Carry the Jerry Walk

Surrounded by church members and friends, Gary White (black T-shirt, center), pastor of Foundation United Methodist Church in Temple, begins the effort to carry a jerrycan full of water two miles around West Temple Park during a recent Carry the Jerry Walk.

Members of Foundation United Methodist Church in Temple carried bright yellow jerricans full of water around West Temple Park last Sunday during the Carry the Jerry Walk.

The purpose of the event was to raise money and awareness for Water is Basic, a Dallas-based ministry that provides personal water filters for families and drills and repairs water wells in South Sudan, where war has made clean water difficult to obtain.

Water is Basic is one of the church’s 12 Endorsed Missions.

The Rev. Gary White, pastor, said nearly 60 adults and children participated in the two-mile walk around the park. He said they had about a dozen different jerricans to share between them.

“They’re actually five-gallon yellow diesel fuel cans,” he said.

“Those are commonly used over in Africa to carry water with, and we had them filled to various levels of fullness.”

White said a completely full jerrican weighs exactly 42 pounds, so the cans with different water volumes weighed anywhere from 5 or 10 pounds to the full 42.

The main part of the fundraising was done during the worship service that morning. White said everyone had a chance to donate during the communion liturgy. After the service, everyone headed to the park at noon for worship and a potluck lunch.

 “Then after a brief interruption from a rain shower, we began our walk,” he said.

The event raised $4,615, enough to repair three water wells in South Sudan.

 “Our goal is $5,000 and we’re going to keep the option open for folks to give,” White said. “Five thousand dollars would allow us to fix four water wells.”