OKEECHOBEE — When Mariana Crispim posted on the “Scoup in Okeechobee” Facebook page and offered to pay the water bill for a family who has had their water service disconnected, she may not have expected what ultimately happened.
It all began, she said, when she drove past a house with a water notice of disconnect hanging on the door. Crispim has been through some hard times herself in the past and said God helped her through them. “When we stop to listen, God speaks,” she said. When she saw that notice hanging there, she felt a pull to stop and knock on the door, but no one answered. “Then God spoke to me and said that there was a family with children with their water already disconnected and he wanted me to pay the bill.”
She said she really thought when she posted on Facebook that it would only take a few minutes, a few hours at most, to get a reply. She planned to delete the post after she found the person she felt God was leading her to, but then night came, and no one had messaged her about water disconnection. Finally, in the morning, she got a message and instantly knew it was the one God was leading her to. “I knew this was all because of her,” she said. “God loves her dearly and takes care of her. He is like that, our Father. He takes care of our problems.”
Crispim was also excited to discover that her offer led another couple to offer to help someone. They paid the electric bill for a family with a new baby. “It was amazing! There are so many people hurting. I wish I could help everyone, but I can’t. United, we can. This is what Christianity is all about. We can’t ignore God’s still small voice,” she said.
Originally, Crispim intended to delete her post after she found the person she felt God wanted her to help, but she has decided to leave it up, because others are joining in and offering to help families in need.
As someone who has been through the hard times, Crispim feels called to help others. “In the middle of the storm, you can’t see who needs help, so He gets you out of the storm, dries you up, gives you new clothes, then tells you, ‘Now that you can see, go get the others.’”
It seems that Crispim’s hope of encouraging others to join her in giving a hand up to those in need has come to fruition. OUA confirms that one family’s water bill was paid through the company’s online system over the weekend, and their water service was restored.
On Monday, a couple went into the OUA office and offered to pay the bill of a random stranger whose water had been turned off, but they were told it would be unethical for OUA to select someone, because that would be like saying one customer was more deserving than another. Instead, the couple was advised to visit Joy Jarriel at the Okeechobee County SHIP Housing progam, as she might know of someone who could use the help.