SPRINGFIELD—First Baptist Church here joined many other churches across the nation Feb. 26-27 in the “30-hour famine,” an international youth movement sponsored by World Vision. The goal is to fight world hunger by giving young people a taste of what it is like to be hungry.
Jaron Humiston, a sophomore at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, is interim youth director for First Springfield. He experienced the “30-hour famine” while he was in high school and it made a profound impression on him. He wanted to share it with the youth at First Springfield. Jaron, a native of Camdenton, is majoring in youth ministry and psychology.
The last meal for the 14 participants in this “30-hour famine” was their Friday lunch at school. After that they could have water and some fruit juice until 7 p.m. on Saturday when they celebrated with breakfast waffles. Humiston said it is necessary to have some water and fruit juice because their bodies would not be prepared for total fasting and he did not want anyone facing a health issue.
The emphasis of the weekend was awareness and also involved service to others. As a part of their weekend, the young people cleaned the yard of one of the church members and also cleaned around the church buildings. They also had a coin drive and raised over $1,300 to go to feed hungry people.
The students built their own “shacks” from cardboard and slept in these Friday night.
On Friday evening they held a candlelight service. They began with 138 lighted candles with all the other lights in the gym off. For an hour the students sat quietly and alone. One candle was blown out every 7 seconds to represent someone who had just died from hunger related issues. The students all said they enjoyed the weekend and developed a much better understanding of what it means to go hungry. One said, “God really opened all of our eyes about what we could do to help and how big a problem famine is.”
Senior Pastor Michael Overton said, “The 30-hour famine was a great weekend for our students. They approached it with great enthusiasm as if approaching a lock-in. But following the famine, a sense of humility and joy could be seen on their expressions. They were physically and mentally made aware to some degree of the great physical needs in our world. I pray now that they will be more compassionate to the needs of many and serve as the hands and feet of Christ.”