Bruiser. That’s what Jeremy named him. It was years ago, but I will never forget it.
Yes, my youngest son took the money that his grandmother gave him for Christmas and bought a pygmy goat. Why couldn’t he have bought a video game or a CD? No, he bought a goat. The problem was that we didn’t live on a farm. We lived in Seattle. And you can’t keep goats in the city. Or at least you are not supposed to do so. Bruiser made too much noise to keep outside. So we had a goat living in our house. I learned a lot about goats living with Bruiser. I learned goats like to climb. Yes, Bruiser wanted to be on the highest spot around him which was always my head when I was sitting on the couch watching television. I found living with a goat to be quite annoying.
While we were in New York City listening to Jeremy sing at Carnegie Hall (just had to throw that in to qualify myself as a bragging parent), Bruiser died. It was very heartbreaking—at least for Jeremy. But it didn’t really change our lives that much.
When I was in Turkana recently trying to help with the big drought, I found myself among a very nomadic tribe. If you were to ask them what they do, you would probably get one of two answers. They would say, “I make baskets.” Or, “ I herd goats.”
And if you got the second answer and asked, “Where are your goats?”—They would have to tell you that the goats had died from the drought.
Goats are not annoying to the Turkana people. Goats are their livelihood and give them not only sustenance but also purpose. When their goats die, it changes their lives a lot.
Have you ever heard the story or read the book about Beatrice’s goat in Uganda? The story even made it to “60 Minutes.” The gift of one goat from a non-profit organization not only sustained her family but also allowed Beatrice to realize her dream of attending school and eventually college in the United States. Giving a goat can lead to great things. But for most people who receive a goat in Turkana, it is simply one of the first steps to staying alive.
I got to be the first to pump water from one of our new wells in the desert of Turkana, Kenya. It took us awhile to get the water to flow, but when it finally did we were ecstatic. The people started dancing and jumping for joy. And in just a few minutes as I was looking at the flowing water, guess what I saw? Yes, a bunch of goats had found the water and were drinking like crazy. It was like a sign from God to me.
If we can just get the water there, the goats can live. And the goat herders can herd goats. And families can have milk. And livestock can be bred. And people can start finding some hope in this famine where it hasn’t rained in years.
We’re so grateful for how you have supported our water drilling ministry. It has truly saved lives and transformed entire communities. Please keep giving to help us provide clean water to those who are thirsty!
But if you are looking for another way to help, you can also give a goat to help communities in Turkana get back on their feet. We have a great source for goats. We have the team ready to purchase them. We have the truck to deliver them. We have the herders ready to receive and raise them. And we even have the water so they can live. Let’s give a goat!