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A Very Special Birthday Gift

**Exciting update below!

My sweet Madison is turning 16 on Sunday, and do you know what she wants more than anything in the world for her birthday?

Not a car.

Not a shopping spree.

Not a fancy spa weekend.

She has been telling us over and over that she wants to build a water well in Africa.

You see, a few months ago she heard about Healing Hands International and how they provide clean water to people in Africa who would otherwise get their water from dirty, shallow pools, and she began pestering us incessantly about the need to help the people of Africa get clean water.

We donated what we could, but she was still insistent that there was more she could do.

Being the encouraging type I am, I tried to tell her that she was just one girl. How could one girl, all by herself,  build a well that costs thousands of dollars?

She was relentless, though. She was determined to make this thing happen.

She composed emails, made announcements, and posted on her Facebook that she was accepting baked goods because she was (single handedly) holding a bake sale to raise money to build a water well in Africa.

A bake sale.

I tried to prepare her for the fact that she might make a couple hundred dollars and that would be a decent START for building a well, but I warned her not to get her hopes up too high because, well… it was a BAKE SALE.

Little did I know how generous our friends would be and how God would use one girl to teach me that I can love my neighbors even if they are far away and even if I am only one person.

My Madison raised $4,382.76!!!

But that isn’t enough to build the well.

Do you know what I would love to give her for her 16th birthday, more than anything else? A water well.

Will you help me?

If each one of you gave a dollar or two and then passed the word on to your friends, we could KNOCK HER SOCKS OFF with the birthday gift of her dreams!!!

And in the process we could give a drink of water in Jesus’ name.

Matthew 25:37-40 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “

**UPDATE ~ WE DID IT!  Madison’s birthday wish came true!  Thanks to your generosity we raised a total of over $5,500!

That is more than enough for one water well, and a great start for a second one! If you would like to contribute to the second well, please go directly to the Healing Hands International site and make a donation there. You can add the special note that it is for “Madison Hughes from Smockity Frocks”.

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Comments

  1. Done and done. What a cool kiddo you have there Connie!

  2. What an amazing heart she has!

  3. Love this, Connie! It’s so inspiring to see Kingdom minded kids & teens!

  4. So how much IS a water well in Africa?

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      Ellen It is around $5000. One of the men at church says he will make up the difference if we don’t make it. Now, I’m thinking we may get to dig 2 WELLS!!!

  5. Wow. How cool. God has great plans for her… Love these hearts that see the mission field…and desire to do!

    Hugs,
    Teena

  6. I am so proud of you Madison!!
    I have passed the word along.
    I know you will reach her goal and then some! :D
    Love you Madison!! <3 Happy Sweet 16!!!
    Aunt Ginny

  7. If I can rear my daughter to be like yours, I would feel so very blessed! She’s great, and may her birthday far surpass her expectations!! I’ve donated….

  8. Christina says:

    Happy Birthday Madison! I made a donation to this wonderful cause and am thankful that you allowed me to be a part of it. Thank you for showing others how if everyone pitches in we can do amazing things in God’s name. Keep up the great work and I will look forward to hearing more about the water well in Africa.

    Christina

  9. Thank-you Madison for letting God guide you to do His work and for helping us help others around the world.
    In HIM,
    Cindy Herring
    Healing Hands International

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      Cindy,
      Do you know the answer to the question below about donating directly to HHI and having it earmarked for Madison’s project?

  10. Liz Meyer says:

    Your daughter is an amazing girl! This blessed my heart immensely. Thank you!

  11. Holly Sentell says:

    I love when our children have big dreams, bigger then we think is possible. What a great mom Madison has for letting her dream big and supporting her. Even if you didn’t think that it was possible, as you said God is showing you (and all the rest of us moms) to never underestimate His power.

  12. So beautiful!! I’ve passed the word along and hope you get those wells!!
    Happy birthday to one of the sweetest young ladies I know:)

  13. Connie–
    What an amazing birthday story. If I donate through the healing hands website in Madison’s name, will that still go towards “her” well??
    Katie

  14. I don’t know you Madison, but I follow your mom’s blog, so from a lady in a small town in Ontario, Canada, this is my contribution to help your birthday wish come true!

    What a generous young lady you are. Makes adults take inventory of our good deeds and compassionate goals in life.

    God Bless
    Meegan

  15. LauraBeth says:

    How special. Thank you for letting me be a part of it

  16. Madison is a determined lady like her mama! :) Good job, Madison! and Happy Birthday!

  17. Billy Martin says:

    You may make a donation directly to Healing Hands and indicate to them that is for Madison’s well. She will get credit. The staff at Healing Hands are very much aware of what Madison is doing for “her distant neighbors”

  18. This is just awesome Connie! Way to go :D

  19. Happy birthday, Madison!
    I don’t know you all, and just recently discovered your mom’s blog. But you have touched my heart with your desire to help others, and I have made a donation to your cause.

  20. Hi, I’m a lurker and visited from Kim at Life In A Shoe, but wanted to say I have just contributed.
    I love to dare my kids to dream big in the kingdom of God as well.
    Mel

  21. I don’t know you (I found your blog through Life in a Shoe), but I was so touched and encouraged by this story! I just sent a donation (sorry it’s a little late). My birthday is also coming up, and I donated $1 for each of my birthdays!

    May the Lord bless this special young lady for her special efforts! She reminds me of the book “Do Hard Things”. Has she read it?

  22. This is awesome! What a world-changer you’re raising.

  23. I have tried to read this post three times. This time I got through it, albeit with tears. What a beautiful example of a servant’s heart! I think of you all often– especially Madison on our birthday. ;) What a terrific example you are to me! Happy Belated Birthday!

  24. I gave toward your well drilling Birthday party and finally had a minute to come check out the update. So very cool! I have been trying to figure out what to do for my hubby’s birthday and coming here reminded me about giving in his honor. I am off to find the perfect “gift” for my hubby.

  25. Happy Birthday Maddison! Press on SWEET girl!

    My best friend (since 7th grade) is now a missionary in Uganda, Africa with her husband and three darling children. Jeremy and Tamara both graduated from ASU. Jeremy’s degree was in suitable development (including water purification- that is a part of his work now).

    It blesses (and convicts) my heart to read other believers Jesus stories. I thought you might like checking out the work God has called them to do (Jeremy and Tamara Boone) http://www.boonesinafrica.com. They work in the Masese slum- poorest of the poor area (almost like refugee camp).

    Also, missionary Katie Davis works in this area. What is amazing about this young lady- is she went to work in this area at 18 years old- and has not really left- she is now 22- and a mother to 13 girls (she is in the process of adopting several of these beauties.

    My friend Tamara calls Katie a modern day Mother Teressa (just in that she is amazing and SO selfless at such a young age). Katie’s blog is http://www.kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com and her website is http://www.amazima.org.

    Again, Happy 16th Birthday Maddison! I pray you feel God’s love in a very real way today. Eph. 3: 20

  26. Oh my! I am so teary eyed right now. What a beautiful story! I just did a “well” fundraiser 2 weeks ago. It is a subject very near and dear to me heart. Bless your precious daughter!

  27. This made me cry! What an amazing daughter you have. I pray that I can raise my children to have a giving heart, like your daughter. :)

  28. Tammy Bish says:

    This made me cry, too ~ what a sweet girl you are raising!
    I didn’t know about or read your blog last year when she wanted this, just saw this at the bottom of another post …
    So, I just went and donated for her 17th birthday, now … I’m sure her sweet heart has helped build SEVERAL wells by now!!
    This world sure could use more giving, caring kids like her!!
    All the best ~

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Edited to add: All time favorite of the week,  Madison’s effort to build a water well in Africa! [...]

  2. We Did It! says:

    [...] We got enough to build a water well in Africa! [...]

  3. [...] My own 16 year old daughter is such a wonderful example of doing this! Boy, did she teach this old mother what it means to love like Jesus did when she gave a well to a community in Africa for her 16th birthday! [...]

  4. [...] She wanted to build a water well for a poor village in Africa. [...]

  5. [...] by Smockity Frocks on August 12, 2011 Are you teaching your kids that they can make a difference in the world? [...]

  6. [...] when My Madison, Miss Make Things Happen, found out that Mrs. Wonderful Neighbor was having her 80th birthday soon and has always wished and [...]

  7. [...] like to stay and play mid-wife to the cat. She was thrilled to do it, so I left her there with big sister, Madison, and we went on to biology [...]

  8. [...] my oldest child was starting homeschool kindergarten, I was full of ideals and ideas about projects and subjects [...]

  9. [...] he was 5 years old, there was a short period of time that he shared with Madison, our oldest and his closest sibling in [...]

  10. [...] taking this little girl to college [...]

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