(i posted this originally on the 30 Hour Famine blog earlier this week)
I have strong emotional and mental memories of attending World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia several years ago, with more than a quarter million people.
Sure, it was cool to be in a beautiful world-class city. And everywhere I went there were groupings of Christian teenagers and young adults attending the weeklong event.
But the highlight, by far, and the bit that stands out in my memory the most, was the Saturday evening worship gathering. It was one of the few times when everyone attending would be in the same place at the same time. I didn’t plan well, and had a difficult time getting to the outdoor site. By the time I arrived at the site, worship was well under way. I made my way through the massive crowd, alone, but in a sea of people.
But then the moment came when everyone – 250,000 youth and young adults! – simultaneously lit candles and held them up in the air. I stopped and looked around, and couldn’t breathe. Suddenly I was transported from being alone in a crowd to being a part of something massive, something compelling, something meaningful.
This weekend, there are 3225 groups participating in the 30 Hour Famine. And that’s just the groups we know about! That represents about 100,000 students this weekend alone. Really, this would certainly represent one of the largest (if not the largest) group of teenagers rallying together this year, at the same time, to make a difference in the world.
100,000 teenagers going without food for 30 hours (that’s 3 million hours of hunger!). 100,000 teenagers learning about the needs of others, raising funds to stop hunger. 100,000 teenagers focusing on the needs of others. 100,000 teenagers participating in the work of God in the world.
Seriously, how cool is that!?
A few things to remember heading into the 30 Hour Famine
+ This weekend, the 30 Hour Famine website will have a “Social Media Takeover.” You can see it on the page now, by clicking on the green sticker. But this weekend, everything you post with the #30HF hashtag will be fed to the Famine home page.
+ Remember that any student who raises for than $360 is eligible to apply for the Famine Study Tour. A group of these students will be selected for a trip to see the impact of the Famine first hand.
+ Please remember to send in your funds after the weekend!
As you and your group dive into the weekend, remember that you are making a live-saving difference in the lives of real children. Remember that you are partnering with Jesus, bringing His redemptive work in a tangible way.
And remember that you’re part of something HUGE! You are part of a movement to end hunger, and you’re linking arms with 100,000 others!