Thicker than water: Grace Lutheran Church joins efforts to fund well projects overseas

Published 12:05 am Sunday, November 13, 2022

SALISBURY — Spreading the Gospel can come in many forms, including sharing the resources to access the necessities of life.

Grace Lutheran Church hosted a 5K run/walk event on Saturday in neighborhoods around the church campus.

Pam Roseman, director for the stewardship committee at Grace Lutheran, indicated that the proceeds from the event would go toward Lutheran World Relief. The international non-governmental organization focuses on sustainable development projects, disaster relief and recovery.

The particular arm that the run/walk event supported is a project to build sustainable wells in developing countries.

Roseman explained that a well could be constructed through the organization for about $2,500. Each year, the event, which is in its fifth running, endeavors to raise at least that much money.

Just $2,500 can have a considerable impact, according to Roseman.

“It will go toward a community or village, and it will provide water for 500 families,” Roseman said. “If there are four people in our family, at least, that’s 2,000 people we can help provide clean water for.”

Roseman’s group has been successful in that mission, so much so that there is often extra money left.

“This is our fifth year with the race and we’ve been able to purchase one well each year,” Roseman said. “In some years, we’ve raised more than that. So that goes to a partial fund. They’ll combine other monies to help purchase other wells, so everything 100% of our proceeds will go towards these wells.”

Roseman indicated that the extra funds raised combine with other Lutheran churches from around the country that operate with similar missions, although not all fundraising mechanisms are the same.

The height of the COVID pandemic shuttered the event, but it picked right back up where it left off in 2021. However, other financial factors have impacted the size of individual contributions.

“We do find that with our economy, things are tighter,” Roseman said. “It’s harder to spend the extra money. So we try to keep that in consideration and keep it low at $20 registrations to run.”

With so many different funds to contribute toward, why water? Roseman said it’s because of water’s vital nature to a healthy life.

“Throughout the world, there are people who care about their clean water,” Roseman said. “Lutheran World Relief sent a request out for churches to help support them through a walk, and we thought we could do that.”

Fourteen-year-old Chase Simmons paced the field with a time of 20:35 for the 5K. Bethany Vega finished the race as the fastest female and was just a few steps behind Simmons. Vega’s official time was 20:38.