MEEKER I On May 6, Meeker’s United Methodist Church (UMC) is hosting an opportunity to provide a year’s worth of access to clean water to someone in the world.
“Six kilometers (3.7 miles) is the average distance someone has to walk to get clean water in many places in the developing world,” said Meeker UMC Pastor David Petty, adding, “For many of them, the water they get, even after walking that distance, is not guaranteed to be safe or free from disease.”
The church’s local missionary board opted to participate in World Vision’s plan to build wells to bring clean water to communities around the world before they learned the regional United Methodist Conference was “doing a push toward things that provide water for people who don’t have clean water, based on the verse in Matthew 25:35.”
Part of that Bible verse talks about meeting the needs of “those who are thirsty.” Other parts of the passage address feeding the hungry, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and clothing the naked.
“Every year for the next four years we’re going to focus on one of those things,” Petty said.
This year it’s water, and it’s a global movement.
“World Vision has invited everybody around the world to participate on May 6. It’s a global effort.”
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization that provides long-term solutions to poverty, emergency humanitarian assistance and advocates on behalf of the poor.
Funds raised from the 2017 6K will go to World Vision’s water programs in: Haiti, India and 12 countries in Africa (Ghana, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Lesotho).
The church is about halfway to their goal of 50 registrants. Registration costs $50 and nets each participant a medal and a t-shirt. Everything else goes toward the water projects. Participants can increase their support by asking for donations from sponsors. According to World Vision’s website, $50 provides one person with clean water for an entire year.
Everyone is welcome to participate. Kids’ registration is $25.
“For anyone who wants to walk (or run) but can’t afford it, we have people lined up to sponsor them. And for people who physically can’t walk but would want to sponsor someone else, we have that option,” Petty said. “Not a single dollar goes to the Methodist church. It all goes to World Vision.”
The course is based on the same course as ERBM’s annual color run, which starts at Sanderson Hills Park and includes street and trail terrain, with an extra kilometer added. Participants can walk or run, and there are no time limits. The distance is equivalent to 15 laps around a track.
Meeker is an official host site for the event, as well as a community team. Register online at 6k.meekerumc.org. Participants can sign up to be part of the Meeker team or sign up individually wherever they are.