this past weekend was the 30 hour famine. teenagers (36 of them) and leaders (myself, my wife, and about 12 others) fasted from 12:00 in the afternoon on friday until 5:00 on saturday. in addition to food, the teenagers gave up their cell phones and ipods. for some of them this was a bigger deal than not eating. when everyone arrived, the shelter building began.
cardboard shelters? what the heck do they need shelters for, right? to sleep out in the church parking lot overnight. yup, right on the good ol' concrete under the stars. my buddy jared and i were too hardcore and rugged to even use a cardboard shelter, so we were greeted in the morning with a layer of frost on our sleeping bags and pillows. it's not easy being a tough guy.
so here was the point... 30 hour famine is an event that takes place across the country to heighten awareness for starving children throughout the entire world. the teenagers raise money by getting people to sponsor them for fasting and basically living as a homeless person for one night. it helps the teens to identify a little bit more with kids around the world who are much less fortunate than they are.
we held a prayer vigil by candlelight at midnight around the fire. each teenager had a candle and a paper with a child's name and story on it. after reading it out loud they extinguished the flame one by one until they were all out. it was pretty sobering.
it wasn't all doom and gloom. the youth group band 'fight for that' had their debut and jammed out for awhile in front of the rest of the group. they were pretty awesome. i handed my camera off to my buddy john while the band played since i had to fill in for bass (notice the old guy on the left hand side).
there was also some kickball to be had the next day. i won't lie. i dominated.
there was some time set aside for them to get together in small groups and pray for the needs around the world and to focus on God and what's important. it was a cool sight to look around and see all these guys sitting around doing that.
the teenagers made popsicle stick crosses to represent how many kids die each hour from hunger. i think the number was close to a thousand. the next day at church they were handed out to every attender as a reminder of what had gone on.
one of the last things of the day was a car wash to raise some more money to donate. they ended up raising almost $500 from washing cars that drove by on route 7 in ri. the cars ended up leaving pretty shiny. i was impressed.
that was about it. to all the teenagers' credit there were hardly any complaints about food or anything. it was an awesome group of kids and a really good event. don't scoff at the next teenager you see, they may have spent the last 30 hours in a parking lot with no food to help kids in other countries that they've never met. nice job guys.
Labels: good people, talking