You have one life...do something, was the resounding theme of our weekend. I have been doing the 30 Hour Famine for many years, this year's was perhaps one of the best. God spoke, we listened, we were changed.
The weekend began with a Portland-wide rally held at Beaverton Christian Church, in which I had the privilege this year of emceeing. What an awesome sight to see 1,000 students come together from different churches and backgrounds to seek and worship God. The night included, prizes, great times of worship, music and message from Frank Grubbs, and concluded with a powerful candle light experience. We had 300 candles lit on the stage and turned all the house lights off. We then spent the next 15 minutes in worship as one candle was snuffed out every 3 seconds. The 300 hundred candles represented the 300 children that would die in the next 15 minutes because of malnutrition. It was a sobering depiction of the harsh reality that so many in this world live with, a reality that we, the church must understand, and respond to.
On Saturday morning we took our students to the Washington Square Mall, which proved to be a very eye opening experience. While there we had them observe attitudes and actions in relation to prosperity as well as poverty. Much of what they saw alarmed them and caused them to take a close look at their own way of living. We also made sure they all spent time walking around the food court. Sounds cruel, but the truth is, many in the world live where there is much food, but are unable to enjoy it because of the poverty they find themselves in.
Saturday afternoon we took the students to the REAL. LIFE. Exhibit at Medical Teams International. It was the next best thing to actually traveling to some of the world's most needy places. As we drove to the exhibit the vans, as usual, were alive with chatter and laughter. The drive back to the church was completely different. There was very little talking. The exhibit leaves you with much to process and consider. We had a great debrief session afterward. To see students gain a heart for the people that God's heart is close to, is perhaps the most rewarding experience a pastor to students can have.
We broke our fast with a terrific meal, a burrito bar. Let me tell you, those were some of the largest, and best tasting burritos we have ever had! Awesome!
Many thanks to all of you that supported our effort through your generous giving, and prayer. So far more than $4,700.00 has come in and continues to do so. To God be the glory.
We often wonder, where God is in the midst of the world's suffering. My answer...God is in us, the church, and how honoring it is to be used of Him to respond to those He calls the "least of these."
To see all the pictures of our famine click here.