By Mel Stefaniuk
This article was in today’s Clipper newspaper.
The Beausejour Community Church’s youth group got a taste of hunger on May 22 and 23 when they participated in this year’s 30 Hour Famine.
For decades, humanitarian organization World Vision has helped host 30 Hour Famine events in dozens of countries around the world. The event raises money and awareness for world hunger as children fund raise on behalf of World Vision in the community before going without food themselves to better understand and empathize with the suffering that many children in other parts of the world may endure during a famine.
World Vision has reported that 805 million people around the world – one-ninth of the global population– suffer from chronic hunger and do not get enough food to conduct an active life.
This year marked the fifth time the church’s youth group has gotten involved with the event. “It helps give the kids a sense of the global community they belong to and their ability to help those who may be facing troubles within it,” Pastor Chris Jordan said.
The youth group began their fast at 8:30 a.m. on Friday and ended it at 2:30 p.m. the next day. Throughout the night they played games, watched movies and learned more about the issue at hand thanks to resources provided by World Vision.
“I feel sorry for those who go hungry so hopefully we’ll be able to help to get them a little bit of food,” youth group member Matthew Bartel said of his reason for getting involved with the fast. “I’ve done 30 Hour Famine before but it doesn’t get any easier. I’m still as hungry as ever.”
Late on Friday night, the kids were treated to an acoustic performance from members of the Winnipeg-based rock band Bold as Lions. Husband and wife duo Sean and Karli Quigley spent the day traveling to 30 Hour Famine events held throughout the region to show support for the youth groups fasting.
As part of the fund raising for the event, the youths participating took donations going door-to-door and from friends and family, raising a total of $500 which will be sent to World Vision to aid in their relief work.
“Our themes at the church this year have been social justice and mercy and an event like this manages to say something about both topics. A lot of good can be done with compassion for others,” Pastor Jordan said.