Students in the U.S. and abroad will fast for 30 hours this weekend to draw attention to the plight of starving people around the world.
Sponsored by World Vision, the 30-Hour Famine will begin Friday and run through Saturday. Participants will not only turn their plates down but also will perform community service projects and make donations to help earthquake victims in Haiti and support World Vision's work to feed hungry people in nearly 100 nations.
Organizers say that since 1992 students worldwide have raised more than $130 million. "During 2010, more than half a million teens nationwide will participate and hope to raise $12 million," said Pat Rhoads, manager of the 30-Hour Famine.
Rob Morris, youth minister at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Boston, said teens are getting involved because they want to help make a difference in the world.
"When we have done the famine in the past, students have relayed a greater sense of awareness of the needs around the world, awareness of their own privileges and gifts, and an increased desire to do all they can to help meet those needs both right here on the North Shore of Boston and around the world," Morris told Charisma.
"They have also relayed a spiritual growth from reflecting on how inherently selfish so many of our mindless daily decisions are and a desire to live with a little bit more deliberate awareness of our dependence on God for all our needs."
At Canoe Creek Christian Church in St. Cloud, Fla., youth have had mixed reactions to the famine. "A few have been optimistic, but some are dragging their heels," said youth minister Ross Runnels. "This is exactly why we are doing this, so their eyes will open and their compassion for the hungry will increase."
Students spend months preparing for the event by participating in fund-raisers. Another 30-Hour Famine will be held April 23-24.
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