The Republican Herald

Youths fasting to help combat global hunger

- BY WES CIPOLLA CORRESPOND­ENT

ASHLAND — Starting Friday, eight young people will fast for 30 hours at Ashland’s Good Shepherd Lutheran Church to raise money to combat world hunger.

According to the Rev. Dana Heckman- Beil, in that time 7,000 children will have died from hunger and hunger-related conditions.

“We will grow closer to Christ and each other,” Heckman- Beil, church pastor, said about the activity known as the 30- Hour Famine. “What’s more, when we do the famine, our students are challenged to be part of something bigger than themselves, t o per manently change the way they see the world.”

The event will raise money for World Vision, a Christian charity that provides shelter, health care and emergency response, especially in developing countries.

After lunch on Friday, the eight participan­ts will not eat again until 6 p. m. Saturday, following a 24- hour sleepover inside the church.

As they fast, they will play games and do food- related activities to learn about poverty and food insecurity.

“It’s something fun to do, and it’s nice knowing that it’s for a good cause,” said London White, who has participat­ed in the 30- Hour Famine for three years.

“It opens your eyes that we are blessed and really lucky to have all these things,” she said.

The 12- year- old says that the secret is to steer the conversati­on away from food.

“You get hangry,” she said, using a portmantea­u of “hungry” and “angry.” “I know most of us do.”

Good Shepherd even gives out mock awards when the event is over, like “loudest stomach growl” and “most complainin­g.”

“It makes me realize the situation for other countries that don’t have the same stuff as us,” said participan­t Isaac Locke, 14. “Even with the small amount that we do, it does help people.”

Isaac has been doing the 30- Hour Famine for a halfdozen years, and said it has gotten easier each year.

The hardest part for participan­ts may be not letting hunger affect their attitudes.

“I’m just hoping nobody is going to get sick from hunger, get sick of each other or fight,” London said. “That has yet to happen, but there’s always a first.”

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