Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Water Bottles from Heaven

Back in the fall when The Well had our 365:24/7 series, we built a wall out of water bottles as a visual to one of our giving stations.  You can read about it here if you'd like.  We had gotten the bottles from ETSU recycling, where we (as in Drew and Brandon) had to basically dumpster dive to get them.  They dug through thousands of bottles, many of which were disgusting, to come up with approximately 600 clean, similar looking ones.  Then we had to take the lids and labels off of them before drilling holes in the bottom of all of them and stringing them on the fishing line.  And after all that hard work, we had to turn all the bottles back in at the end of the series.

Well, we're getting ready for our annual fundraiser banquet next Thursday (aghhhh, LOTS to do before then), and we wanted to set up a little section that re-created the 365 series on a much smaller scale.  Samantha suggested making another water bottle wall to serve as a back drop for it, and as much as I did not want to make another one, I knew we needed to.  It was a such a cool feature, and we really needed something with that height in the background.

We wanted to find water bottles that we could just keep this time, so we could use the wall again in the future if we wanted.  Samantha contacted the Johnson City Recycling Center, and they said we were more than welcome to come sort through all the plastics to find what we needed, and we could keep them.  While the idea of digging through all sorts of plastic that would often be wet and dirty was not appealing, it was one of the those "do what you have to do," situations.  

We were going to go sort through all the bottles this morning (Tuesday), but then Samantha got an email from the guy yesterday afternoon that basically said "We're getting about 1,000 clean water bottles without lids delivered to us tomorrow, do you want me to hang on to them?"  Ummm,  yes please!  Now we weren't going to have to dig through all of them, yay!  So Seth and I drove out there this morning to pick them up.  We walked into this huge, dark, dingy, dirty warehouse type building.  There were piles of broken glass, and shredded paper, and a whole bin of busted up TV's, but no water bottles.  We walked aimlessly through the building, still looking for the bottles and also trying to find the guy Samantha had talked to.   Eventually we saw a guy and told him what we were doing and who we were looking for, and he started to call him.  As this guy was on the phone, I poked my head unto another large room, and that's when I saw  them.  Our water bottles.  They were stacked on a pallet, probably 10 feet high.  Not only were they clean and without lids, they looked as if they had never even been used.  They didn't have labels on them, and on top of all of that, they were all identical.  Keeping in mind what we went through last time to get enough bottles, seeing this pallet of bottles was the type of moment when the roof opens up and the sun is shining directly on them, and angels are singing and birds are chirping.  Seth and I were so excited.  I walked up to the pallet and lightly touched it and said, "Oh my gosh, this is wonderful."  The workers there probably thought Seth and I were nuts.  But we could just not get over how perfect this was.  It was exactly what we needed.  Because God knew, and he provides.  

As we worked on stringing the bottles together throughout the day, students would ask, "Where did we get all these?" and I would answer, "From Heaven."  They would chuckle and then say, "No really, where did we get them" and I would chuckle and say, "No really, God sent them."

We ended up drilling and stringing over 700 of them today, more than we used in the fall.  I know it's going to look awesome, and hopefully have a big impact next Thursday.  All because God knew exactly what we needed!
The pallet, turned on its side to get it in the truck.


This is totally unrelated to water bottles, but look at my new cute spring time flag!  
It makes my heart happy

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