From April 29 through 30, 25 youths from the Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church’s Creating Revolution and Saving Hearts (CRASH) Youth Ministries participated in the 30-Hour Famine, a nationwide fast powered by World Vision.
“The youth actually asked if we could hold this here at the church. They had done some research on it and wanted to be a part of it,” explained Youth Pastor Christina Wilson.
“We kind of decided as a youth group to do it,” said 16-year-old Jessica Gude. “It’s really close to my heart, because what I hope to do one day is to go to Uganda in Africa and work in displacement camps, getting the people food and water.”
“It’s just to build awareness for other countries or other people about people that are starving,” added 16-year-old Jordan Carey, “to help us know that we take a lot of things for granted as Americans. Sometimes we just don’t know what other people go through.”
World Vision created the event to raise money to help fight hunger all over the world and to educate youth on hunger and starvation occurring in other countries.
“They say there are over 1 billion people in the world that do not get enough to eat. That is one out of every six people. We really felt that it was our part – as God would want us to do – to reach out and be able to raise some money and awareness,” said Wilson. “Our goal was to raise $2,500, but I have a feeling it’s going to be closer to $4,000.”
While some students participated in fundraising efforts by gathering donations, others – such as Carey – donated their own personal money.
“I’m very excited,” he said, “maybe not about the being hungry part, but just about giving back to the people in Africa and all around the world who are hungry. Just knowing there are other people out there who are hungry and need God.”
During their 30-hour fast, the youth group visited Halo Ministries in Salisbury, Md., to volunteer in the homeless shelter and help feed those staying there.
“We also have what are called ‘tribes,’ and we’ll be divided up in to groups and working together to learn more and get deeper into the understanding,” said Wilson. “It’s just a really good time for us to focus and to really kind of guide to ourselves and reach out to other people.”
The ultimate goal is to educate and feed those in need, but the youth believe it will also bring hope to themselves and those around them.
“I think it’ll bring more hope for us,” said Carey. “Right now, in the recession that America is having, I think it will bring more hope. I mean – look at what all we have compared to all the other people. I think it will bring hope for us and awareness that other people are out there really struggling much, much more than us.”
For more information, visit www.30hourfamine.org.