One Thousand Wells: How an Audacious Goal Taught Me to Love the World Instead of Save It by Jena Lee NardellaJena Nardella, cofounder of Blood:Water and one of Christianity Todays 33 Under 33, shares how her passion for saving the world grew into a humbler long-term calling of loving the world in all its brokenness in this beautifully written memoir.
Ten years ago, Jena Lee Nardella was a fresh-out-of-college, twenty-something with the lofty goal of truly changing the world. Armed with a diploma, a thousand dollars, and a dream to build one thousand wells in Africa, she joined forces with Grammy Award-winning band Jars of Clay to found Blood:Water and begin her mission.
Jenas dream for her nonprofit turned that initial $1 into $20, and then $100, and today into more than $25 million. Working throughout eleven countries in Africa, Blood:Water has provided healthcare for over 62,000 people in HIV-affected areas and has partnered with communities to provide clean water for more than one million people in Africa. But along the way she faced many harsh realities that have tested her faith, encountered corruption and brokenness that nearly destroyed everything shed fought for, and taught her that wishful thinking will not get you very far. Jena discovered that true change comes only when you stop trying to save the world and allow yourself to love it, even when it breaks your heart.
With a fresh, intelligent, and winsome voice, Jena Lee Nardella weaves an evocative personal narrative filled with honest and hard-won lessons that demonstrate the amazing things that can happen when you fight for your dreams.
Blood in the Water
Jena Lee Nardella: What do you do when your idealism crumbles?
Please join Parnassus Books in welcoming bestselling author Jena Lee Nardella for a discussion and signing of her new book, One Thousand Wells , as part of our Salon series. Ticket Information:. This salon is a free, ticketed event. A limited number of auditorium tickets will be available on-site 30 minutes before show time on the event date. Advance auditorium tickets are limited and guarantee a seat in the auditorium. Arrive early for the on-site ticket line. Once auditorium seats have been filled, guests will be accommodated in alternative viewing locations.
Photos courtesy of Jena Lee Nardella. That tidy-sounding story is true, but it masks the stops and starts -- and even heartbreak -- along the way. The following is an edited transcript.
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9.28.15 BOOK REVIEW: “One Thousand Wells” by Jena Nardella
Her father is a first generation American from a family of Chinese immigrants whereas her mother is from the Midwest. Jena Nardella is the middle child of three, with a younger brother, and an older sister who died at 11 months of age due to a congenital heart defect.
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Jena is now sharing her triumphs and struggles with a memoir about her desire to love the world instead of trying to save it. I wanted to give readers a view into the honest joys and sorrows about trying to do a good thing in the world, to encourage people to seek after their own audacious goals but to offer themselves grace in the process. I came to realize that the journey toward achieving a thousand wells in Africa took me from homeless shelters to mountain ranges to tour buses and African villages. In this memoir, you talk about loving the world instead of trying to save it. How is that implemented into the work you do at Blood:Water?