me, I was no where near quitting. It was around this time that my church was having a bible study about being the good Samaritan in the world and really making a difference, and while attending every single Sunday night, I starting feeling as though the importance of me finally getting that camera was very little compared to the importance of putting others first and living in total surrender to God's will. Maybe, just maybe, God wanted me to give up the money I had saved for my camera to something that would impact the lives around me in an amazing way. But no, that was ridiculous because I was going to bless people with my photography when I got my camera. So I pushed that ludicrous thought aside and about a week passed in which I did my best not to think about. As I sat there with my youth group the next Sunday and heard the discussion about ways in which we could, together, live differently in our community, God just wouldn't leave me alone. I felt very, very strongly about what exactly He wanted me to do with my "camera fund". And so, when I couldn't hold it any longer, I blurted it all out. I told my youth group that I had looked at the Samaritan's Purse magazines as a child and of all the things you could donate money to, I daydreamed about raising the money that was necessary to install a well in a community which would probably have never had clean water before. I thought of it as something I could do if I ever became rich or had a whole bunch of money dumped in my lap. It was never a feasible goal in my head.
That night, as I sat with my youth group and poured my heart out to them, it became a feasible goal. It became a goal that, with the jump-start of the money I had saved for my camera and lots of working together, we could reach. I told my friends that I was giving up my camera to start a well fund. As I did, I was surprised to find I felt total peace about it.
I thought it was all said and done; I knew that I had just started a well fund with my youth group and that I was very happy about it, and I thought I knew that I would probably not get my Canon XSi for years. Little did I know, my God is way cooler than that.
I sat in my room with the fan on high, sprawled out on my bed, waiting impatiently to go swimming. I heard my dad calling the family into the living room and I slowly made my way down the hall in a lethargic state of confusion. I was all the more confused when everybody gathered around looking expectant and excited, and Cheryth walked up the stairs with a pale yellow gift bag in her hands. I thought, "Wait, it isn't anybody's birthday today!" As she made her way across the room, straight towards me, I resolved that it definitely wasn't my birthday and that I had no idea why she looked so nervous. She placed the bag at my feet and sat down silently at my side. Seeing as there was no instruction and nothing else to do, I slowly pulled the tissue paper off and immediately recognized a Digital Canon Rebel XSi sitting at the bottom of the bag.
As I sobbed into my older sister's shoulder, the story slowly came out. Cheryth had been considering buying an iPod earlier that spring, but didn't feel right about it and finally decided against it. A few weeks before I told the youth group of my decision, she had felt as though God was asking her to buy me my camera. She didn't understand the feelings though, since I had made it clear that I was so excited to buy the camera myself. As soon as she heard about my change of plans she understood. Time passed as she prayed and researched where to buy the camera. About two weeks before we left for our family vacation, she decided to order it online.
And that is how Jarvis and the well fund came to be.
"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it." -Malachi 3:10