30 Hour Famine

This weekend I did the 30 Hour Famine.

If you’ve never heard of the 30 Hour Famine, imagine taking two or three dozen teenagers, depriving them of food for 30 hours, locking them up in a dark, empty church basement with 10 gallons of Gatorade, and then telling them to wake up early the next morning and do physical labor on empty stomachs for the glory of God.

That, in a nutshell, is the 30 Hour Famine.

Sound like a bad idea? Yes, yes it does sound like a bad idea. Let it be known unto you that there is no whinier tribe of people than that of hungry teenagers.

I want an ice cream sandwich.

Stop talking about food.

I want BACON!! I love bacon!! Did you know they make bacon ice cream at Such-and-such place? I want bacon!

Stop talking about food.

Jello sounds really good right now.

Stop talking about food.

I really want to go clam digging, but my family doesn’t want to. Do you think the Boy Scouts would take me clam digging if I asked? I know most of them.

Stop talking about food.

I want pho.

Stop talking about food.

I want sushi.

Stop talking about food.

And it goes on and on.

Yet, year after year, we decide to do it again. Year after year, kids sign up and voluntarily give up nourishment. Year after year, people talk excitedly about the 30 Hour Famine coming! What? You’re not coming? Why not?! Meghan, you’re going, right? Oh good! Oh my gosh! 30 Hour Famine is coming!

Kids are just weird that way.

But I suppose I’m not telling you about a very important part. These kids don’t starve themselves for nothing. They’re getting money for their troubles. Their mothers feel sorry for them and they sweet-talk their uncles and aunts into giving up some money. If you’re me, you guilt-trip your cousins and bully your friends. Then, you proudly take your sheaf of money and give it up to Pastor Ming and never see it again.

But somebody does. The money raised for 30 Hour Famine goes to World Vision, a Christian humanitarian relief organization that fights poverty, injustice, and their effects around the world. Somebody is going to get some use out of that $292.01 I forked over today. I’ll probably never know who or why. They’re never going to thank me for it. But they might be going through a real famine, with real hunger. No Gatorade. No post-Famine feast. No sympathetic parents to baby them after it’s all over. I’ll never know exactly how my little bit of money is used.

And that’s okay.



3 thoughts on “30 Hour Famine

  1. sofia – thanks for the reminder on why we do trivial things for the greater reasons in life. – victoria

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