A story from the trenches: Kayt Hughes, PA

BY 30 HOUR FAMINE TEAM

More often than not, it’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the ‘how-can-we-pull-this-off’ mindset while planning some sort of fund-raising event. When this happens, we usually fail to allow God to rock us on our heels in amazement. Last summer, I was hired as a part time youth director at a small church in York County, Pennsylvania. While trying to plan events for the upcoming months, the 30 Hour Famine came to mind. My youth had done it before, and I had been a participant for years, so I thought, “All right, I’m going to sign us up.”

I sat in our youth room staring at the sign-up postcard– specifically at the line asking for our group goal. It was here that I failed to take God’s awesome power into mind. I sighed and wrote $1,500, a goal  was positive was completely out of reach. After all, we would only have 15-ish kids participating in the event! We had our kickoff event in January and I did my best to encourage them to go “all out” and do the fundraising like it REALLY mattered (because it does!) A few signed up for the online donations, but as I anxiously checked the site nearly every day, the $1,500 goal seemed to grow even further away as our event grew closer.

I began religiously posting our online donation site to my Facebook page a week and a half before our 30 Hour Famine. I was certain that with a few well placed Bible verses, I could totally guilt people into giving. (Yes, I’m rather embarrassed to admit that!) Much to my amazement, donations began rolling in! My FB posts did indeed catch the attention of a few of my friends and family, but a large quantity of the donations were coming in my students’ names. When I headed to the church that Friday, our online total was just shy of $1,000. I had no idea what to expect in cash and checks—many of the students had not mentioned whether or not they were doing any fundraising beyond online.

Again, God caught me in my skepticism, bringing in another several hundred dollars in offline donations. It was at this point I began feeling slightly guilty. Not only did I fail to believe in God’s mighty power, but I also failed to believe in my students.

It is currently one week past our 30 Hour Famine. With just a few donations that will be handed in tomorrow, our total is $2,545. My mind has been sufficiently blown. And even still, I find myself thinking about next year… terrified to set the goal at this year’s end total. “What if’s” are flying through my head like you wouldn’t believe. Apparently I don’t learn lessons too well! Is it time for me to stop looking at the enormity of these goals and look beyond to the enormity of our GOD? Yeah. I think it is.


Kayt Hughes is the youth director at Stewartson United Methodist Church in Pennsylvania. She shared her story on Facebook last week and blew us all away with her honesty and trust. Kayt studied at Messiah College and just turned 25.