Kids learn of life at 30-Hour Famine

On the Feb. 28-March 1 weekend at North Warren Presbyterian Church, 19 youths from Beaty Warren Middle School and Warren Area High School, and seven adults, fasted for 30-Hours, only drinking juice and broth. This was done to raise money for World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. The organization serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.

The 2014 theme was “Release the Feast.”

No solid food was consumed from Friday lunch until the “break fast” on Saturday at 6 p.m.

During the 30-Hours, participants learned about hunger and famine around the world and participated in a tribal game. They were broken into tribes and learned about a child’s life story from that particular country. Focusing on hunger “hotspots” around the world, they went through several exercises/games which simulated hardships people around the world face such as malaria, lack of water, food distribution issues, refugee issues, and floods. Each game had a debriefing session using scripture. The participants also investigated causes for world hunger and were introduced via videos to areas of need, especially how clean water and malaria nets are making a big difference in communities. Service projects on Saturday morning included working at the Blair Hospice Residence and helping another family ready a house for moving into. The youth also held a canned meat drive to assist the local Salvation Army’s food pantry in conjunction with the 30-Hour Famine.

Throughout the weekend, eyes were opened not only to the overwhelming needs, but to the awareness that things can be done to help those suffering from disease and famine around the world. The group had a real education of hunger as they “lived” it, although they knew that at the end, there would be food, while many people worldwide don’t have that assurance. One of the students stated, “You never know what you have until you see what others don’t.” Another noted, “I know I am going to think twice about eating something and then wasting some of it when there are kids that are starving.” Anne Ward, North Warren Presbyterian Church Youth Coordinator, said, “I’m very proud of the young people and adults who were willing to give of themselves and contribute to a greater world cause. They stepped out of their comfort zones to make a difference. I am also impressed at the overwhelming support by the North Warren Presbyterian Church members and friends as well as community support.”

Participants included: adults: Anne Ward, Buddy Ward, Deborah Ward, Ruth Morrison, Dawn Sears, John Caito and Cale Ash; Youths: Jacob Bullock, Taylor Busche, Tristen Busche, Neil Morrison, Aldyn Poston, Cade Poston, Justine Lasecki, Kenny Lasecki, Lucas Weber, Cade Johnson, Alexis Streich, Olivia Ashbaugh, Stephen Ashbaugh, Mallorie Baumgrotz, Fletcher Blumquist, James Lawson, Dylan Sorensen, Morgan Lemmon and Rachel Cecco.

More than $3,500 was raised which will feed eight kids at $420 per year, with about a third coming from a Sweetheart Spaghetti Supper on Valentine’s Day, and the other two thirds from fundraising by the youth and church members’ contributions. In the 11 years that North Warren Presbyterian has been doing the famine, about $27,000 has been raised by the church for World Vision. Although the need is still great, the yearly effort by the 30-Hour Famine shows that a great deal can be done when many participate. We can overcome hunger with love, said a church spokesman.