ACU community raises $15,000 for water wells in honor of student killed in bus crash
When asked what she wanted to do with her life, Anabel Reid answered with a photo.
The 19-year-old student at Abilene Christian University submitted a picture of herself — next to a glass of clear water, with her face painted to resemble a globe — as part of a video project for a scholarship application.
“She wanted to show that she planned to bring clean drinking water and the joy of the living water of Jesus Christ to the world,” her friends said in a description of the photo on Facebook.
On Nov. 4, Reid died near Ballinger, Texas, about 85 miles south of Abilene. She was part of a 16-person mission team on a bus en route to an annual service project at the Medina Children’s Home in Texas. The driver lost control and struck a concrete culvert. (See our report on the crash.)
Four months after Reid’s death, her friends and classmates are doing what they can to fulfill her dream.
The ACU community hosted the first Anabel Reid Run for Water on March 23 and 24 at Elmer Gray Stadium on the university’s campus. Numbers are tentative, but university spokesman Grant Rampey said that runners and walkers logged more than 2,000 miles during the 24-hour event and raised more than $15,000.
“Those funds mean more than 150 water wells will be built in Anabel’s name to help Tanzanians who might not otherwise have access to drinking water,” Rampey said. “Much of the credit for planning and executing this weekend’s event goes to Mandy Scudder, in our agricultural and environmental sciences department, and to Anabel’s boyfriend Alex Wann. As Mandy says, ‘May God be praised and glorified.'”
It’s not too late to contribute to the effort. Those interested can make a donation to the Anabel Reid Memorial Fund through the Water4 Foundation. The Oklahoma City-based foundation helps Christian groups drill water wells around the globe — and teaches people to drill their own wells.
Reid first crossed paths with Water4 at the 2010 World Mission Workshop at Harding University Tahkodah, a sort of “missionary boot camp” in Floral, Ark. (See our story from 2010 about the hands-on workshop.) There, she met Water4’s Caleb Holsey, who demonstrated the well-drilling technique in the Arkansas soil. Holsey is a member of the Memorial Road Church of Christ in Oklahoma City. (Coincidentally, he also was my ride home from the workshop.)
Reid and Wann visited Water4’s offices in Oklahoma City less than two months before the bus wreck.
On the event’s website, friends of Reid describe her dedication and faith:
Anabel Reid deeply loved the Lord and His people. It was near the age of 13 on a church backpacking trip in the beauty of the Colorado wilderness where God planted the seed of clean drinking water work in her heart. During a 24hr. solo time without food or water she began to think of the people all across the world who were just as thirsty as she, and had been so their entire lives. She said, “If God hadn’t placed that on my heart, I am sure that all I would have been thinking about was how I was going to sneak down to the river to pump a clean bottle of water before someone saw me! But He did, and I think it really stuck!”
It stuck indeed as her God-given passion remained and grew, leading Anabel to pursue an Environmental Science degree at Abilene Christian University, working to raise the tuition money herself, to be further equipped in this pursuit. She was making strong progress towards her goal of serving God in this way, while also being passionate and focused to see God’s joy and purpose for each day.
It is now our strong desire to carry the baton she has passed off. To make a real and lasting impact in the lives of those who thirst in this world for clean drinking water and who thirst for the life, hope and joy of relationship with Jesus Christ, the Living Water.
FeedbackOnce again, young Christians on their way to do good for the less fortunate and their loving Father kills some of them. What sort of Father does this to those who love Him?
I could never allow my children to have their lives taken. I will never understand the workings of this creator.
To those of you who lost loved ones in this: I do not mean to be sound heartless or cruel. If I have, please do forgive me, I mean no harm.RonMarch, 27 2012Good should come out of everything that happens and God should be praised. I am glad to see that great things are happening and that Anabel is in a MUCH greater place. Not to respond too much to the prior post, but I have a feeling that Anabel is sitting next to her father right now and she is not questioning anything. May God bless her family and all that great things that are being accomplished because of what she stood for.Dewey LeggettMarch, 29 2012It is always sad and sobering when a young person dies and it is especially sad when you see their zeal for Christ, the Gospel and the physical and spiritual condition of those in this world. Why does a loving God allow them to be killed? She is now in the presence of God and Jesus. Are we fortunate for still being in this life or is she in Heaven? Events like this remind us that we live in a world where sin separates us from God and the bad things that happen to good people are a result of that condition. God is perfect, moral and just. No imperfection can be in Him. His holiness cannot be tainted by imperfection or sin. God is just and perfect justice requires God to act upon that sin. Otherwise He would not be perfect. The world’s condition should encourage us to cling to God and the promise to forgive our sins if we obey Jesus. My prayers go out for her family and those who knew her for their loss. For her, as Paul said to die is to gain.Kenneth MorvantMarch, 29 2012