How Water Well Drillers in Oregon Gave Safe Water to 3,000 in Africa

In 1990, Jason Acquistapace took a summer job working with a local well driller in Oregon. As Jason’s wife, Mary, recalls, “He was asked then ‘What’s it like drilling wells?’ and he said, ‘It’s a fine summer job, but I wouldn’t want to do it for a living.’”

Mary burst into laughter over the phone.

“Now, it’s basically his whole life!” she said. Just a few years after taking that summer job, Jason and Mary Acquistapace purchased the business, Earth & Water Works, Inc., and became their own professional water well drilling and pump service owners.

That was in 1999. Their oldest daughter, Heather, was just five years old. Their son, Reese, was three, and their youngest daughter, Esther, was one. They grew up on the muddy work that is water well drilling. Today, they help to run the business.

Drilling Water Wells Globally

Over the years, the business ebbed and flowed as businesses do, the children grew, and God put on Mary and Jason’s hearts a desire to help those who can’t pay for safe drinking water.

(Left) Reese Acquistapace in the early years of the business (Right) One of Earth & Water Works’ drill rigs

“We’ve had a passion for developing countries having water before we met Lifewater,” Mary said. “That was something the Lord birthed in us pretty early on in the business.”

“And when I came across Lifewater, it was very important that we weren’t just showing up in an African village patting ourselves on the back … we wanted to really help and equip people,” Mary added.

Being in the business, Mary and Jason knew the challenges that come with drilling a water well, the maintenance needed, and how important quality materials and skilled technicians are to the success of the job. They wanted to support an organization who also valued these things. When they learned about Lifewater, they were impressed by the quality of the work and sustainability measures that ensured lasting transformation for communities.

“Another piece is that Lifewater is equipping people spiritually,” she said, referencing Lifewater’s local church partnerships.

So Jason and Mary were all in. As they drilled wells in Oregon, they gave so that Lifewater drill rigs could reach rural, remote corners of Africa.

“God wants to raise our standard of giving, not our standard of living.” – Mary Acquistapace

“In every area of our life we want to say to the Lord, ‘We know you’ve given this loan to us—our children, our home, our business, our money, our health,’” she said. “And we’re supposed to take care of it and be good stewards of what He’s loaned us.”


“God wants to raise our standard of giving, not our standard of living,” Mary added. “I’d rather stand before Him and hear ‘You gave too much money,’ than to hear, ‘You didn’t give enough; I gave you all that money to share.'”

Over the years, the family has been able to provide nearly 3,000 people in Africa with safe drinking water, improved health, and the hope of Jesus.

Visiting Villages in Uganda

In 2019, Mary and Jason took a trip with Lifewater to visit communities in Uganda. There, the couple met families who directly benefited from Mary and Jason’s gifts.

“It was so humbling,” Mary said.

Mary and Jason Acquistapace during their trip to Uganda in 2019.

They also visited villages still in need of safe water.

“These mothers love their children just as much as I do and they are in such awful circumstances and situations,” Mary said. “As a mother, seeing that struggle and concern is universal; you want the best for your children, and when you’re limited in what you can do, how hard that is… how easy it is for me to give something as simple as money.”

The Acquistapace family gives generously, boldly, and from a deep conviction that their resources belong to the Kingdom. They, and all donors who give lasting, safe water, are an answer to prayer for many across the globe today.


Choose a Village. Change a Life.