It’s amazing how God gets His work done. When the cry for wells running with clean drinking water came from Dona-Manga, Chad the Father instantly marshaled his forces to get it
done. I imagine that God started enlisting His army to raise funds, make contacts, get permissions, and pave the way quickly for a drill bit to strike the ground in order to save lives. Many of you are part of that army, and you faithfully do your part to help people whose need is overwhelming. Hope Springs International recently said goodbye to one such soldier, his name is Bill Carlisle.
In the summer of 2010, when the need for clean water was at a fever pitch, Lee Hodges, President of Hope Springs put out the word. And people and churches responded. One such effort was at the Madison Church of Christ, where I was formerly the minister. One of our very talented ladies built a huge cardboard well in our lobby. During a Sunday morning lesson about helping those in need we marched out of the sanctuary and put our money in the well. Over $15,000 was given that morning. That’s a great amount, and lots can be done with it, but it still felt like there was more to do. That’s where Bill Carlisle comes in.
Bill learned we were having a yard sale and the proceeds would go toward drilling more wells. He and his wife June had already given but they wanted to do more. So Bill donated a small motorized scooter to the yard sale. He
expected it would sell for about $500, which it did. A week or so later, while a team of us were in Chad following up on the well drilling program and the construction of a new medical clinic, Bill received the final payment on the scooter and agreed to deliver the scooter that evening to its new owner. This trip on the scooter would change many lives.
Bill had an accident that resulted in devastating injuries. His spinal cord was severed and he was left paralyzed from the neck down. Bill began an historic fight, and his wife June along with their family and a close circle of friends worked with Bill and prayed night and day that God would take care of him. After two years, we saw God keep his promise to Bill, he took him home. This warrior of the cross, this hero of our faith had been given his reward. Bill gave his health and ultimately his life because he cared for people who had nothing. Bill was in the act of compassion when he had his accident, and if you know him you know he
wouldn’t have it any other way.
I know you are ready to continue the work that Bill cared deeply about. Don’t forget Hope Springs and the work to be done, and don’t forget the call of Jesus on all of us, to “love the least of these.
Editor’s note: Bill Carlisle, Jr. was a performer on the Grand Ole Opry for over 40 years, many of them as a part of his father’s band, “Jumpin” Bill Carlisle, Sr. Bill and his wife June worshipped with the Madison Church of Christ where they both sang on the praise team. I personally have so many memories of singing with Bill on the praise team, and listening to his many stories and the jokes he loved to tell. He was a true friend and he will be deeply missed by all who knew him. Bills injuries would not allow him to sing, but Bill now sings with the heavenly chorus before the throne of the one he loved and served here on earth. Looking forward to singing with him again.