St. Paul youth to participate in 30-hour famine
On Friday, Nov. 22, St. Paul high school students will start their day with a hearty breakfast. Then, they will not eat again until mid-afternoon on Saturday.
The 30-hour famine is an effort to learn about hunger throughout the world, and experience, if only just a little bit, what it’s like to be hungry. “It’s hard to be yourself when you’re hungry,” said Andy Langdon, director of youth ministries.
The 30-hour famine is an initiative by World Vision, an international aid organization, to raise awareness and raise money to fight hunger. It is a youth retreat, bible study, resource simulation, and inspirational gathering. One in nine people in the world don’t get enough to eat. The hope is that this experience will open eyes and inspire youth to understand the statistic, and then take an active role in changing it.
On Friday, students will intentionally skip lunch in hopes of sparking a conversation with friends about their participation in the famine. At the end of the school day, they will attend any of their regular extra curricular activities. They will not eat dinner before coming to St. Paul that evening.
As difficult as the fasting may be, the method of breaking the fast may be even more intense.
Mid-afternoon Saturday, the group will take communion together. From there each person will be randomly assigned a number that will determine the meal that will break their fast.
Some kids will be able to feast to their heart’s desire.
Some will have a bowl of rice.
Some will share a bowl of rice between four people.
The goal is that kids will see how hunger plays a role in health – both physical and mental – education, and social aspects of life. Throughout the event, youth will gain a better understanding of what they have – and how they can serve others who do not have access to adequate resources.
“Learning the disparity between people who have food and those who don’t is critical in helping kids understand their role in sharing resources,” Andy said.
Hunger in the Bible
In the Bible, people fasted for a variety of reasons:
Act of worship: “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’” – Acts 13:2
Deepening of faith: “Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month, the people of Israel were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth on their heads.” – Nehemiah 9:1
Discerning God’s will: “Jehoshaphat was afraid; he set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.” – 2 Chronicles 20:3