Teens’ fast collects aid for hungry

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 23, 2000

Ironton teenagers will know what it’s like to go hungry this weekend.

Wednesday, February 23, 2000

Ironton teenagers will know what it’s like to go hungry this weekend.

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But unlike the millions of people in Third World countries who never know where their next meal will come from, these students will know the exact hour they can eat again.

The First Baptist Church of Ironton will join other churches nationwide in the annual World Vision 30 Hour Famine Friday and Saturday.

More than 20 young people from the church and community have already agreed to go without food for 30 hours, and more are welcome to join in the famine, which will raise money to feed the world’s hungry, said Eric Barnes, youth pastor.

"Anyone is welcome to join," Barnes said. "If any of the youths would like to come and be part of the famine, we would open the doors for them. We also need participation throughout the town and community by prayer and also through any support if someone would like to pledge."

A 50 cents an hour pledge would raise $15, which would go a long way to feeding hungry children, Barnes said.

"Fifteen dollars in some of these countries can feed a kid for a month," he said.

Fasting will begin at 5 p.m. and last until 11 p.m. Saturday. Activities and prayer sessions are scheduled during that time at the church, and the students also will take an excursion to Spare Time for a fun time, Barnes said.

"At 11 p.m. Saturday night, that’s when we’ll have a breakfast," he said. "And breakfast is the original word for it, where it came time to break from your fast."

The children won’t be forced to continue the famine if they begin to feel uncomfortable, however. There will always be crackers, bread and water available in case an emergency arises, Barnes said.

"We’re also allowed to have juices," he said. "There will be some things there in case there would be somebody who got sick."

As part of the famine, the youths will participate in serving at one of our local missions to help them understand the real need in the community, Barnes added.

"Jesus said, ‘the greatest of the commandments is to love the Lord God with all your heart, soul and mind then to love your neighbor as yourself,’" Barnes said. "What a great opportunity to help students see that they can make a difference in lives and that the ‘call’ to follow Jesus is a call to service."

In 1999, more than 600,000 young people in the United States raised more than $8 million through this event.

Famine events around the world attracted more than 1.5 million participants who raised $20 million for World Vision’s hunger and poverty-fighting programs.

Not only does World Vision feed those in the world who go hungry, but the organization also provides funding for medical attention and children’s school supplies, Barnes said.

To join in the fight against hunger and poverty, pledge your support or make a donation, call Barnes at 532-1240.