Who Is My Neighbor? (30 Hour Famine - Part 1)

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Every year, hundreds of thousands of students throughout the world go without food for 30 hours in order to help those who are hungry.  Organized by World Vision, students not only go without food for 30 hours and raise money for hunger relief, but they also learn a lot about the devastating reality of world hunger, malnutrition, and food scarcity.  

This year, Calvary’s Junior High Youth raised $3,672 for Hunger Relief!  I asked Trace Mitchell, who raised $840 on his own why he was so motivated to go to all that work to raise the money.  “I wanted to help people. When I saw the brochure and saw that $840 would feed 2 children for a whole year, I thought, ‘I could do this.’  It was really hard because it’s easy for me to talk to people.  The first day was the easiest then it got a little harder.  I went door and door starting at my house and the further I got away from my house, the more people made excuses not to help out.  I didn’t care how much people gave….I was happy with whatever they gave.”

Hannah Gaff, another participant in the 30 Hour Famine said, “It was cool because we got to experience what a lot of people have to do all of the time and it was connected with spiritual hunger.  We were able to realize how blessed we are.”

Calvary’s youth were given a reflection sheet on which they shared the answer to 4 questions based upon their lessons throughout the event:

1-What was the most impactful part of your 30 hours?
2-How did God help you with your fear?
3-What are you hungry for spiritually?
4-Do you have any new thoughts about children in the developing world?

Because these answers are so powerful, I’m going to expand this article to next week so that you can read their answers (without names attached).  

In answer to the first question, ‘What was the most impactful part of your 30 hours:’

When we went to the nursing home and to see the joy on their faces.  I usually don’t do things like that but I had the most fun.
Working at the food pantry.  Learning about how the pantry got started was very much a God moment, and just knowing that I helped a lot of people today made me feel like God was working in me.
The most impactful was probably Saturday night when we sang Good, Good Father and when we talked about physical hunger and spiritual hunger and it just kind of got real….and that doesn’t always happen.
The feeling of hunger...it really made me think of the kids and people who have to endure that every day.  I also was fueled by the hunger to work hard during the service project to give back.
The most impactful part of my 30 hours was the fact that when you’re learning about how other kids love their life, and being with your friends and God, you don’t realize how hungry you actually are.
Hearing everything the elderly had to say about life.  The fact about not just being hungry for food but mentally and spiritually hungry to things in life.
Helping the lady and other people get things done.  I also thought it was impactful when the lady told us her story on how the pantry opened up.
Not being on my phone helped me spend time with God and imagining if my life was like this all of the time. 
The most impactful part of these 30 hours is the hunger I’ve had and to think it’s constant for the people who don’t have food.
When we went to the Hope organization to wrap toys and gifts.
The most impactful part was probably learning about people who live like this everyday.
Talking to Laura and letting her pray over me.
Watching the videos.  It really opens your eyes to problems that people struggle with.

Next week, check in to read the rest of the students’ answers and hear how God changes our hearts in the midst of our helping others.

About the Author
Debbie Reese is the Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC