Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Janie's Stocking 2.0 Final Whizbang Wowie

Don't you hate it when your kids are in the position to be able to say, "I told you so?" Well, that's me right now. Back in November when we were deciding on what item from the Food For The Hungry "Gift" Catalog we wanted to select for Janie's Christmas Stocking, I wondered about the idea of being so ambitious as to choose the largest gift in there. We'd seen God do amazing things last year, when over $1700 came in when we had hoped to "reach" $500. But still, this year I expressed a little reservation. It went kind of like this:

Me: "I have some reservations this year."

Carly (scoffing a bit): "Of course we'll reach $2500, Dad. You'll see. Have a little faith."

Me: *wince*

And with that, we decided to
take the plunge and commit to try and raise the $2500 needed to purchase a well for a needy village in Kenya. It could have been a million dollars for all the confidence I was feeling at the time, but I just figured we'd raise as much as possible, and if we reached enough for the well, that would be great, but if not, then we'd just use it for something else in the FH catalog.

On Thanksgiving day (only four weeks ago, but it feels like forever doesn't it?), I had a brief chat with my pastor, Dave Lind, and his wife Dawn. I had simply described the idea of the well, and asked if they might forward an email from me to anyone in the church who they thought might have known Janie and might like to get in on the well project. Doing his due diligence, Dave took it to the elder board at Calvary Bible Church here in Rutland and from what I understand, they went a little bonkers (the good kind of bonkers) on the idea. They actually suggested that a mere email forward was not enough, and they asked if we would mind if Calvary's Christmas Eve offering go to the project. I was thrilled of course, and with delight said yes! So to begin to let people know about it, on the first Sunday of December, Dave had me get up in front of the congregation to describe what we were doing. Then, much to my surprise, Dave announced that all of the December special offerings up to and including Christmas Eve's would go to the project! Amazing. (Encouraging side-note: this offering was intended to be in-addition-to-and-not-in-place-of regular giving, and I'm told Calvary's regular giving did not dip during December. That's pretty special, because Rutland is not a particularly well-to-do city, and as far as I can tell, the folks at Calvary aren't necessarily particularly well-to-do either.)

So the month went by, and we watched as Janie's Stocking got filled, so to speak. The online giving was slower to catch on, though I was amazed, just last night (New Year's Eve), as people continued to donate right up to the eleventh hour.

Alright Chris, enough story! Cut to the chase! How much came in?!

Well, Carly, you were right, I should have had a little more faith. I hadn't anticipated the four weeks of special offerings at church, and I hadn't anticipated the coin purses emptied into my palm (although I had kind of anticipated - actually publicly asked for haha - a certain creepy piggy bank). I hadn't anticipated the cash handed to me in the gas station line, I hadn't anticipated friends re-posting my blog posts about it, and the subsequent visits to the online giving page from literally around the world. In the end, though we were hoping to reach $2500.00, Janie's Christmas Stocking 2.0 brought in $8365.00, and I am more than a little stunned. That's well over 3 times more than we were looking to raise! Praise God, this will help hundreds (maybe thousands?) of needy people in other parts of the globe. It's a really humbling feeling, and it's been such a good experience to do this. It made the Booth's Christmas without Janie more bearable, even joyful in some ways, to know that people will be helped, since helping people is what Janie loved to do most.

So in practical terms, what this means is that we can purchase three wells (@$2500 x 3 = $7500) rather than just one! With the "leftover" money (about $800), we are *tentatively* talking about a fourth well in another country, possibly Haiti, since we have some connections there.

**Psst! If you go to Calvary, shhh, please wait to talk about it with anyone till after next Sunday the 8th, since we're making the announcement then during the service. Ok? Thanks.**

There truly are no words to express the kind of gratitude all the Booths, Browns, Linds and Karabenshes feel toward all of you who gave. So we say, humbly, thank you.


  1. Yes! And Joe & I had a good chat about Haiti the other day too - I'm excited to see what God is going to do next in this story!

  2. Glory be to God! :D Wowie Zowie!

  3. Heather Wells HeimJanuary 5, 2012 at 7:14 AM

    This is amazing! I will share your results with our youth group at church - who have also raised thousands of dollars to sponsor a wonderful Kenyan boy named Otieno whose parents died of AIDS when he was very young. I wonder if he will benefit from one of your wells? Good work!

  4. That would be cool if Otieno benefited from one of Janie's wells, Heather.

    I wish my middle name was "Wells" like yours haha!

    BTW Heather, if you are involved with your church's youth group, you may like to read some blog posts written by my kids' youth pastor, Rob Townshend. I put some links in a previous post. Also, you can listen to him give a talk about his different approach to youth ministry here:

    Anyway, thanks for being a part of the project Heather!