USA (MNN) — Saturday's weather was more like winter than spring in Grand Rapids, Michigan. But it didn't stop people from "walking for water" on the campus of Cornerstone University (CU).
CU senior Kathy DeYoung organized a Water Walk fundraiser to raise awareness of the water crisis and support for a Living Water International (LWI) clean water project in India. Event participants–comprised mostly of CU students–weren't deterred by bad weather.
"I'm happy, especially for a first-time walk…. At least 50 people [were] here, even in this sleet and rain and snow," DeYoung says.
Participants bundled up and braved the storm to walk a mile in the shoes of others. After a brief introduction to the event and prayer, they carried a gallon bucket or milk jug full of dirty pond water for approximately 1.3 miles. See pictures and video of the event here.
The walk brought the reality of the water crisis home for many.
"The buckets of water were really heavy, and I got tired really fast," says CU senior Kayleigh Hammond. "It really wasn't much fun at all!"
Through an internship at CU, exercise science major DeYoung was inspired to create her own "exercise for a cause" project.
"I thought it'd be great to have people, especially in our country…get an understanding and a feel for what it's actually like to walk for water," DeYoung explains.
She wants to finish what CU's "Hoops for H2O" game started in February: raising awareness and support for a clean water well in central India.
"That kind of gave me the idea, and I just wanted to raise enough funds to complete it," says DeYoung.
She adds that the installment of a well often helps garner respect for pastors in rural villages and communities. In turn, villagers begin listening to what the pastor has to say, opening new doors for the Gospel.
Pray that many people will turn to Christ as a result of this project.
Though the walk is over, you can help this project reach its end goal by clicking here.