Sunday, February 5, 2012

I Love Sunday...

I usually love Sunday mornings. Today, I LOVED my Sunday morning. Listening to our teens share their hearts and what God did in their lives in 30 short hours made it all worth it. I firmly believe in investing in teens no matter how nuts they may make me at times (wasn't I a teen once too?). Why? Because they're not yet over-committed to anything. They've not yet committed to a career, a mortgage, a car payment or a certain life-style. They aren't "too busy" to come up with excuses as to why they can't do this or that - in fact, they think they can do anything. And, they CAN do anything! They're still exploring who they are and who they want to be.

I can't think of a better time to invest in someone's life than when someone is still trying to figure it all out. Besides, when I'm old(er), guess who will be running the country in which I live? I hope we would all consider how we can help our children - and even other people's children - seek out God's plan for their lives. After all, we only have 1 life. And God has a plan for every-1 of us.

This would be our youth & their fearless tribal leaders (thanks, Terry, Dave and Elisabeth - you were awesome!), sitting with all the donations that were collected in our community in less than 2 hours (Area 56 did their part, and 1/4 of this "loot" came from their efforts, too. Thank you Kris and Dean for helping them be part of this. Way to go Area 56'ers...we're very proud of you :o).

The Children's Justice Center, the Road Home, South Valley Sanctuary and the Lion's Club will be receiving these items this week. Thanks, Rebecca, for organizing this drive.

It seemed a little "odd", to say the least, that we ended our Famine with a church-wide dinner, but we did. However, I know that as we filled our bellies, every person in our church was 100% more aware of poverty -related issues in our world, and hopefully, 100% more committed to DO something about it. Well over 1/2 the room last night stood up when asked "How many of you have gone hungry for the past 30 hours?" How inspiring that the overwhelming majority chose to go others won't have to. Wow!

Thanks to the many families who brought food to feed our hungry teens. Thank you to Doug H. for taking down and setting back up the sanctuary for all of us. Thanks Stephanie S. and Sandy W. for coordinating the pot-luck, and a big thank you, to Melanie D. who made the "Famine Food" that World Vision and other organizations are bringing to other parts of the that is saving children's lives each and every day. Not sure how many of us tried out the food (I did), but I know we all learned how easy it is to make a difference. Can you imagine if every-1 at SMC did 1 thing for 1 person this year? I can!

So, as this event, and this blog, comes to an end, I'd hope that everyone who has been impacted will prayerfully consider what they can do to make a difference in the lives of children and families in our world. Children who know all too well what it feels like to be be be be be be be sold into slavery...

None of us can do everything...but we can ALL do something.
  • Sponsor a child
  • Serve at a food bank
  • Organize a food drive
  • Become a foster parent
  • Adopt a child
  • Support a family who will be adopting
  • Go on a missions trip
  • Attend groups and classes about injustice
  • Read the The Hole in Our Gospel
  • Support missionaries (financially & prayerfully)
  • Be part of next year's 30 Hour Famine

I don't know what God has in store for you - but it's probably bigger than you realize. All you have to do, is ask Him.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

.....................................THE FAMINE ENDS AT 6 PM WITH A POTLUCK AT THE CHURCH.

The youth spent the afternoon on a "scavenger hunt" collecting donations of many items including toys, blankets, toilet paper, clothing, coats, towels, diapers, detergent, sheets, and much more to be donated to the Children's Justice Center, Road Home, South Valley Sanctuary and Lion's Club.  After one and half hours, all 3 tribes came back with a lot of loot.  They were awarded points based upon their collections.

 Area 56er's joined us for the afternoon for challenges and collections.

 The fatigue of the event is starting to take its toll on the kids.

Here they are blogging.  They have really enjoyed being able to put down their feeling in words.

Here are comments from the youth:

I am drinking juice here with my friend Brianna....I kind of don't want this to end because i loved to spend time with all of my friends and get to know people....I have learned a lot about kids in Haiti and how they need help...I realized how spoiled we are here in the United States and I feel so selfish now.
-Shaylee =D

I got here this morning and so far I'm having so much. I enjoy spending time with my friends and learning about other people who are in need. I love all the games I've done so far. It's amazing that we act like we have nothing but to compared to so many people we have everything. I appreciate more of what I have now.

Woo! We just got back from the scavenger hunt and, the best team, (Me, NaTanya, Dave, Tayler, Quinn, Logan, Nash, Kallie, and Brianna) finished with 1, 280 points! We all got a ton of stuff to donate to the four charities. But we still won. So we are the best. Woo. ~Shelbihan

So far I'm starting to get really hungry, but I'm glad that I've experienced the 30 hour famine it's made me realize how much I have in my life, how children don't have any food at all, and there families are trying to survive there horrible situation. I'm so grateful that I participated and my tribe has really worked hard to get where we are. I'm so thankful that I'm involved.
-Markie Taylor

This has been such an amazing experience! I am so blessed to have this opportunity. I hope that this will help bring awareness to the suffering in Haiti and all other countries in the world. Watching that video on the children in I've always known there was hunger in the world, but seeing pictures of starving children made it real. I can't just pretend that this stuff isn't happening..because it is. ~Kenzie Harris

We played a game that was similar to Mad Gab where the kids learned how hard it is to speak when you don't know what someone is saying.  Then we learned about the importance of education and the lack of it for most kids in the world.

Next, the tribes had a challenge where they were given a small micro loan and had to protect their investment for the least amount of money.  We had Haitian Goude to purchase our items with, and each tribe had to protect their water balloon from being destroyed.  In the end, only one tribe was able to succeed.

 The tribes each show their finished project:

Winners!!!  Their leader looks tired  though.

Here are some more comments from the kids.  Thanks again for reading and for the support.

26 hours down and still not hungry, juice is very VERY filling -starr

I agree with u starr <3 - Shaylee!

The youth made flags for each of their tribes, and enjoyed a couple of challenges.  The first taught them about the drinking water condition in Haiti, and in the second challenge they learned about exploitation of children and orphans in third world countries.  They also watched a moving video on world hunger and spent time in discussion and journaling and praying together.


its been about 23 hours since i ate last. my stomach is just barely starting to get hungry. i can't imagine what the people in haiti go through. ~Kallie Tueller~

Nash: im hungry because the last time i ate is 23 hours ago....... bummer

All I want to say is that doing this has been hard, so I couldn't even imagine going 30 hours without eating and then only having like a handfull of rice and then having to do this again.....
~Tayler Lacey and Quinn Pfeifer with Markie to my right

I am hungry- Brendan Lacey

throughout this whole famine emotional towards what I've seen about the children in haiti, in the united states we have so much, but in other poor countries children don't have anything, I want to be more involved with helping this cause more everyday. eating without any food is very difficult but God is in  their hands to protect them.
Markie Taylor

I am tired but not hungry I think I am getting used to this and i can't wait to do this next year and i hope we can fast longer! =D
Shaylee T.

^^ LIES! Because I am hungry :( 23 hours and it's been a challenge most definitely. I can't imagine going 2-3 days without eating, then eating a spoonful of cattle feed... and then you just restart for maybe a longer period of time. I'm just speechless..
~Brooklyyn Ingalla

freaking starving, 23 hours... anyway, we played the hatian version of tag. If you get tagged, you get a card that says that you got kidnapped or trafficked, or something like that. realized that these things are very real.
-Ryan Griggs

hunger has started in it seems more tiring than since we stayed up till one in the morning - tyler was here

Here are some comments from the kids after a cold night on the floor.  They actually got a taste of what it feels like to go to bed hungry.  We'll have more pictures and updates of what is happening in a couple of hours.   Thanks again for your prayers and support.

To Kyle: Duh. We're all hungry. That's kinda the point. Love: Shelbihan
20 hours in, and I'm not very hungry. I started to get kinda hungry last night but it eventually wore off. Now I'm heavily craving some orange chicken from Panda Express. Love: Shelbihan

 hey guys so far its been 22 hours. I started to get hungry around the 8-9 hours but we just prayed and it went away. sleeping in the worship center is not as fun as you think by the way. //mikki (:

I've been fasting now for about 20 hours. It's hard to believe how many children go without food. I'm really glad to be a part of this because it has showed me what others feel everyday. I was feeling hungry and weak but I prayed and I started feeling better. I know that God can help me through this. Kate Dilley

It's great to see all the positive attitudes of all the youth here, even though hungry and uncomfortable we all continue to smile and have fun. It's amazing to live in the shoes of others even if it is just thirty hours, I know that we can all get through this as long as we keep our focus on the people in Haiti and God. -Joshua Jensen

It's been 20 hours and i don't even feel hungry yet. i just woke up and don't really care about anything. Love NaTanya Anderson
A late night...
(dont' worry, injuries talked about below are fictitious!)

Just when our three tribes started really bonding last night, the "earthquake" hit. For 35 seconds the structures they worked so hard to build, toppled, and the tribes they thought they would spend their 24 hours with, shifted. Each person became someone else, last night, and had to find a new 'family'...a new Tribe.

In the photos you'll see today, some of the kids will be bandaged up in some fashion. All but two were injured in the quake...but all were separated from their families for one reason or another. When we wake them up today, they will compete in the remaining 5 challenges to see which Tribe does a better job of surviving.

Friday, February 3, 2012

 First of all, we have really enjoyed the comments and are glad for your support.

Below, the youth spent over an hour working on a project to show how many children die in a 24 hour period.  One butterfly for every 10 seconds that a child dies.....8640 butterflies.  The visual certainly has an impact

Then their tribes were split up and reformed due to a simulated earthquake, and the kids gained a new identity along with new injuries that had to be tended to.  We are doing devotions now, and headed to bed soon for some much needed sleep before another big day tomorrow.

 We spent the last hours joining up into tribes, and doing our first challenge as teams.  We also watched a video followed by discussion and prayer time.  The youth are really learning a lot, and have been great participants despite their hunger.  They seem to be getting why we are doing what we are doing.  The youth have been encouraged to hear from the participants at home.


Here are a few more comments from some of the youth.:

I just saw this video about Haiti, about the earthquake. I have been studying 1 John lately, and a verse popped into my head, verse 3:16, that lead me to 3:17... "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?" -Ryan Griggs

Tebow-ing, not when you want to but when it is needed, someone  falls down the stairs and almost dies? that is a time to tebow, wanting a bag of chips? not time to tebow. Seeing people in Haiti dying? TTT Time To Tebow

~ Tayler Lacey and Quinn Pfeifer with commentary of Nash Ingalla and Brooke standing to my left

~ryan smith says:  woo chicks

"Hunger is my REMINDER."-Brooklyyn Ingalla. When you see the screaming, the crying, and the injuries in innocent children it makes you wonder, "Why not me?". We sit and watch and we feel bad, but what are we doing to stop this? Nothing. This is why i'm so passionate about this 30 hour famine, it's a time to remember. We are also reaching out to Haiti with are donations, this is why i'm proud to be fasting for 30 hours.

This is a quote from nate: I was planking in the background, it was fun. i could keep a serious face. haha. We won the cup stacking contest, no matter what all the other people say. WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS MY FRIENDS. DA DA DA, ILL KEEP ON FIGHTING TILL THE END, DA DA DA, I AM THE CHAMPION. i guess i am done now, everyone is being mean to me. this has been a quote from nate. :)

This has been such a life-changing time! I have had such an amazing time. Watching the feel so impacted. There was this part where there was a woman just screaming...I almost broke down. Well, I am so blessed to have this opportunity to help others. Remember: When there is nothing left to do, pray. -McKenzie Harris :)

I haven't eaten for about 10 hours so far and i'm getting hungry already. i keep thinking about the people in the world who have to be hungry for even longer periods of time because their isn't anything they can do about it. When we watched the video on Haiti it was really sad. their was a hospital with only 30 beds, and their were 350 people there. some were even on the floor. I feel really bad for them. and it makes me realize how much we have that lots of people don't.... ~Kallie Tueller~

Sid R. having fun.

Jared Hendren,  This  has been one of the best two days I have ever had. I have learned that we live a rich life even if we have nothing. Over in Haiti there is about ten times more people in a hospital then supposed to be with only thirty beds in them. We complain about a head ache, and head to the doctors office, Haiti people might go to the hospital for a broken bone but not always. So I have been supporting Haiti by fasting just for them and with God. By: Jared Hendren

The Amped youth arrived at SMC tonight already hungry as they have been fasting since 12:30 this afternoon.  We spent some time singing praises to God as our Teen Worship Group led, and then Todd led us in a devotional.  We also went over the ground rules, and watched a video and had discussion time together.  We have approximately 25 youth who have given up food and their weekend to come be in God's presence and to learn about the realities of hunger.

Here are a few comments from some of the youth.

Logan says hi

tyler says the hunger is starting

 without food there is no way to survive
Markie T.

doing what we're doing is helping us with sympathy for the people who have nothing. but in turn we prepare our selves before and not worry about serious effects after, because we will indulge in a feast. in order to feel the pain that true hunger brings, we should visit places with real problems and help them-starr

i am hungry right now but i realize that i am doing this for a really good reason and i am learning how hard it must be to live in the world starving and not being able to have food.

We will be doing an update again in a couple of hours.  Please feel free to comment and send your encouragement to the youth.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

With the 30 Hour Famine fast approaching, I thought it would be nice to share some behind the scene photos of our youth working hard to get things ready.

Jared & Tayler working hard on the t-shirts for the event.

Matthew and Alex making thousands of butterflies.

Hope everyone is as excited as we are. Don't forget to check our blog periodically on Friday and Saturday as we will have updates of the event throughout the day, and would love your feedback.