A 30 Hour Famine?

What's a 30 Hour Famine? Only in the U.S. would we call not eating for 30 hours a famine - in most of the rest of the world that's called a Tuesday (and a little bit of Wednesday). We are so blessed here in the United States that it's hard to even imagine what terms like 'hunger' and 'starvation' mean but how do we get to know a little bit more? How do we understand? What can we do? For the last 24 years World Vision has sponsored a program for youth called the 30 Hour Famine. It's purpose is to raise money and awareness for those in the world that go to bed hungry every day. That's one in eight of us - or 842 million. Last night that number was 842,000,026. Will I go to bed hungry a second night this week? No, but for a day I got to feel what it was like for my stomach to be in pain from hunger, to wake up in the night trying to figure out why I was uncomfortable.

This year was the first time our church youth group participated in the 30 Hour Famine and I can honestly say we learned a lot. We learned 'hunger facts', we heard real stories about how access to clean water, health care and jobs can transform communities. More importantly we learned that we can make a difference. Not some theoretical difference but we can save real lives - and we did.

Here are some quick facts:

There is enough food in the world for every child...but malnutrition still leads to half of under-5 deaths.

Each year, 3 million children under age 5 die as a result of malnutrition.

18,000 children under 5 are dying every day

18,000 children under 5 years old die every day - almost half of them due to preventable illness and malnutrition. World Vision and other charities are out on the front lines - and they let us be there with them. They calculate that it costs about $35 a month to feed a person (yes, that includes all of the overhead, administration, etc.). A little more that $1 a day can save a live. Our youth group raised over $10,000 this year - that's 285 people that will eat for an entire month. We saved 285 lives. How often do you get to say that?

The news, overall, is good as long as we can keep the trend going - and could be great if we make it a priority. Check this out:

The number of kids dying from preventable causes like hunger and disease is dropping every year.

Let's keep it going!

Peace,

Bob

* All infographics and charts are reprinted from World Vision.