Girl’s dream raises awareness for wells in Liberia

Published 12:03 am Saturday, March 29, 2014

A fascinating thing happened on Facebook in recent weeks.  Best I can tell it started in our church with one of our teens when he challenged our student minister to take the “Polar Plunge.”

The purpose of the challenge was to raise awareness of the need for clean drinking water in Liberia, Africa.  The next day our student minister posted a 30-second video on Facebook, filmed as he jumped into that student’s family pool.

Just before he took the “Polar Plunge,” our student minister pointed out the need for constructing wells for clean water in Liberia.  Then, he challenged our pastor and three others to take the “Polar Plunge.”  Our pastor and his grandson “manned up,” as the challenge was worded.  Once again, our pastor stated the purpose of the “Polar Plunge” – to bring awareness to the need for clean drinking water in Liberia.

You guessed it.  He challenged three or four other men in the church.  Within two weeks, videos of probably thirty or more people from our church were posted on Facebook.  Each video shared the message about the need for constructing wells for clean drinking water in Liberia.

Soon the “Polar Plunge” challenge jumped to other churches.  Men from several churches in our area were taking the challenge and posted their videos to prove it.  One man quoted some statistics.  He said one in ten people in the world lacks access to clean water.  More people die from unsanitary water every year than people who die in acts of violence and wars combined.

I wondered where this “Polar Plunge” challenge originated and one person made a comment in their video about “Marcelly’s Dream.”  I learned “the rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey would say, at a website,

Marcelly is the seven-year-old adopted daughter of missionaries Max and Debbie Thompson, who had served as administrators of an orphanage in Brazil.  “While the Thompsons were seeking a new place of ministry, they were awakened one night by Marcelly’s cries,” the website states.  They thought she might be having a nightmare.  Far from it, in her dream she saw a “vision of Jesus telling her she would preach the gospel to children in Africa.”

Later, the parents were told their new position would be as directors of the Phebe Gray Orphanage in Liberia, Africa.  Marcelly’s dream inspired the Church of God’s World Mission staff to reach entire communities in four ways – the Word of God (distributing Bibles to every child in their denomination’s orphanages around the world; Walls (building and expanding schools, churches and houses for communities in need; Wellness (improve health and sanitation) and Water (constructing wells and access to water filtration and treatment).

Marcelly’s Dream launched in early 2013 and within thirteen months the project had raised more than $1 million.  God has used a little girl’s dream to raise awareness and money in south Alabama for a cause that most people know little about. Youth like Samuel, Joseph, Daniel, and Marcelly remind us of Paul’s message to Timothy, “Let no one show little respect for you because you are young.  Show other Christians how to live by your life” 1 Timothy4:12 (NLV).