30-Hour Famine Mt. Ellis Academy Students Raise Funds and Awareness to Help Fight Hunger

Students and faculty at Mt. Ellis Academy participated in a unique event—a famine—the weekend of Feb. 23–24. The famine, a 30-hour period of fasting, was an activity to raise awareness of hunger and poverty and a fundraiser for World Vision, an organization devoted to helping starving people worldwide. Our goal for each person was to raise $30, which will feed a child for a month.

More than 50 students and faculty participated in the famine and raised about $3,500—more than double our goal! The famine began right after lunch on Friday and ended at 6 p.m. Sabbath. Friday evening we met at the gymnasium and began to learn about worldwide hunger and starvation. We brought only what we could carry with us—many were without pillows or blankets.

That night we constructed our own shelters in the gym of cardboard boxes and newspapers and slept in our clothes. The night was cold and the floor very hard; we got a glimpse at what homelessness could be like. I was one of the few with a blanket, and was amazed to realize how thankful I was to have that one blanket.

That Sabbath morning was certainly an interesting one—no showers, no changes of clothes, no toothbrushes, no hairbrushes or any other luxuries. For breakfast we drank fruit juice. Then we all went to church, where several people shared what they had learned and experienced so far.

Sabbath afternoon we returned to the gym and divided into "tribes," in which several members were assigned various disabilities like being blind, not being able to speak, or having only one arm or leg. The tribes had to work together in games to win supplies (written on slips of paper), such as food, clean water and clothes.

Throughout the afternoon we listened to speakers from organizations dedicated to helping people in need. We closed the Sabbath and ended the famine with prayer, then enjoyed one of the best-tasting meals I've ever had!

Experiencing a taste of hunger and homelessness and hearing about the struggles so many people face every day to survive in countries torn by civil war and poverty opened my eyes to how much bigger this world is than my little corner. I understand better now what a ministry it can be to give—money, service, time—and how serving people can share Christ's love in a way that words are not capable of doing.

July 01, 2007 / Montana Conference