By Tess Cassidy
During a recent sermon in church, the pastor mentioned world hunger. Suddenly I perked up from my peaceful, relaxed state. My passion for fighting world hunger and poverty started to consume my mind. My focus faded from the pastor’s words as I began to reflect on what world hunger means to me.
Fighting world hunger and poverty is more than just a lofty proposition carelessly tossed around; it is part of my identity. It’s a topic that gets me going. You know, one of those topics that the person you are speaking with can tell there’s more than plain conversation behind your words–there’s heart.
As I reflect now on my passion for fighting world hunger, I find it hard to imagine who I would be without it. I did my first 30 Hour Famine when I was twelve. The 30 Hour Famine provided an avenue for me to learn the real facts and have the real feelings of hunger. It gave me leadership and public speaking experience as I became the student leader of the 30 Hour Famine at my church for three years. I then received the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia on the Study Tour in 2013. There, I met incredible people on the other side of the world that were not only living, but thriving because of funds raised by people like me. Last fall I ran my first marathon with Team World Vision in support of clean water in Africa. I hope to some day work for World Vision or a similar organization.
When I was a hungry 12-year-old doing the Famine, I had no clue the impact it would have on my life. Without a doubt, I know God placed the 30 Hour Famine at my church to reach me.
I can’t begin to express how thankful I am for my youth group leaders that chose to put on the Famine that year, and continue to do so. Even more, the utmost thanks goes to the Famine Team at World Vision. Without their passion and drive to mobilize youth on this issue, the resources would never exist for us to do the 30 Hour Famine. I am amazed every day by the drive, commitment, and effort each member of the team puts in to make this a national movement.
Thank you youth leaders around the nation that choose to put in endless hours of preparing and holding a 30 Hour Famine for your group. I know it’s an exhausting process, but you are making more than just an impact to hungry children. You are sparking understanding and passion in your youth. You’re exposing them to the world–a world they can help transform. You are on the front lines with the potential of impacting youth for life. Your hard work is building the compassionate leaders of tomorrow.
Youth leaders and Famine Team alike, never stop planning, sharing information, and sparking passions. I’m a living example of your impact.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.