More than 20 Maple Park Alliance youth group members experienced first hand what life might be like without enough food.
The group held their regular meeting on April 7 where they shared a meal and watched inspirational videos before embarking on a 30-hour famine to raise money for third-world projects.
Friday morning began the fasting and Grade 12 student Rebecca Thiessen said missing breakfast was okay but as the day wore on, it became increasingly more difficult to put food out of her mind.
“When you’re hungry, you can’t concentrate and you’re way slower,” she said.
“Food is all you can think about and the day just dragged on.”
And to add to her misery, Rebecca’s mother made her favourite
dinner, perogies, and she had to sit at the table while her siblings raved about how good they were.
However, Rebecca was firm in her resolve and never cheated, she ate no food.
Grade 12 student Stacey Renyard also found abstaining from food difficult.
“Breakfast was tough, but it escalated and by dinner I was starving,” she said.
“I was tempted all day but didn’t eat either.”
When the other youth gathered at the church at 6 p.m. both girls said it was easier as they all played games, watched movies and supported each other in their 30-hour famine.
The group raised more than $2,000 and both girls said it felt good to fundraise for a worthy cause.
“It took just a little bit of time and I was able to raise $736 for the cause,” Rebecca said.
Stacey said it makes her happy to help someone and she feels God is moving her to do it.
“It feels awesome to show compassion,” she said.
“When you’re able to help someone and they are so appreciative, it feels good.”
Youth pastor Curtis Christison said it’s wonderful to tie compassion ministering into social justice.
The group hasn’t yet finalized which project their funds will support but suggested a water project in a developing country has such far-reaching benefits.
“A water project brings water to a community so women don’t have to
take the long risky trek to get it,” he said.
The group is considering one of three possible projects.
They include child exploitation, malnourished children or possibly a water project.
For Rebecca and Stacey this isn’t their first humanitarian effort.
Both have been active in working towards social justice projects.
Rebecca would like to be involved in the church’s Cambodian mission and Stacey has a long term plan for further service.
She plans to attend Bible school and couple that with nursing training to eventually work on a Mercy ship.
Mercy Ships is a global organization helping hundreds of thousands of individuals each year who have little or no access to health care.
After finishing the 30-hour famine, the youth enjoyed a hearty breakfast at the church before returning to their normal lives, but both girls said they feel good about what they did.
“People in Canada take things like enough food to eat for granted,” Rebecca said.