In the field of water well drilling, retired HHI Field Director Curt King is a living legend, but the purpose of his work was not to receive accolades. Despite his best efforts to avoid the spotlight, King was recently recognized for his drilling of more than 2,000 wells in the countries of Haiti, Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia, Ghana, and the Dominican Republic. At the 2019 National Ground Water Association Expo in Las Vegas, he was presented with the Life Member Award and Special Recognition Award. The awards were a recognition of his significant contributions to the groundwater industry and service to those in need around the world.
“Curt and (his wife) Mary King are incredible people who have sacrificed much to bring clean drinking water to developing countries,” said Joseph Smith, Vice President of Operations at HHI. “Conservatively, over his 40-year career, he has brought clean water to more than 3 million people.”
King, who was born into a family of drillers, began working on water wells after leaving the Navy in 1976. In 1978, King would find his true passion in a small Haitian village - serving those in need by drilling clean water wells in developing countries. The following 40 years of his career would take him across the globe working with various companies and non-profit organizations. It was doing this work in Ethiopia that introduced him to the work of Healing Hands International.
“HHI first worked with Curt when he was an employee of Manna International. We assisted them in shipping the very first water well drilling rig to Ethiopia and gradually got more and more involved,” Smith said
Eventually by 2010, HHI would hire Curt full time and the rest is history. As the Field Director for HHI, he would spend half his year in Haiti and the other half in Ethiopia. In Haiti, Curt and his wife Mary lived in a 32-foot bumper pull camper and in Ethiopia, they lived in a 20-foot container that was converted into a small house.
“They have always lived very frugal, humble lives,” Smith said. “It takes a special person to be willing to live for months at a time in a tiny home, doing hot and dirty work, but the goal was always to bring people clean drinking water in the name of Jesus Christ. Curt and Mary’s work has directly resulted in the preaching of the gospel to tens if not hundreds of thousands all over Africa and Haiti.”