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The Famine Blog

Serving Locally & Giving Globally


Overseas mission trips have long been a staple of youth ministry. As a kid, I grew up building houses inMexicowith my youth group and led many trips to the same area when I became a youth leader. Every year it was the same—flight fromSeattletoSan Diego, (except for the one year we took a train: lesson learned), rent a huge white van, and drive across the border intoTijuana. We’d spend the week in massive army tents, building houses from chicken wire & stucco, and singing songs around a campfire. It brought us closer to God, created lasting memories, and made a difference—albeit a temporary difference—in the lives of people in Tijuana.

Over the last few years, I (along with others in the youth ministry world) have been re-thinking this mission trip model. The 30 Hour Famine Team is frequently asked why we don’t offer overseas mission trips. Here are some of the questions that fill my mind as I try to answer:

Shane & Shane perform Liberty Song




Last month Christian artist duo Shane & Shane did a performance at the 30 Hour Famine booth at the Youth Specialties conference in San Diego. Here Shane & Shane perform ‘Liberty Song’. Shane & Shane are from Texas and are well known for their acoustic praise and worship music.

How to: Socially-Conscious Halloween tips


Happy Friday everyone! So, you’re probably aware of the holiday that is right around the corner, candy-crazed, spooky Halloween. In the Christian faith, Halloween is often a highly controversial topic. Some believe that the origins of Halloween are too dark and sinister to participate in the holiday while others think of it as a fun, harmless tradition.

If you are Halloween-ing this year, the 30 Hour Famine team wants to educate and equip you to have a socially conscious Halloween. Here are 2 ways you can enjoy the holiday, while keeping the environment, and others, in mind.

30 Hour Famine history: It’s always been about transforming lives


Just a couple kids in Canada:
World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine has been fighting the pangs of hunger across the globe since the early 70’s. The first Famine event took place in Alberta, Canada when a group of students refused to sit back and do nothing while 36,000 hunger-related deaths happened daily. In 1971, these students created a local event, encouraging others to fast for 30 hours to raise money and awareness about global hunger. After that initial event, their infectious passion caught the attention of students and leaders around the world who wanted to learn more about global hunger and their potential role in changing it.

Dadaab Refugee Camp: Experience it for yourself


Horn of Africa Famine Update

Watch this video for a glimpse into Kenya’s Dadaab Refugee Camp. There are no special effects, no music, no editing. Just raw footage from the world’s largest refugee camp. We invite you to experience—as best as you can thousands of miles away—what life is currently like for the 500,000 refugees in Dadaab. Take a walk in their shoes. See the children, the filth, the tents and the barren landscape. Experience the place hundreds of thousands call ‘home.’

Moving FWD: USAID and World Vision


USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah paid a visit to World Vision US headquarters in Washington this week. The USAID is the United States Agency for International Development and this government organization has been leading global humanitarian and development work on behalf of the U.S. for more than 50 years. USAID works to support long term programs that provide economic growth, agriculture, health, development, conflict resolution, and emergency assistance to people and communities in need all around the world. Shah came to us to address the involvement of faith based organizations (i.e. World Vision) in international development, discuss the current drought and famine in the Horn of Africa, and strengthen the partnership between USAID and World Vision. Shah also thanked World Vision for the important work we’re doing, and recognized that most long term development work happening in the world could not be done without groups like us leading the charge. It was truly an honor to receive this gratitude from him personally.

What We’re Reading: Crazy Love


Here in the 30 Hour Famine office, we’ve been reading Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God, written by Francis Chan. As the founder and teaching pastor of California’s Cornerstone Church, Chan has led his church to some pretty crazy decisions—some of which have turned heads around the world. However, to Chan, these decisions weren’t shocking nor extravagant, they were simply a mark of obedience to God. More on that later, but first, a brief glimpse into Crazy Love.

Finding God in a Tech Filled World


I want to throw my phone out the window. I want Facebook to disappear. I want Twitter to crash permanently.  I hate how compulsive I am about checking my phone for a new text.  I hate it because while I do this, my buddy Jackson sits across the table from me as I pay more attention to my phone than my friend.

My preoccupation with my phone has infiltrated every part of my life…even spiritually. The last time I prayed, I turned on the lamp in my cool, dark room and knelt beside our well worn futon. With warm, yellow light gently falling on the pages of Psalms, I began to pray. I thought with subtle whispers, “Father, I…”

EMAIL! I’ve got to check my email. I forgot to send something to someone. Holy cow!  This is important and I must put God on hold, drop everything, and send that email NOW.

Country Profile: Mongolia


Famine funds are making a real impact for children and families – helping to feed and care for hungry kids across the globe. This year, you can designate your Famine funds to several different countries around the world. We’ll highlight some of these places in our upcoming Country Profile posts. You’ll get a brief, but interesting look at each country, learn about it’s unique culture, and see how World Vision has been making a difference for the hungry children and families who live there.

Mongolia is located between China and Russia and is just slightly smaller than Alaska.

The Story the Photos Will Never Tell


Earlier this summer, 3o Hour Famine Team member Michele, traveled to the Dadaab Refugee Camp in North Eastern Kenya with a World Vision videographer and photographer to document the impact of the Famine in the Horn of Africa. Today, she shares on the World Vision US Blog what it’s like to look past the pictures we’ve seen from the Famine and actually take part in an individual’s pain, joy, and struggles.

“Someone once said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but as I sit here looking through photos from my recent trip to the Horn of Africa, I don’t think that’s true.

This picture is of Falima, a 25 year old Somalian who recently entered the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Northeastern Kenya. She is holding her son, Abdullah, while her three year old daughter, Faryhiya, hides behind her.”

Read about the story behind this picture on the World Vision Blog.