30 Hour Famine 2009 Follow-up Day 1

Ridgeview Church's purpose is the be a bridge of God's love to all people so that they may experience His purpose for their lives. This weekend's primary goal was to be a bridge of God's love to our community, but it was also our intention that the students learn about what God has done for them through experience.

This is our 2nd year doing the http://www.30hourfamine.org/ with RidgeStudents. The idea is, sponsors give 1 dollar for each hour the student goes without food. Children in many areas throughout the world, can be fed, educated and sheltered, for 30 dollars. Here is a breakdown of what we were able to accomplish during our 30 hours.

The students ate their lunches at school, roughly around 12:00 noon Friday April 24. Some of the guys have an early lunch, so they ate at 11:15. Those 45 minutes were a killer the following day.

We met at the church office at 5:00pm, and spent some time talking about what the next 24 or so hours would entail. This years group was smaller, and more mobile than groups of year's past. We had 6 students involved throughout the weekend. Some of them were unable to spend every second with us, because of work and school sports, but they were involved nonetheless. We had all guys involved as well, which was something I have never had happen before. I missed the girls, but this was a cool way to experience the famine, and an awesome opportunity for male bonding.

We arrived at the Miracle Hill Boys Shelter at 5:30, and they had a long list of projects for us to do. For some reason, just as we were pulling up the boys in the shelter were occupied "carrying" a ping pong table to the dumpster. They had broken it in a fight earlier in the week, which was a shame, because whoever donated the thing had bought a really nice one. These boys absolutely destroyed it in the process, of "carrying" it to the dumpster. Some of our guys wanted to intervene, because the only thing broken on the table were the legs, and what was left of the table could have been salvaged pretty easily.But, we were pretty much too late. It was an interesting way to start the weekend.

We were given a laundry list of things to do at the shelter, including cleaning their 8 bathrooms, policing the grounds, scrubbing down their industrial oven, organizing their large food pantry, sweeping the basketball courts, organizing the clothes donation closet, cleaning the classrooms, living room, and kitchen. We were able to work continuously from 5:30 to about 8:45. It was a great effort by everyone there.

One of our guys were mistaken for someone else by one of the boys at the shelter. He insisted that if we came into his house, our guy was gonna get beat up... Needless to say, we did not allow that to happen, and this kid realized that he had mistaken our guy for someone else. Most of the boys in the shelter were very friendly, but there were a few who didn't seem to respond well to us trying to serve them.

Around 9:30pm we arrived at Lookup Lodge were we would be spending the night. We built a cardboard village out on one of their ball fields, so that we could experience what it is like to sleep like homeless person. Clint is one of the staff members at Lookup Lodge. He is as close to Grizzly Adams as I have ever met in real life. He is also one of the strongest Christians I have ever met. He took us out on a night hike, carrying a lantern in one hand, and a machete in the other to clear the trail. He brought us up to the top of a large hill where the trees cleared out into an open field under a bright starry sky.

Clint turned of the lantern, and with the machete in his hand proceeded to tell the students; "The reason I brought you up here tonight, away from all the activity, on a trail you might never find again,... is to kill you." One of my guys laughed nervously, but the rest of them were pretty sure Clint was telling them the truth. It was a beautiful thing. He had their absolute undivided attention in that moment. He gave a great devotional about following the Light, Jesus Christ. Then we returned to our cardboard village.

After some basketball, we called it a night and crashed in our cardboard homes, which were surprisingly comfortable at the end of a long day.

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