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Cup of Cold Water


Before we arrived back at Hope Covenant Church this summer to serve as the associate pastor, Karen & I had been travelling across the country in our motor home. When Pastor Duane called we were in South Dakota and travelling east on Interstate 90.

We began noticing signs about a drugstore called Wall Drug, in the little town of Wall, South Dakota, so when we got there we had to stop to see what it was all about. It was there we heard the story…

Ted & Dorothy Hustad moved to Wall, South Dakota more than 50 years ago because they liked the challenge of an undiscovered place and wanted to start their own business. There were friendly people there and great room to grow, so they opened a drugstore. Those early days were difficult… and after nearly 5 years and 2 children later they weren’t sure they would succeed. Customers were few and far between. A specialty was needed, some service that would be unique, some extra expression of care.

Then one hot summer day, Ted & Dorothy hit upon an idea – free ice water. At first it sounded silly, but they put the first sign up on the interstate leading past Wall: “Free Ice Water at Walls Drug Store.”

red-cup-with-iceAnd people did stop, and that led to another sign on the opposite side of town. Business picked up and Ted & Dorothy kept putting up signs until every South Dakota highway had at least one “Ice Water” sign from Walls Drug. It was catching on, and so was their business – a cup of cold water given in the South Dakota heat was cooling the bodies and warming the hearts of weary travelers.

And, what about today?

Well, you can find a sign at the Taj Mahal in India which reads: “Free Ice Water at Wall Drug, 10,728 Miles, Wall, South Dakota.” And back at the store, more than 6,000 people every week visit Ted & Dorothy Hustad’s place, all because of a cup of cold water.

So you see, there are no dumb ideas really and as Scott admonished us last Sunday… Pray that dangerous prayer and ask God to use you. Oh, and offer a cup of cold water and see what God will do with it!



Pastor Timm

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