Thursday, August 18, 2022

One Thousand Wells - Book Review

 

It takes audacity to dream of providing clean water for one thousand African communities. Beyond that, for twenty-one-year-old Jena Lee, what it would really take was learning what love requires—learning to love the world in all its brokenness, rather than trying to save it.

Of course, a love like that is born of risk, and doubt, and sometimes even, disillusionment. A love like that engenders a humbling vulnerability that can shake you to your core.

One Thousand Wells is the memoir you write after, or amidst, the transformation that has stirred your spirit and connected your deep gladness to the world's deep thirst. First, though, to identify that purpose and mission—that soul level gladness—you must find the stories that sing to you. For Lee, those stories came from people who had typically been overlooked. 

Before Africa, Jena found herself drawn to the plight of the homeless. While volunteering at a Red Cross Shelter during high school, Lee discovered that among the homeless she had found her home. In the midst of their brokenness, Jena found that which is sacred.

When one has an overpowering sense of calling, there can be overwhelming questions: Where to begin? What to do? With whom to partner? How to inspire others to care about what you find to be most important in the world? 

Without visibility and a powerful platform, even the best of intentions can fail to advance a desperately needed mission. Fortunately, there would be no failure to launch. With perfect timing, Jena Lee was connected to the Grammy Award-winning band Jars of Clay. Together, they would co-found the nonprofit Blood:Water and find the way forward.

For anyone with a heart for spreading love where it is needed most, Jena Lee Nardella's journey of outreach and inreach is sure to encourage action. How will we respond? What won't get done if not for us?

Let us each find that intersection where our deep gladness meets the world's deep need.









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16 comments:

  1. This sounds like a wonderful book and an inspiring memoir.

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    1. It's the kind of book that makes someone like me want to do more, be more, love more.

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  2. We are often inspired by people like Jena. It's the carry-through that is often missing. Jena Lee appears to have pushed onward despite adversities and disappointments to accomplish an amazing dream. Beautiful review, Diana.

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  3. So true, Pat. Action speaks louder than words. Or, perhaps our carry-through is what is heard. I want my words to be read in what I actually do. Thank you for your thoughtful comments. So appreciated.

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  4. Diana, I can imagine how deeply Jena’s story must have resonated with you, as you share her calling to be of service to others, and especially those who feel, and most often are, “unseen.” It sounds like an incredibly beautiful and inspiring autobiographical story that more people need to read. Thank you so much for recommending it.

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    1. This book made me wonder why I never ended up in Africa upon my college graduation. When I was a young child, I imagined doing so. Jena felt her first nudge at the age of nine. As I recall, that is about the time when I started dreaming of going and serving.

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  5. What a beautiful calling! For someone so young to take on such a challenge, it could only be God calling them and providing the way. No doubt the book, but more so the young lady, would be a tremendous inspiration.

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    1. Yes... a beautiful, and at times, brutal calling (losing so many individuals to the harsh realities of life in a place where survival is so tenuous every day). It takes such strength and faith to endure that high of a calling. I don't know how anyone could do it on their own power.

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  6. Wow oh wow Diana! This book and your review have just made me want to grab that book immediately. We all have that urge to do something wonderful, but to find the Divine in that is transformative! I nee this book! Thanks Diana!

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    1. Like you, I knew I had to read this book. There is much to learn via Jena's divine journey.

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  7. This sounds like a wonderful story. Thank you Diana for sharing it. I can't imagine the drive and the courage to rise to such a huge challenge! The enormity of that task is mind boggling. This is going on my to-read list.

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  8. Courage is right. Jena had to face down many of her fears while advancing this mission. I take courage when I see others pushing past the things that could stand in the way of becoming who they want or need to be (in the most demanding of circumstances). If they can do it, I can do it. Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. I appreciated the questions you attached to what happens when a person has a deep inner calling - essentially how to make it work, what to do. It takes a special soul and I have to admit, probably a calling that cuts right to your soul to achieve solutions for those who need help - This summary makes me want to tap deeper within myself to know my own calling. I'm so moved by people like Jena.

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    1. To live our deepest calling is to become all that we were created to be. Here's to tapping into that core purpose. It takes living the questions so that we may live our way into the answers.

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  10. This sounds like a beautiful and very inspiring read. Jena sounds a strong courageous woman to take on such a challenge for her life. This is very moving and I would love to read this book. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and your questions regarding a sense of calling.

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    1. So true... beautiful, inspiring, moving, and courageous. Everything I appreciate in others and in what I choose to read. So much to learn from the challenges within. A book like this stretches our outlook, our perspective, and how we view opportunities to love that which confounds us or sometimes disappoints us.

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