Campaign: 2019 Grand Rapids Marathon
Team: 2019 Daybreak - Grand Rapids

Kris Nienhuis

This is my 3rd year participating in helping to bring clean water to people in Sierra Leone & Kenya, Africa. Last year I was blessed to be able to travel with several of my fellow team members to meet some very beautiful and wonderful people in Sierra Leone who have been impacted in many ways by your generous gifts and donations. I saw villages that now have deep clean water wells and have seen the way their communities have grown. Children are now able to attend school and play, instead of walking miles for dirty water, facing many dangers along the way. Churches have developed - all because of you. I have visited a village whose water source had dried up and they made the trek to the nearest village 2 miles away on a daily basis to get water from a well that was put in through Hope Water International as they waited for the rainy season to come and fill the hole where they would get (unclean) water from. The hope, gratitude, and excitement in their eyes as they eagerly awaited when their community well would be put in is something I will never forget. When a well is put in, people in the community are taught how to take care of their well on their own. Also, the crews that put in Hope Water International wells are made up of people from area, thus stimulating the economy, building a sense of pride and accomplishment in themselves. There is also the friendships, camaraderie, and support with my teammates that is indescribable. I have to be honest, I was not coming back after the 1st year, but God had other plans. Bottom line, YOU are the ones who really make the difference and I thank you!