The GOOD NEWS about Hunger!


By Chris McKenna

surpriesd ladyThat subject line was a really unusual statement to type. Good news about hunger? Seriously? YES! Let me explain.

Our church has held the 30 Hour Famine for years with just our middle school students, leaving a big chunk of leadership and planning for the Famine to an amazing, invested group of high school leaders. Just a few nights ago, I was white-boarding ideas for our upcoming Famine in March with these leaders. Amanda, one of my soon-to-graduate seniors, piped up and said, “Hey, Chris, do you remember when I was in middle school and we did that ‘blow the candle out’ thing every three seconds all around the room, with each snuffed flame representing one life that ends due to hunger?

I did. I remember the experience very clearly as we stood shoulder-to-shoulder around the perimeter of the sanctuary. It was intense, and she hasn’t forgotten it. And, since it has been seven years, we felt it was safe to “recycle” this experience for our Friday devotion time. I was satisfied! I knew it was going to be powerful.

Then Emmarie spoke up. She’s a junior and I could tell there was something on her mind.

Why wouldn’t we RELIGHT the candles representing how many lives their fundraising has SAVED? I mean, there are kids who are going to LIVE because of the Famine, right?

I froze. She was absolutely right. I’m just as guilty as the next youth pastor – I love to throw around big, gaudy figures about hunger-related deaths and show videos of kids suffering from malnutrition. There’s nothing wrong with this information because it’s true. But, Emmarie was pointing out the fact that I’ve only been telling part of the story.

This year, we’re going to be much more intentional about throwing around HOPE-FILLED, audacious figures about LIFE!

Emmarie is right! Because of our little 30-hour Famine, there will be human beings walking this planet! Life saved! Hearts beating! Children laughing! Smiles that need no translation! Families and communities transformed! And, not just surviving, but THRIVING under the careful and deliberate care of World Vision’s child sponsorship and Area Development Projects all over the world, where their stomachs and their souls will be filled. “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” (John 10:10 MSG)

Thousands of human beings will have an opportunity to experience this “more and better life” because of the 30 Hour Famine. Immediately, my mind was whisked back to San Juan de Tipín in the mountains of Ecuador. In September 2014 I was there with a World Vision Team where I saw a colorful, vibrant community teeming with life.

This, my friends is the GOOD NEWS about hunger! It was a fantastic reminder that I must do a much better job at telling the rest of the story. This year, we will focus on LIFE. Will you join me?