Youths fast for 30 hours

Church members aim to tackle poverty

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Thirty hours without food and a weekend of work isn't many teenagers' idea of a good time.

But 40 local youths seem to think it is.

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First Christian Church is sponsoring a 30 Hour Famine fundraiser Friday and Saturday and has drawn at least 40 high school and middle school students to participate.

Students will eat their last meal at noon Friday and fast -- they can drink water or juice -- until 6 p.m. Saturday.

The students spend Friday night at the church, then wake up Saturday to a full day of community service projects. This year's projects include painting houses, cleaning and hauling furniture.

The 30 Hour Famine is a project of World Vision, a Christian relief organization whose goal is to tackle poverty worldwide.

Participants raise a minimum of $30 to participate in the famine. Some have raised hundreds, though.

Tammy Rogers, First Christian Church member and youth group sponsor, said last year participants raised $3,000.

This year, monies raised go to help children and their families in Africa, and a percentage stays in Craig via Love In the Name of Christ.

"Basically, for every $30 we raise, it's a month of food for a child," Rogers said.

She said the famine is a way for youths to understand the hunger and poverty people in other parts of the world experience.

"The whole point is that they can see how people and children in other worlds have no choice -- they don't get to eat," Rogers said.

The experience is an enjoyable one, though, she said.

"I'm surprised at how much (the students) like it," she said. "It's pretty hard. Boy, about noon, it gets really tough."

And by Saturday evening, it's even tougher.

"By that time, the food really smells good inside the church," she said.

Before eating, the students participate in a worship service with prayer and music by the church's youth band.

Then the students get to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

For more information on the 30 Hour Famine, visit www.30hourfamine.org or call First Christian Church at 824-6024.

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