Hunger Challenge

21 03 2012

BY VICKIE REYNOLDS, Comstock, Michigan, USA

Though healthy and growing, 16 members of the Friday Knights youth group of west Michigan know about hunger.

They spent 30 hours without food in mid-May to raise funds for Outreach International and grow in personal awareness through experiencing hunger with the many in our world who face hunger as a daily reality.

We encouraged the youth to use their hunger pangs as signals to pray for impoverished people everywhere and as reminders to seek God’s face and voice.

Perhaps the biggest challenge of this event was not in the actual 30 hours of hunger, but in the weeks leading up to it. The youth collected pledges from friends and family.

We know that sending funds to help someone they don’t know, somewhere in the world, is a bit abstract. There’s no personal feedback. But nobody in this group was lazy. They raised $1,500.25! They also worked—on empty stomachs—by going door-to-door and collecting more than 100 pounds of food for a pantry.

The youth ate the final meal before their hunger challenge at lunch on a Friday at school. They then met at the Union Avenue Congregation in Grand Rapids at 6:00 p.m. to turn in pledge money. They enjoyed games, did activities that fostered awareness of world hunger and poverty, and prayed.

They went home at 9:00 p.m. At 8:30 a.m. Saturday, they went to two project locations. Half worked with a pantry and helped set up a carnival. The other half did a party and visitation at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

“At the end of our visit, we made sure to shake hands with all the veterans and thank them for serving our country,” said Alissah, one of the youth. “The last man…held onto my hand. His eyes were filled with watery gratitude. He gave my hand a firm squeeze, and I was happy I could make his day better.”

At 11:30 a.m., the two groups gathered at a recreation center for swimming, rock climbing, and other events. The energy pumped up when they arrived, but it ebbed after a few hours. At 3:30 p.m. the youth then boarded four vehicles that took them to different parts of the church neighborhood for the door-to-door food drive.

Teams returned to the congregation a bit after 5:00 p.m. Families of the congregation then served a “break fast” meal at 6:00 p.m.

Our weekend closed with praise, worship, and testimonies at 6:30 p.m. Everybody then left with a new understanding of the issues and how they can help others. As Nichole, one of the youth, said:

“Knowing the money we earn and the food we collect is all helping someone that needs it makes a weekend of hunger worthwhile!”


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21 03 2012
Terry Flowers

Wonderful testimony Vickie. Thank you for sharing ~




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