by Glenn Miller
Several years ago World Vision began a movement to help raise funds to purchase food and to help feed the hungry around the world. For many years, it’s been known as the 30 Hour Famine. This event is an opportunity for your students to fast for 30 hours, and yes, they can survive! In addition to fasting, they raise money to be sent to World Vision and have opportunities during the event to learn about world hunger and serving others. Below are some tips that we’ve learned over the years.
- Have students begin fasting after their lunch at school on Friday. The event kickoff typically starts on a Friday evening for us and runs until Saturday evening. This equates into about a 24-hour lock-in/service event.
- Make sure you find out if you have diabetics in your group or those with special medical needs participating so that you can provide food as they need it. Encourage them to participate and assure them that you will bend rules for their special needs.
- Juice breaks are a must. Some groups keep juice out and ready the whole time. We have found that keeping water out all the time is good but at meal times taking a juice break like they would a meal is most helpful. This helps to satisfy hunger pangs.
- World Vision provides “Tribe Game” to help students learn how others live, and we’ve added a “Box City” component to our weekend, where students sleep sleep outside in a box overnight (weather permitting) to help them recognize how some people, even in our own city, live.
- Service projects on Saturday morning also work well. Be cautious as the day grows longer on Saturday as students’ energy levels will dip. Start fairly early and try to finish by early afternoon because they will really start feeling the effects of no food. Some will be a bit light headed, grumpy, have headaches, or just a low energy feeling. Having a slower Saturday afternoon helps. We like to start winding things up with a movie that punctuates what we have been talking about all weekend or a low-energy group building exercise.
- We always Break the Fast with a time of Communion and worship. After Communion we have parents prepare us a SENSIBLE meal. Major caution here: If you go for the big, super greasy things like pizza, fried chicken, etc., you will have some upset parents as their kids will be sick all day Sunday.
Visit www.30hourfamine.org to find an incredible website full of helps and up to date information! You can also sign up for your Famine weekend here. Most Famines happen from mid-February to late April so there is still plenty of time to plan yours and get it rolling.
30 Hour Famine is a great time to educate kids about other areas of the world and the reality of hunger while growing closer as a group.
Service Project—Cleaning up the church kitchen