The Honest Truth About Our 30 Hour Famine Failure


By Amanda Leavitt

I have a confession to make: If the 30 Hour Famine were graded, my youth group would have received a big fat F. Not like, a just below a D kind of F, but the kind of F that never showed up for class nor did any assignments (even the extra credit assignments offered as penance), kind of F.

No one signed up for our first scheduled Famine. So, I took an availability survey. I rescheduled it. Then, two students agreed to come for half of it, and two more students agreed to come for all of it (they are brothers), and then none of them fundraised. I even made it easy by introducing the awesome online donation platform. So, I am going to reschedule it… again. Because, it’s worth it.

God-willing, God will direct me to a creative alternative to help my students engage with 30 Hour Famine, and we will find a time when a better portion of our youth ministry can make it out, and they hopefully will be more inspired to urge folks to give to feed hungry children. I am currently scratching my head a little bit over this.

People are very busy, fundraising is scary, and truth be told, sometimes I am not very creative. Is this you? Is anyone else in this boat? I would not usually confess this failure, right here, on the 30 Hour Famine’s own blog; but I know you are out there too, taking on the posture of “The Thinker,” maybe staring out your window, saying to yourself “This matters! How can I make this happen?” For some of us it’s the 30 Hour Famine, for others there may be something else you hope to inspire your students to experience.

Psalm 60. It’s a gem. It includes a nice section about how God will throw His shoe at ancient Israel’s enemy, Edom. I so appreciate that sentiment. Ever get so frustrated you just want to chuck your shoe at someone? I’ll make another confession: I have had that impulse.

At the end of Psalm 60 David requests that God “Give us help against those who hate us.” Then he admits, “For the help of man is worth nothing. With God’s help we will do well. And He will break under His feet those who fight against us.” When I read Psalm 60 – my brain conjures several enemies in my life that I’ve struggled to deal with, some painfully difficult people, but then also some regular ministry obstacles popped into my mind, like scheduling, which often actually feels like an enemy just as intimidating as an enemy in the flesh. So, I loved this word picture that Psalm 60 ends with, because there are our enemies before us and then God’s feet come right down from heaven and smash what intimidates us as he walks right over them. Scheduling, fundraising, a lack of creativity—whatever our “enemies” are, God just has to walk in, and what opposes us will be broken and “we will do well.”

My last confession is that I have never prayed about scheduling or my students’ fundraising energy or efforts because they seem trivial on the surface; like my own problem to solve. But, as you know, sometimes these small “enemies” wreak big havoc. I have not asked God to come into these battles and deal with these “enemies”. With the image of God’s big feet and big shoes in my mind, I am going to start praying.

Maybe as you’re reading you identify with me… I want to invite you to invite God to walk into these regular everyday battles over seemingly insignificant things like time; motivation; confidence; whatever stands in your path. Which non-people opponents currently have you scratching your head or frustrated, wanting to throw shoes? Get God in on the battle. God’s feet are way bigger than yours. God’s shoes are bigger too.