Posts Tagged World Vision
This past weekend I did World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine again with my youth group. If you’re not familiar with the 30 Hour Famine, it’s an event run by World Vision where youth groups fast for 30 hours in order to get a taste of what it feels like for children around the world who face starvation and malnutrition every day. The teens participating in the fast raise money from donations, which World Vision then uses to help feed these children and their families. Usually when youth groups do the Famine, it’s a lock-in event. They begin the fast on their own at noon on Friday and end the fast together at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday. I did the 30 Hour Famine when I was in youth group so I always had fond memories from that weekend. That’s why I love doing it with our youth group now.
For the past four years when I’ve done the Famine as a leader, I’ve been able to get through the entire 30 hours without really feeling hungry. At first I felt guilty that I didn’t feel hungry at all because I wasn’t experiencing hunger like we were supposed to, but I also see it as God’s provision for me as a leader. It’s hard to lead 30 or so youth in a weekend of events when you’re suffering from hunger too. Last year I even increased my fast to 40 hours, but I still don’t remember feeling very hungry the entire time.
This year, however, was different and I came away with a couple lessons. I ate lunch a little earlier at work and then started the fast. Usually the fast isn’t too bad on Friday because you’re only missing one meal. As I drove home from work, I kept thinking about how nice it would be to just eat a little snack. I wasn’t even that hungry, but I just wanted to eat something. I realized how much I take food for granted. Even though my body’s not telling me I need food, I decide to eat it anyway because it’s so available. When I got home, I was tempted to eat some candy we have sitting out and later at church I was tempted again while putting together some bags of pretzels and marshmallows for an activity. No one was around in both of these situations and it would’ve been so easy to just take one bite, but I resisted.
It’s funny how the food I wanted had little nutritional value. The things that are good for you are always the things that take more work and effort. We exercise in order to stay fit. We have to cook to try and eat healthier meals and read labels to make healthier food choices. We need to put in time and effort in order to see results and successes at work or school. We have to invest time and energy into our marriages and relationships. We need to spend time reading our Bible, praying, and seeking the Lord in order to have a better relationship with God.
During our games on Friday night, I felt a little lightheaded, something that happens whenever I’m really hungry. I didn’t feel like I was starving, but I knew then that this fast wouldn’t be as easy on my body as past years. I drank more water and that helped, but I definitely felt more out of it at different times during the Famine. It was hard trying to lead Bible studies when I couldn’t focus as well. I can only imagine how the kids felt trying to sit there and pay attention. It gave us an idea though of how hard it is for malnourished children to pay attention in school when they’re hungry. It’d be nearly impossible to do well.
Our youth group’s fundraising goal this year was $4,500.00. I’m not sure what our final total was yet, but I think we reached it or maybe even exceeded it. Thank you to those of you who donated to my online page! I exceeded my personal fundraising goal in just two days! Praise God for your generosity and heart. 🙂
We watched a video from the Catalyst conference during the Famine that showed the testimony of Michelle, who was a
Compassion child from the Philippines. I’d actually heard Michelle’s story on Moody radio before, but I was moved again by seeing her testimony. Gerald and I are talking about sponsoring our own Compassion child. It’s a small sacrifice we can make each month that has a huge impact in a child’s life.
This post might be a little disjointed because I’m still tired and recovering from the weekend. I went home Saturday night after our break-fast meal and crashed. I got nearly ten hours of sleep that night! Obviously right now though my sleep cycle’s getting messed up again (it’s 11 p.m.). Though weekends like this are tiring and I give up most of my weekend for the youth, it’s worth it. The kids all filled out meal tickets before they could eat to share what they learned or how the Famine weekend impacted them. I can’t wait to read some of their responses to see what God was doing in their hearts. These kids never cease to encourage me!
A couple weeks ago, I did the 30 Hour Famine with my youth group at church again. The past couple years when I’ve done the Famine as a leader, I haven’t felt hungry at the end of the 30 hour fast. Part of the point of the Famine is to get a taste of what it feels like to be hungry–like what millions of people feel everyday. So this year I planned to do a longer fast.
I came to the 30 Hour Famine lock-in on Friday night exhausted after having gotten up at 3am for a Royal Wedding viewing party followed by a dentist appointment and then work. I started my fast at 6:30 am after the Royal Wedding and planned to do a 30.5 hour fast hoping to to feel hunger more.
During the 30 Hour Famine, we worshipped in song, did devotionals and had small group discussions. We cleaned and did yard work as part of our Youth for Rent service projects, played games, and built cardboard shelters. Throughout the weekend I felt some slight hunger pangs, but I was never so hungry that I felt like I couldn’t do anything.
By the end of the Famine as we started our worship and sharing time before breaking the fast together, I did some reflection of my own. The recurring theme for me during the Famine weekend was that God is more than enough for each day. I don’t have to worry and I can trust Him because He provides all that I need for each day. So even though I wasn’t hungry at the end of the Famine again, this time I saw it a different way.
Maybe I wasn’t hungry because God was providing for me with what I needed at the time–I needed to be sustained to help
lead the Famine activities and to be alert for the lock-in so we could minister to the youth at the same time. Although the 30 Hour Famine is about raising awareness and funds for hunger, often times I find that God teaches us about more than that. Through the sharing time, we saw how God revealed our need to listen to Him, to obey immediately when we hear His call, how much we complain about when we have so much to be grateful for, God’s provision in fundraising and much more that wasn’t even said.
Speaking of fundraising, this year our ambitious goal was $7,500.00. I’m not sure of our exact amount for the year yet, but I do know that we raised at least 58% of it (which is pretty good!). Again this year, I kept feeling skeptical (and still do, honestly) that we’ll reach that goal. I constantly remind myself that nothing is impossible with God. And even if we don’t fully reach our goal, our youth group is able to feed so many kids with the money we raised. $30 feeds one child for a month. We’ve already been provided with more than enough. It’s a blessing to provide children around the world with even a little (a little that they see as more than enough).
How has God showed Himself to be more than enough for you?