Recognizing the gravity of this crisis, students across the country are taking initiative to help provide food for hungry children worldwide. On Oct. 16, which is the 26th annual World Food Day, thousands of students will host a Broken Bread Poverty Meal on their college campuses and with members of Congress on Capitol Hill. Sponsored by World Vision's Acting on AIDS team, it's an event to raise awareness and inspire action for hungry children and families who often also are affected by extreme poverty and the AIDS crisis — all of which combine to create a vicious cycle of despair and suffering.
The second event is the 30 Hour Famine, held by nearly 20,000 church youth groups and school clubs across the nation. The Famine draws students closer to Christ and each other as they fast and raise funds to help provide food and care for children in impoverished places. Students can participate in one of two national Famine weekends: Feb. 22-23, 2008, or April 25-26, 2008.
The goal of both events is to help participants experience poverty firsthand. The fasting component of the 30 Hour Famine helps them feel what it's like to be hungry; Broken Bread depicts real-life stories of children and families suffering from hunger, poverty, and AIDS. Each event can be done independently or in coordination with one another.
Groups taking part in this experience pick a weekend during which they fast for 30 hours to experience what hunger feels like. Leading up to that time, participants acquire sponsors or hold fundraising events to help feed and care for children through World Vision. Every $30 they raise is enough to help provide food and care for children and families for a month. The funds collected have a major effect on children's lives — but the biggest impact may be on the students themselves.
During the 30 hours of fasting, participants play educational games to help them better understand the causes of and possible solutions for global poverty. They also perform community service projects, along with time in prayer and devotions.
"I knew the 30 Hour Famine would be hard, [but] going 30 hours without food helped me realize what children go through every day," says Alicia, one teen who participated in the Famine. "This experience for me was a life-changing event. I got closer to God, and felt His presence with me that whole time."
>> Pray for families and children around the world who suffer at the hands of hunger, poverty, and AIDS. Pray that advocacy events such as the Broken Bread Poverty Meal and 30 Hour Famine will draw attention to these crises and inspire people to take action on behalf of those who are suffering.
>> Give monthly to help feed hungry children around the world. Become a Child Crisis Partner.
>> Sign up your church's youth group to participate in the 30 Hour Famine in 2008.
>> Send a letter to your elected officials, asking them to continue funding for food aid.
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