Cause Champions: Clean Water Episode 2
Tom and Lois Gallardo did not always envision themselves rafting across a river in Nepal to visit a pastor they had never met. But after making a commitment to say yes to God, that is exactly where they found themselves. neverthirst’s practical, sustainable, local impact has connected with their hearts and expanded their own vision of God’s kingdom.
Lois Gallardo: We are both CPAs. So, there’s a few things that I think really attracted us to Neverthirst. And one was the practicality of what they were doing. We love the fact that they are taking the gospel through the church and through local Christian believers there. But what we loved even more that there was this meeting of the needs, that there was a huge need for water, for clean water. So, we are practical people, so it is not like we are just giving to a ministry where it sort of floats out there, this is something tangible.
In about 2011, we read the book Radical by David Platt, and so reading Radical was a little bit of a shake up to make us realize that, wait a minute, this is not what God calls us to do. This is not why he has blessed us so much. And we need to think about living differently. We weren’t really sure what that would mean for us and so, we went back to Radical, and there was a nonprofit that he had mentioned in Radical…
Tom Gallardo: And then so what we did was we started Googling the nonprofit out of Birmingham, Alabama, which brought us to Neverthirst.
Being CPAs, the first thing I did was I pulled up their tax return on the IRS website. I wanted to see where their money was going just from their tax returns to get an idea before we got involved with this nonprofit. And doing that gave me a good comfort that the majority of the funds were being used for projects for the stuff that we wanted to get involved in. And us, we want to teach a person to fish, we don’t want to just give them fish.
Lois Gallardo: That was in 2013 or 12, and then the next year we they reached out to us and said, hey, would you like to go on a trip to Cambodia? And I was like, I don’t know where Cambodia is. So, I got out my maps, I got my globe and found where Cambodia was, and it was next to Vietnam.
And that was a little disconcerting for me. I was raised in the sixties with the Vietnam War, and a lot of people died there. And it was like, I don’t know that I want to go to that part of the country but…
Tom Gallardo: We met so many different partners on that trip that they work with. Ones who would test the water. Those who we got different supplies through, who did the drilling and so forth. So, through that process, it was just an amazing thing to see how they were, how things are done and what these partners bring to the table. So, to us, it was not just… it was an opportunity to see that the money went from here to here to here and the work. And we got to visit the sites where they were doing bio-sand filters, rain tanks, you know, drilling on the ground and then seeing where water would have gotten collected and where now they were getting the water source.
So, the whole process, that’s really what it helped do is bring the whole process full circle for us and then we even met on that trip, actually, some of the villagers and pastors, and that was even more…
Lois Gallardo: Impactful.
Tom Gallardo: Impactful. That’s a good word, because you saw the work on the ground, and you saw them bringing the message to the village people. And so that’s the thing with Neverthirst. They’re not… they’re providing clean water, but they’re also giving living water. And that’s what we also like about the whole process.
Lois Gallardo: Since we got involved with Neverthirst in 2012, we’ve been on, I think, three trips.
Tom Gallardo: Four. Two in Cambodia.
Lois Gallardo: Two to Cambodia, one to Uganda and one to Nepal. And I was given the honor of at one place we were very remote. It had taken us… we had taken a little raft over a river and little moto’s through the woods.
Tom Gallardo: Ha-ha. Over the river, through the woods.
Lois Gallardo: It was a very remote location and they had brought in some food to feed us.
Tom Gallardo: This guy, his vision of what he wanted to do through Neverthirst and the impact it was having, and he was going to get around with his moto through all these villages or walk and what have you and you just go, wow, and here we are in the US and you kind of go, what kind of impact are you having in the US?
And these pastors are willing to leave their families and just reach the remote villages. And here we’re called to have an impact and that’s what Neverthirst is doing. They’re having an impact. And that’s what we want to help do is have a continual impact on the world.
Lois Gallardo: Well, what we realized with this pastor, too, was the fact that he had a vision which could not be implemented without us. Like he had no resources whatsoever. And he had people there. He had people in Nepal. He had pastors that he was training. He had a moto to get around to these really remote locations, and that’s all he had.
And so, without our resources, what would his vision be able to go? Couldn’t go anywhere.
Tom Gallardo: We’re just here to manage the resources that we have been given by God. And that’s a big responsibility. It’s not about us, it’s not about the American dream. It’s more than that. And that’s what we have come to realize, and we have enjoyed the process of it being bigger and having an impact on the world.
Lois Gallardo: Our world has gotten just so much bigger because we started saying, yes.
Tom Gallardo: If we had never said yes in the beginning to that trip, then our world would have been very small.
Lois Gallardo: And I think it’s important for people to realize when they have an opportunity to say, yes, there’s so many things that make me think I can’t do that. That would be too hard. What would that mean? It’d be uncomfortable. What kind of food are they going to feed me? Where am I going to have to stay and sleep?
And, you know, none of that matters when you’re there. It’s just none of it matters. And if you end up on a rickety old raft trying to get over an overgrown river and on a moto behind the guy in Cambodia, you know, it was all great. It’s just all great fun. And you laugh a whole lot about it because you never could have planned it or thought it or imagined it. And that’s how big our God is.
Trey and April Cushman were faithfully generous to several causes, and then they got a personalized report back on their clean water impact in Nepal. Their generosity would lead them to champion clean water causes as their children came to understand the mission together with their parents.
Tom and Lois Gallardo did not always envision themselves rafting across a river in Nepal to visit a pastor they had never met. But after making a commitment to say yes to God, that is exactly where they found themselves. Neverthirst’s practical, sustainable, local impact has connected with their hearts and expanded their own vision of God’s kingdom.
Richard and Tara Baxter knew they wanted to reflect the gospel in and through their business, a family dental practice. Today, even a quick visit to their office will reveal their heart for God’s kingdom. Discover the story behind their choice to support neverthirst’s clean water projects.
The Baxter family, the Cushman family, and the Gallardo family all support neverthirst’s work to bring clean water and living water to unreached people around the world. We invited them to come together and discuss their shared passion for the cause.