I just finished my first 30 Hour Famine and this is what I learned


Shawn Kiger, Lane Memorial United Methodist Church, Altavista, VA

Shawn Kiger & Brian MateerI don’t know why I haven’t done this before! As you read in my last blog I have been reluctant to do the 30 Hour Famine for a while now. But now that we just finished our first one I am so glad we did it.

Here are a few things I learned from my first famine.

My students really will get excited about fundraising. We don’t do very many fundraisers and I always thought my youth wouldn’t be excited about it. But give them a cause they believe in and they will be all about it! I was very proud and surprised by all of my students’ fundraising efforts.

A community service project is a great addition. We split up into two groups; half helped plant a community garden, and the other half helped install a wheelchair ramp on a person’s house. Doing hands-on mission while we are learning about missions around the world is a great idea!

The 30 Hour Famine materials are engaging and informative, especially the Tribe games. My students loved the challenges and competing against each other all while learning about hunger around the world. This was a highlight of our time together.

I learned that the Tribe games take preparation. This is something I will be better at next year. Things went well but I think they would have gone even better if I had prepared a little more. The materials they give you are great, you just need to know the materials well.

Having communion with the entire church at the end of the 30 hours is a great way to break the fast. This is something my students requested and it really was a powerful way to end the fast and a great way to include the entire congregation in what we were doing.

My students didn’t complain about being hungry. It was cool to see the students encouraging each other as the night went along. It really was a “we are all in this together and we can do it” kind of attitude.

These are just a few things I learned. It has been just over 24 hours since we finished our Famine so I am still processing it all. But I know this: it was well worth the time and effort. My students grew closer together as a group, grew in their understanding of world hunger, had fun even without eating, helped our community, and raised over $2,000 for World Vision.

It is awesome to see what teenagers can do when given a cause they are excited about!