It might sound a little crazy to hear that your child is giving up food for 30 hours. But we've walked literally millions of students through this — and it's a life-changing experience.
Here are answers to some questions you might have (and if you've got more, feel free to contact your group leader or give us a call!).
Pray. Pray for your teen, their youth group, their leaders and volunteers, and the hungry kids whose lives will be changed through their efforts.
Spread the word. Post your child’s online fundraising page across all of your social media sites and email it to all of your friends and family.
Read the student materials (and ask your child if they’ve read ’em!).
Become a fasting buddy. Support your student by fasting alongside them (not necessarily from food). A shared experience can open up new avenues of conversation!
Host a fundraiser. Ask if you can help run and/or support fundraising activities leading up to Famine weekend.
Volunteer. If you’re a youth ministry veteran, you’ll have a blast. And if you’ve never been involved, the Famine is a great, easy way to give it a try.
Just ask your student’s leader! From minivan driving to event prep to cooking the break-the-fast meal, there’s a huge variety of ways you can help ensure that the Famine is a life-changing experience for participants.
For most people, going without food for 30 hours is perfectly safe. There are a few exceptions — like kids under 12, the elderly, pregnant or nursing women, and people with certain medical conditions or eating disorders. The Famine is a juice fast, which means students are provided by their Famine leader with plenty of water and juice throughout the 30 hours. Some groups are more strict with their fasting than others, so check with the group leader to see exactly what they plan to provide for the students.
If you have any questions or concerns about fasting, check with a doctor before your student participates. Or, if a traditional fast won't work for your student, that's ok — we know it isn't possible for everyone. You can still encourage them to fast from something else, like technology, sleeping on a mattress, or drinking anything besides water. It will still be a good experience, even if they have to sneak away from the group to scarf down a sandwich!
I'm a believer in miracles — I see them all the time. Miracles of birth, miracles in nature, miracles in conversion. Our 30 Hour Famine experiences have been filled with what seemed like a never-ending supply of the miraculous. I should expect it by now, but each year I am still transported to that place of awe in the power of Christ and the way our teens become His hands and feet.
BOB FERRETTI | Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, St. Joseph Church, Hillsborough, NJ
Our goal is to give our students a weekend experience from a global perspective that leads to life transformation. Through the fasting, videos that open eyes, time in worship, God’s Word and prayer, and through serving opportunities, our students were rightly challenged and impacted by their 30-hour experience. Most continue to talk about what they learned and how they feel they can make a difference for those in need.
TODD VELEBER | Student Pastor, Wildwood Church
A lot of my students have been doing the Famine for the past several years and really love the experience and community that is developed over the 30 hours. We had a lot of fun together, got to do something that really makes a difference for good in the world, and opened up God’s Word together, learning more about his heart of love and mercy to the world and especially to those in need. I love to hear the kids sharing and processing what they discover when they open God’s Word.
NICK | Emmanuel Lutheran Church