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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Hungry Teens, a Good Spirit

I think a youth pastor hopes the following things will happen when his or her church hosts an event that involves other churches.

(1) The youth pastor (YP) wants to see a lot churches bring a lot of kids.
- We are hosting 30-Hour Famine and one group who brought a bunch kids last year couldn't come this year; another which also brought a crowd last year dropped out at the last minute; and, two others brought less kids than they thought they would.

(2) The YP wants everything at the church to work.  
- Our video system, which we were counting on for three videos during the Friday night program, went out.  Not only was it not available, but the people who lead worship on Sundays are going to be mad and take it out on the youth leaders.

Not a great beginning and yet, it has been a great weekend thus far.  The kids are fasting to gain an understanding of hunger.  From Noon Friday to supper time on Saturday, the teenagers are going without eating.  Usually at a Friday night youth event there would be pizza and snacks.  Last night we had juice.  And our kids had a great spirit.

Our speakers did a wonderful job of being engaging.  They did not miss a beat when the video system went down.  They were interesting and kept the attention of the middle school and high school students.  One of the speakers, Tamara Baker, works for an important organization that you should check out - No Kid Hungry NC

The other speakers, Randy and Jon, both of First Baptist Hillsboro, were funny and fun and serious all at the same time.  Which is good because this entire weekend is all of that funny and fun (teenagers at church on a Friday night; this should be funny and fun); but we're gathered to pray for the hungry, raise money for the hungry, and appreciate the pain the hungry in the world have to deal with.  Jon shared how researching the experience of hungry people in Haiti changed him.  Randy, a pastor, shared how he was humbled on an experienced preaching in Cuba where his hosts, themselves extremely poor, served him their ration of food for a day.  He didn't realize they were completely giving their meal so he could be treated as a proper guest.  

These stories and others gripped the hearts of the kids from the three churches in attendance.  They were fully into all that was shared.  These teenagers took everything to heart.  They could be out partying, drinking, into self-absorbed, destructive happenings, but no.  They are at church, praying for hungry people.  Today, without having eaten, they will do service projects to help the church and the community.  

One other element that really made the night last night - the band.  Surrounding Jericho is really good  Please check them out and book them.  They have great hearts.  They love Jesus and they are talented.  

The 30-Hour Famine ( is a wonderful event and it thrills me when our church does it and does it with passion.  

We also appreciate Chik-Fil-A ( for helping us break the fast by giving us a great deal on food for the kids that we will enjoy this afternoon.  We pray for kids in Orange County and Chapel Hill, across North Carolina and around the world.  Many are not on a 30-hour fast as a youth event.  For many this hunger is a way of life and it affects all areas of life but especially growth and learning.  I hope you will respond to the still small voice of God that is speaking into your heart right now.  I hope you will get involved in fighting hunger wherever you live.

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