First Christian hosts 6K for global mission

Published 4:52 pm Thursday, May 4, 2017

A different kind of race is happening in Washington on Saturday. It starts at First Christian Church on East Second Street. At 6 kilometers, it’s an unusual length, and registrants’ bibs will feature the faces of children.

This race is about a precious resource and a mission to make sure children across the world have access to clean water. According to Debbie Ainsworth, the organizer of the Washington event, many children must go to extreme lengths, walking miles sometimes multiple times a day, in order to get water.

“The 6K is actually the average distance they have to walk to get clean water,” Ainsworth said.

“I think it’s one of those things that water is just something we take so much for granted. You turn on your tap or you buy your $6 bottle of water at the airport. I’ve done enough mission trips in third-world countries — you know, clean water is the key to children’s health.”

By raising money through events as the Global 6K for Water, some of those children will soon have access to water in their own communities, through World Vision water programs in Haiti, India and 12 countries in Africa. Building wells that are only a five- or 10-minute walk away, will have far-reaching impact on children’s lives.

“Thing about school-age kids, that 7- and 8-year-olds walking 4 miles each day to get water — that’s not much time to do anything else,” Ainsworth said.

Drastically lessening the amount of time spent seeking water means children can focus on other things, such as education.

“They now have four hours a day that they can go to school rather than walk to get water,” Ainsworth said.

For this effort, more than 25,000 people are registered for races at churches both large and small across the nation. In Washington, the two-loop course will start at the parking lot on the East Second Street side of First Christian, and stay within downtown, as opposed to crossing the Runyon Creek bridge to Washington Park.

Ainsworth said last-minute participants can register the same day of the event. Registration is $50 and each participant will receive a T-shirt, bib and medal.

First Christian Church is located at 307 E. Third St. in Washington. Race time is 9 a.m. Saturday.