Anna isn’t afraid to dream big dreams; dreams that will only become reality through the supernatural power of our magnificent God. What seems to be impossible is a challenge she readily accepts; her faith is keeping me on my toes. D4G: Tell me about Blessing Wells International.
Anna: It is an organization I started to raise money to provide clean water for the people of Africa. I first thought of Blessing Wells about two months before my thirteenth birthday. I didn’t want to be selfish so I decided that I didn’t want to receive any birthday presents. I wanted to give back to the people of Africa. I wanted to make a difference and help the people of Africa survive and live without diseases and to have clean water.
I also wanted to give other people the opportunity to help build a well on a more personal level. Even though they give in a small way, it makes a big difference. Without other people I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today.
D4G: What was your first goal?
Anna: My first goal was to build a family well in one year. I achieved that goal and raised $750 in about 11 months. I partnered with Samaritan’s Purse to be a part of a well project in the mountains of Sudan.
D4G: How do you raise money?
Anna: I take donations, I’ve sold candy, but mostly I design and make sterling silver and gold-filled jewelry. I started with simple earrings and now I’m doing single strand necklaces and bracelets. At first my mom helped me, but now I do all the work myself. I’m learning wirework and hoping to make rings in the near future.
D4G: How do you choose your designs?
Anna: God. I go to the bead shop and God shows me. God definitely helps me choose the beads and things.
D4G: Where do you sell your jewelry?
Anna: I sell my jewelry at flea markets and personally to people at my church. I’m hoping to set up an online store soon.
D4G: What message do you have for other girls your age?
Anna: Do hard things and make difference. You’re never too young to do something important. You don’t have to wait until you’re a certain age to do something important. After I started Blessing Wells, I read the book, Do Hard Things (by: Alex and Brett and Harris) and it really encouraged me that I’m not the only one who is working hard to make a difference.
D4G: What is your current goal and how long do you think it will take to achieve it?
Anna: My current goal is to raise $6,000 to fund a community well by the time I graduate from high school in June, 2014. I am still in the process of looking at different organizations to partner with, but my goal is to find one where I remain anonymous. I would love to help build the well, but I don’t want my name on it or any other special treatment. It’s God working through me and not just me. We’re just God’s vessels anyway.
A Note to Parents:
If your daughter has a dream that seems bigger than life:
- Resist the temptation to shoot it down. It may seem completely illogical and impossible, but pray about whether it is a dream from God. If it is something on His heart, look for opportunities to partner with her.
- Be creative and look for connections. The flea market at our church has been a great way for Anna to market her products. Consider partnering with people or organizations that are already doing what your daughter wants to do. It’s a safe way to find out how invested she is in the dream.
- Use the network you have. You don’t have to do everything; find some friends who are experts in what she needs to know or to do. One of my friends designed a brochure, a business card, and a website for Blessing Wells so Anna could advertise.
- Look for teachable moments. I allowed her to host a jewelry party in our home so that she could start launch her collection. It was a great opportunity for her to practice her public speaking skills. Helping make the jewelry was one way I could support her, but as soon as she was old enough, we took a jewelry class together so she could improve her skills and work independently.
While Blessing Wells International has required thought, planning, time, and investment on Anna’s part and some encouragement and work on my part, I am certain that the blessings for God’s children in Africa far exceed the little we have given. I am grateful to have the privilege to partner with God and with my daughter to dream big dreams and to bless His Kingdom.