Folding Paper for Clean Water {some girls I’d like you to meet}

Sep 13, 2012

First of all…the winner of the “Be Still” video is…Helen! I’ve sent you an email Helen, let me know if you got it. For those of you who didn’t win, remember you can go to the online store and for $1 you can watch the 20 minute video, for $7 you can download the video, for $9 you get the DVD. Not bad! Okay on to the post…

Pulling into our driveway I heard a honk behind me. My first thought was, “Oh no, what did I do this time.” I looked out my side mirror and saw a kind woman smiling back at me from her minivan. I rolled down my window & she said, “I saw your school sticker! We go to the same school and live on your street. Would you be interested in carpooling?”

Um, yes please. And Thank you Lord!

This sweet family has lived only a few blocks away for the past 7 years. They have 3 girls…3rd grader, 1st grader, and 2-year-old. Before school started and carpooling commenced, we planned a playdate at our house (this is not a picture of my house…).

Watching the girls walk up the sidewalk my boys made marriage plans. I was just as enthusiastic when the first words out of their mom’s mouth were, “Your house is so organized!” (hadn’t I just complained that morning about my home?). At the end of the playdate she commented on how calm I am with the boys!! (didn’t care if she was lying…needed to hear it).

Over the past month as I’ve gotten to know this family more and more, my heart has grown more and more in love. Let me count the ways…

One: Their help. At 7:20 a.m. I simply send Quade out the front door dressed in his uniform with his backpack and they load him up and take him to school! All this while I’m still in my pjs, the baby is still in his crib, and the other boys are just finishing breakfast (in their pjs). SOOO much better than the alternative…hurriedly loading sleepy boys & a hungry baby into our car and barely making it to school on time.

Two. Their hospitality. The first day I drove carpool, Katherine, the 1st grader, invited us over for lunch. I thanked her and suggested she should ask her mom first and perhaps another time. The next week she asked again. Then her mom texted me and formally extended an invitation. Amazingly kind. Just the other day we received a 2nd lunch invitation because they had extra food they wanted to share (brave woman to invite 3 boys into her home to eat lasagna!).

Two. Their hearts.  Last year, while waiting in carpool with their dad, the two older girls learned the japanese art of origami (their dad is one-half Japanese). Each day they folded paper and created ornaments.

Later that year the girls heard about how a child dies every 15 seconds for lack of clean water. They couldn’t allow children to die for lack of water or miss school because of how long it took to get clean water.  So they decided to sell their origami ornaments and give 100% of the proceeds to Living Water International to build wells for clean water access. At their first event they sold all their ornaments and raised $700!

In less than 8 months, these two girls raised over $17,000!

There is no such thing as a “junior” Holy Spirit.

I’m in awe of the God-sized dream placed on these girls hearts. Also the willingness of their parents to come alongside them and make it happen. They’ve already built 3 wells in India are and halfway to the 4th! Here is a clip of the girls on Good Morning Texas last week:

(won’t let me embed the video so here is the link: )

The girls were also given the opportunity to speak about “Paper for Water” at the UNWomen in NYC (the largest chapter) and shared this Scripture,

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

So true. My “God-Centered Mom” challenge, from knowing these girls & their story, is to stop thinking my children are getting in the way of what God has for ME. Frequently I assume He has big plans for me AFTER the kids leave the house. But God could be working right now in my kids & in our family. Perhaps His plans are for my boys to do and I’m supposed to encourage and facilitate them. Instead of being “self-centered” in approaching God’s will for my life…I need to take a step back and see our whole family fulfilling His will. 

I want to show my boys what is going on in the world. I want to teach them interesting skills. I want to guide them to know God & see where He is working & join Him.

What God-sized ideas have your kids suggested lately? Are you willing to empower them to make it happen? How are you drawing your children closer to the heart of God?

Here are a few ways to help Katherine & Isabelle reach their goal of building 28 more wells:

  1. “Like” their Facebook page: Paper for Water (
  2. Donate to Living Water International (
  3. If you live in Dallas their ornaments are for sale in the gift shop at the Trammell Crow Center for Asian Art.
  4. Mail them two-sided paper to use to make ornaments. If you cut it into little squares (3×3) even better…it takes 30 pieces of paper to make one ornament. (email me–> button on sidebar if you are interested)


  1. Deborah

    Heather I am humbled. I just happened across this this morning. Well actually I’m sure God placed it in my path to inspire us today. Last night we prayed for endurance and focus on this project. Clearly God responded through your words of kindness and encouragement above! Thank you Heather. The Girls will also be doing an origami workshop and trunk on December 1 at the Crow Collection of Asian Art from 10 to 2. Thank you for your support!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      oh Deborah, so thankful you were encouraged! Thanks for letting everyone know about the workshop on December 1st…what a great idea (many hands make work light). More than anything thank you for “honking” and introducing yourselves into our world…just down the street.

  2. maddalena70

    How precious is this post!

    Yesterday I was thinking if my daughters were too young to start learning God’s word, they are 4 and 7. And how i could start to help them.

    Now I understand that it is never to early to start living in God. I just have only to sort out how to start with them and God.



    • Heather MacFadyen

      Definitely never to early to start learning God’s word! Do your daughters know English as well? The Seeds Family Worship CDs are a great resource for memorizing Scripture. “The Jesus Storybook Bible” is a great way to introduce your girls to God’s great big plan. “What’s in the Bible” CDs are a wealth of information about the Old Testament, Church History, etc.

      • maddalena70

        Unfortunately they do not know english yet… I will start to teach the big one, 7, this year….. but I think it will be a great exercise to hear cd’s 🙂

        Thank you for your advices.



  3. Holly Ramsey

    Withers Elementary Moms in Prayer kids are doing a “Lemon Aid” stand this Saturday to benefit the same organization. Please come by 11115 Dwarf Circle Dallas, TX 75229 from 10-12 and 3-5 if you want to make a difference! Below is a video showing what we’re doing (or look up Lemon Aid for Living Water International on You Tube if the link doesn’t work). The actual “stand” seen in the video is making its way around Dallas to different groups of kids.

    • Ken Adams

      Holly, I LOVE this!! Alison Ryan’s son and some of his friends were the ones who started this after they heard that Isabelle and her sister had raised (at that time only $10,000, now it’s over $23,000.) Not wanting to be outdone by a couple of girls, these young boys have started their own movement and are being the hands and feet of Christ here on earth. Go out and support these young boys as they raise money to bring water to the thirsty. You can also check out another fun video at

  4. joyceandnorm

    This is awesome and amazing!!


  1. Monthly Mission: Paper for Water | God centered mom - [...] love the family behind this ministry (not just because of our awesome carpooling situation…). (If you don’t remember their story…read this…

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