Glenn and Rebecca Fadner

by | Mar 12, 2024 | Thoughts | Reflections

What was the initial reason that prompted you to start supporting UWP? How did our organization, our work, our emphasis resonate with how you decide to steward your resources?

We got involved with UWP in a rather a-typical way. In 2005, Rebecca and I started Kingdom Ventures, a faith-based business importing various hand-crafted items for sale in the US as a means of raising the living standards of marginalized communities. We began doing festivals around the Rochester area as a means of selling our products and one time (I’m guessing it was 2006 or 2007) found ourselves set up across the aisle from James and the UWP booth at a festival in Honeoye Falls. James was intrigued by what we were doing, and especially our experiences finding the ‘best’ venues. I was extremely interested in this young guy with a crazy vision to get clean water to every person in Uganda – and do it with a Christ-centered witness. (And incidentally, at that same show, a young friend of ours was looking to do some sort of Christian witness that went beyond your typical church ‘missions trip’, so we introduced her to James. Her name was Megan Busch. 🙂 )

Anyway, before long KVI and UWP began doing many of the same shows – often across from (or beside) one another, and a deepening friendship ensued. James encouraged us to read ‘When Helping Hurts’, which was instrumental in helping me to ‘frame’ much of what I’d been sensing, but couldn’t quite put into words about how we in the ‘developed world’ church interact (often poorly) with those in the ‘developing world’.

As part of our business, we traveled to visit our suppliers. While not all of them were ‘water insecure’, we did have opportunity to see situations where clean, safe water was a precious commodity. That, as well as our experiences of how the ‘small things’ (clean water, food security, medical care, etc.) make possible great changes (education, better jobs, community stability).

That, as well as our interactions with James over the years, have very much impacted how I view both short and long-term missions. It’s also informed my personal life of faith. When we were reassessing our missions giving, UWP came to the top of our list because it embodies our philosophy of how to declare the gospel through the process of meeting practical needs – and meeting those in a way that empowers each local community.

 

How have you been challenged or how have you changed since supporting UWP financially?

James is right that we’ve been on a spiritual journey. My thinking has been evolving and coming to a place of greater understanding of the imperative in scripture to not only proclaim Good News, but also address the wrongs in our society – whether it’s lack of clean water, systemic racism, xenophobia, lack of medical care, a fair and living wage, or any other societal system that prevents people from being all God has created them to be.

So I guess I’m now a bit of a radical in the eyes of many churches. I want to love people and do what I can to demonstrate God’s love to them in practical (empowering) ways – like assisting them to install and maintain clean water for their village. In the process, if they’d like to know about the God who is loving them through me, I’m more than ready to share about Him and His invitation to them to receive Jesus’ gift of salvation. I guess Saint Francis said it best… “Preach Christ always… use words, if necessary”.

Join The TIDE

Send an email to James Harrington (Founder/CEO, Ugandan Water Project) with the subject “I’m in” to discuss joining The Tide.