30 Hour Famine Profile – Stephanie Warner


by Jen Bradbury 

steph warner famineA junior at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Stephanie Warner is majoring in biology and global health. While in high school, Stephanie was active in her church’s youth ministry and a part of it’s student leadership team. She’s a 30 Hour Famine veteran, having participated in the Famine every year during high school.

30HF: When did you first participate in the Famine?

Stephanie: My freshman year of high school in February 2010.

30HF: What made you decide to participate in the Famine?

Stephanie: I remember hearing about the Famine when I was younger and being excited to participate in it when I was in high school.

30HF: You did the Famine four times. Why did you keep participating in it year after year?

Stephanie: I kept doing the Famine because it was fun and I got to hang out with my friends during it. I also liked the challenge of fundraising for it. Knowing that every dollar would help feed one child for one day made it easier to ask friends and neighbors for donations because every little bit helped.

30HF: What was your most memorable Famine experience?

Stephanie: Breaking the fast through communion. After we had worshipped together and shared our Famine experiences with members of our congregation, we had communion. It was a tangible reminder of God’s provision for us both physically, through the bread, and spiritually, through Jesus’s body.

30HF: What did you learn from the Famine about fasting?

Stephanie: Fasting is hard. It’s hard to give up something that you’re used to having easy access to, like food. Every time my stomach would growl, though, it was a physical reminder of who the Famine was for. It was a reminder to pray for the children we were raising money to feed.

30HF: What did you learn from the Famine about poverty & global hunger?

Stephanie: I think the individual stories of children suffering from hunger were most impactful. Hearing or reading about these children put a face on hunger and made it not just an issue on the other side of the world. These stories taught me that hunger is a very real issue that children much younger than I was and are forced to face. It would be easy to imagine that most hungry people are adults and that children are always well-fed but the Famine taught me that isn’t the case.

30HF: How have your Famine experiences continued to impact your faith & your understanding of justice?

Stephanie: I know that we live in a world that is broken and not fair. That’s why there are children around the world suffering from hunger. But we are also loved by a just God who calls us to practice justice. I continue to practice justice by learning more about hunger and other world issues, praying for these issues, and serving locally and globally.

30HF: What would you say to a student who’s trying to decide whether or not to participate in the Famine?

Stephanie: Do it! 30 hours might seem like a long time to go without food but at the end of it, you can eat again and you’ll know more about hunger and ways you can help. Also, you grow closer to the people you’re fasting with and to God through the Famine.

30HF: What advice would you give youth workers who are planning their group’s Famine?

Stephanie: Challenge youth to make the Famine their own. Have them pray during the Famine for a child World Vision is currently helping and continue to pray for that child afterwards. Set a goal that they should raise a certain amount or have a certain number of donors besides parents. If they put in effort before or after the event, it’s no longer just 30 hours but a way through which they can continue to grow in their faith and passion for justice.