Lent calls me into leading a life marked by sacrifice, and we can do that in so many ways. We can:
- Sacrifice what surrounds us by re-creating our physical environments to bring important issues to the forefront of our everyday lives.
- Sacrifice what feeds us by expanding our worldview through the food and information we take in.
- Sacrifice what describes us by re-examining how we represent ourselves and our priorities to others.
- Sacrifice what calls us by using our unique talents to fight injustice.
- Sacrifice what consumes us by re-orienting our everyday activities to activities that help make change in the world. (Adapted from Relentless Acts of Sacrifice with WorldVision’s ACT:S campaign.)
On Sunday at Awakening we announced the End Hunger Fast campaign, which is a really great way to put into practice the themes of sacrifice we’ve been talking about during Lent.
Nearly one billion people went hungry today. Eighteen thousand children—one child every five seconds—died today from hunger-related causes. An estimated 1.8 billion people (about 11% of the world’s population) are living in countries or regions with water scarcity. Lack of clean water, coupled with poor sanitation, results in 4,000 children dying every day.
It’s really hard to process those numbers. Most of us have no idea what it means to be hungry or thirsty. Sure, sometimes I skip a meal or forget to eat because my schedule gets really hectic, but only someone who doesn’t have to worry about where the next meal will come from has the luxury to forget about it. On April 21-22, we are taking a step as a community toward understanding the worldwide hunger crisis by experiencing it in a 30 hour fast. By choosing to go 30 hours without food we are no longer standing by, but we are standing in solidarity with those who go hungry on a daily basis.
But more than standing in solidarity, we want to be part of the solution. More than just fasting, we’re trying to raise funds to bring us closer to a world where no children die from preventable causes. You can feed a starving child for less than a quarter a day, which means $22 feeds a child for three months, $44 feeds a child for six months, and $88 feeds a child for a year. Our goal at Awakening is to raise $4,400—enough to feed 50 children for a year. (You can donate at Awakening on Sunday nights or online here.)
The money we raise will cover the cost of meals we will help pack in the upcoming Food4Others Mobile Pack on April 27-28. This is a city-wide event, hosted by the nonprofits Feed My Starving Children and 4Others, where 1,100 volunteers will hand pack 225,000 meals (enough to fill a semi-truck) to send to starving children around the world. You can volunteer for a two hour shift on either Friday, April 27 or Saturday, April 28 to help pack meals. (Check out the Facebook event for more information.)
FAST. GIVE. PACK. Whatever you can do, we hope you’ll join us in making a difference and in putting sacrifice into action.
Author: Alicia McClintic