Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dakota's 30 Hour Famine

A couple of weeks ago, Dakota had an awesome opportunity to participate in World Vision's  30 Hour Famine  with the youth group from our church. The teens (and the adults with them) fasted for 30 hours to help increase awareness of poverty and hunger in the world and in our own community.

The famine began on Saturday night at midnight and continued through Sunday morning at 6:00am.

The group met at the church around noon on Saturday. Their first order of business was to make shirts to wear for the event.
Next, they learned some statistics about world hunger. Dakota's word was that the stats were "staggering." The one she talks about the most is that more people in the word have a cell phone than access to a toilet! (Wow! How crazy is that?!) The kids made posters about some of the statistics and posted them around the church.

The 30 Hour Famine wasn't just about not eating, it was about serving in the community. Saturday afternoon, the group traveled to a nearby town and worked with another organization from our community to operate a clothing give-away. They took the "mobile clothing unit" along and helped those who came find clothes for their families. 

Later that evening, they returned to the church to learn more about the issue of hunger. They each took on the identity of a "child" who was hungry. Some of them had handicaps or hunger related problems. They played some games where they had to simulate their character's disability or hunger-related problem. Dakota carried her backpack with her stuff inside to represent being "weak from hunger."
This was Dakota's "house" for the night. They each had a box to sleep in (girls in the gym, boys in the classroom down the hall).
She said she got pretty cold during the night and she was pretty sore from the hard gym floor. 
When they woke up Sunday morning, the fasting was over. They had some breakfast before time for service. One of the rules for the famine was that they were not allowed to change their clothes before church. They came in the clothes they had worn all day Saturday and slept in Saturday night. No showers, make-up, etc.
This is my very favorite picture from the famine. 
I am so thankful that Dakota has the opportunity to belong to such an awesome youth group! The teens are so incredibly blessed to have a wonderful youth pastor and great adult volunteers to work with them. I know this activity was life-changing for Dakota and I'm sure for the other teens as well!
 I asked Dakota to write a report about her experience for school. Here are a couple of my favorite quotes from it:

"When I woke up it was already 6:00 AM. The famine was over! We could eat again! People were already up, snacking on granola bars and chatting. T’s dad came with breakfast; sausage and egg biscuits and biscuits with gravy. I don’t normally eat eggs, but after thirty hours I was ready to eat just about anything, and the biscuit was really good."

"The famine extended my horizons and showed me just how good I have, and just how bad things are for other people. I’ve become more thankful for what I have, since other people don’t have nearly as much as me."
I am so proud of Dakota! She has a desire to help people and I can see God working to lead her to her purpose. Can't wait to see what He has in store for her!

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