Changing For the Better


By Katie Swift

Change can be hard, but it can be so worth it. The 30 Hour Famine is going through a little change itself – moving onto a new team with some new folks working on it – and I think it’s going to be a change for the better for this program. The Famine has been on so many different teams, with so many wonderful people working on it over the years, but I think this shift is going to be really good.

I should probably introduce myself – I’m one of those lucky people who now gets to work on the 30 Hour Famine! I’m Katie Swift, and I’m so excited to serve as the new 30 Hour Famine National Director. I feel like this job has been decades in the making for me. I did the 30 Hour Famine for the first time as a student almost 20 years ago, and it was one of the first things in my life that opened my eyes to God’s call to care for the poor. I believe that my 30 Hour Famine experience strongly influenced my decision to study development aid in college, to study abroad in Ghana (a little less popular than a semester in Europe!), and to eventually go on to work for World Vision and the 30 Hour Famine. In my seven years at World Vision, this is actually my third time to be on the Famine Team! In between those times, I’ve been working in other areas of the organization, learning a lot about the work we do, both in the field with the children we serve, and in the US with the churches and families that we partner with to do God’s work in this world.

As a teenager doing the Famine, God broke my heart for the poor and called me to do what I could to care for the most vulnerable in our world. I know from experience that the 30 Hour Famine can be a transformational experience for youth – one that will inspire them, challenge them, bring them closer to God, and possibly even influence the trajectory of their lives like it did for me. I am so excited to be working in a role where I can help steward that experience for your youth.

I know it might seem like we’re always changing things up with this team. We are constantly working to improve our organizational efficacy, and sometimes that involves moving teams around to different places in the organization. This time, the 30 Hour Famine team is moving to where it has belonged all along – the Church Team (seems like a no-brainer, right?)! I am so excited about how this change will improve the program. We’ll have more people working on Famine than we have in the last few years, which means more creative ideas, more out-of-the box thinking, and more support for you as a youth leader! This change will also allow us some much-needed synergy with our other church programs, which will hopefully help your whole church be more engaged with what God is doing through your youth group and World Vision.

Even though we’re only a few weeks into this transition, we’re already working hard on getting the 2018 kit out the door to you and starting to brainstorm about 2019 and beyond! If you have ideas you want to share or feedback you think would be helpful as we work through this, please reach out. I would love to hear how the 30 Hour Famine has been transformational in your youth group, what you love, what we can do better, and whatever else you want to tell us!

Your dedication to your youth and to their spiritual transformation is so inspiring to me and our team. As I take on this role, my prayer is that we can equip you to disciple your youth, that the 30 Hour Famine will help your students grow closer to God and His heart for the poor, and that together we can bring hope (and food!) to the one in nine people in our world who are hungry.