Saturday, October 9, 2010

Starving for a cause

October 09, 2010

Our Youth Group Famine

First of all, let me just say that I’m sorry I haven’t been posting lately. I’ve been extremely busy the past few months  due to school, co-op group, Jiu Jitsu and youth group. I’m sorry that I haven’t been posting and I promise to begin writing regularly again now that we are kind of settling into it all.

Now that I’ve got that covered, time to continue this post.

This year my twin and I are finally old enough to go to youth group at church.  So far we both like "youth" a lot more than AWANA because wearing a green shirt and earning points every week is fun when you're a kid, but after a while it gets old.  In youth, the teenagers lead worship and we do projects and Bible study.  There's Mountain Dew.  And a pool table.  Youth is good.

The youth group does this thing each year called a 25 hour Famine, and this was our first year to be part of it.  To participate in the Famine, you have to fast for twenty- five hours.  That means NO FOOD. 

Before the famine, we out and get sponsors to donate money for every hour that we go without eating.   We do this to raise money to buy and cook Thanksgiving meals for families in our community that wouldn't get much of a Thanksgiving otherwise.  Yes, you did read that right.  The teenagers will cook the food.  We deliver it to the families, too.  Our sister and brother did the famine for years, only this time, things were a little different.  They always got to go play laser tag and drive go-carts in the middle of the night.  Our youth director had something else planned this time around.

Not only did he plan for us to see what it was like to be very hungry, he also wanted us to know what it was like to only have a small amount of money to spend when we did get to eat.  He also made us sleep on the floor of the church.  In cardboard boxes.  Without blankets, pillows or heat!   (I'm not going to rat him out and tell you where he ended up sleeping.  On the couch!  You didn't hear it from me.)  Let me tell you, it’s not fun to be starving, cold and uncomfortable!  Want to know what it was like? Keep reading.

We were supposed to be deprived of food from Thursday night at 9:00pm until 10:00pm Friday night. Our mom made breakfast for dinner that night right before 9:00.  Ryan and I pigged out!  We ate a mountain of french toast and sausage, hashbrowns, scrambled eggs & cheese and sweet tea!  We tried to stuff ourselves so we wouldn't get hungry soon.  Let me tell you, it didn't work.  Our mom said we could stay up late as we wanted and sleep all day so we probably wouldn't notice that we'd missed breakfast that morning and we wouldn't get hungry until dinner time.  That didn't work either.  Hunger began to gnaw in my stomach around 1:30pm the next day.  It didn't help that Dad made coffee and it smelled so good!  Mom cooked a ham!  I think they were trying to torture us.  My mouth watered all day long.

Either way, I survived. Heather dropped us off at church at 9:00pm that night and the youth group kids all got on the bus and headed to Bi-Lo. Yes, I said BI-LO. Why? Well, once we arrived at Bi-Lo, our youth pastor gave us each a dollar to buy whatever we wanted to soothe are hunger. Partnership was allowed, so we could go in together and but stuff to make sandwiches or whatever.  We could only spend one dollar though.  He even would let us walk across the parking lot to Mc Donald’s to get something to devour if we wanted. But he would not give us any extra money for tax! 

Now we had known ahead of time about the dollar thing and Ryan and I have been thinking.  Guess what I figured out? I had an advantage no one else had. My twin! We formulated a plan wehre he would buy a loaf of bread and I would get peanut butter.  Yeah, cheap peanut butter, but when you are that hungry you just don't care!  My twin and I scavenged around BI-LO for awhile and guess what?  The least expensive bread we found was .99 cent.  The bread was over a dollar.  No peanut butter sandwiches for us.  Bad plan.  We searched and searched and finally found Ramen Noodles. Ramen noodles are cheap.  You can buy plenty of packs for a dollar. 

(Our mom doesn't buy Ramen noodles because she says it's not food.  I'm pretty sure she's never been starving with only one dollar before.)

We made it back to the church and it was time to chow down!  Problem.  I have never cooked Ramens by myself before.  Neither has Ryan.  Mom has this thing about boiling water and safety.  One of our friends helped us out.  We cooked five packages apiece. I finally got to taste the succulent taste of food again! My taste buds were dancing when I took the first bite of Ramen Noodles. After the hundredth bite I wasn't so interested in Ramen noodles any more.  Did you know that Ramen is mainly carbs and starch?  Did you know that carbs and starch and Mountain Dew on an very empty stomach in the middle of the night isn't exactly a good thing?  When the youth director called us back into the youth room for a surprise of PIZZA my first thought was how am I going to stuff anything else in my mouth?  I managed.  He had pizza of every kind, plus three kinds of different Debbie Cakes, two kinds of Oreos, and two packs of Chips Ahoy. You better believe everyone dashed to the table to get some of those delicious treats. After we went into sugar-shick, we watched videos of years past (I wasn’t in any of them by the way). Next we played numerous sports and clowned until about 2:30am. When we came down from our sugar high we were worn out.  We  split up (boys in one room, girls in another) and attempted to get some sleep. It was difficult to try to do this. The youth room floor wasn’t the most comfortable thing to lie on. It felt stiff and I was frozen. That'll teach me to wear shorts to church at night in October.  Now matter how much I moved, it didn’t get any more comfy or warm.  Even if I tried covering myself with the newspaper I got to use as a blanket, I didn't get warm all night.  I was never so glad to see my mom as I was at 7 this morning!  When we got home:  FOOD!  Warmth!  Beds!  Dark bedroom, cool air, clean sheets, soft pillow and a full stomach! 

I realized that I'm very thankful for what I have. This weekend helped me appreciate what God has given my family.  I don't know why I was born into a family that has plenty of what we need.  It could have been different.  I wonder why I don't have to live wondering where my next meal will come from?  I won't say the word "starving" when I only mean "hungry" anymore.