Identifying With The Hungry: A Day of Fasting

Yesterday during social studies class, we noticed a place in the text book where it said people in North America are the richest in the world. I decided to take the opportunity to enlarge my students’ world. I asked them what it meant since we are among the richest in the world and proceeded to explain to them that we are extremely blessed with material wealth. I then explained that such wealth means we need to share with people that don’t have enough.

I talked about how rich we are just because of the simple fact that we have more than enough food, a nice house, and clean water that comes to us, rather than us having to go fetch it. They aren’t old enough to make a lot of financial decisions, but the sooner we are aware of these things, the more we are able to combat the consumer mentality.

I continued by talking about the starvation crisis in Somalia and the rest of the Horn of Africa. Somehow, after that we got started talking about fasting. One of my students, Tina, said she was planning to not eat the next day, just to see what it was like. I suddenly thought of the fact that it would be cool if our whole class would fast. I told them I wouldn’t force them to, but I thought it would be a great idea.

And thus, an idea was born. Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 5th, our class will be fasting during lunch period. We will spend the time normally spent stuffing our faces, praying for the famine crisis in Africa specifically, and in general praying for the world’s starving. Some of my students also plan not to eat supper. I am simply thrilled that they are so stoked about this.

The reason I’m putting this on my blog is to invite you to join us in praying for the people in the world who go to bed feeling hungry every night, who wake up in the morning wondering in what form, or when, or if they will find food for themselves and their children. It’s a crisis we can’t wrap our minds around but my students and I are going to try. We will try to taste just a small portion of the hunger they feel. It will give us a tangible way to understand a minuscule portion of these people’s desire for food. And while we’re at it we will ask God to help them, and to show us how to help them. Please join us in remembering and praying for these people.

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8 comments on “Identifying With The Hungry: A Day of Fasting

  1. Carla Barkman says:

    I think this is cool! I like to see the way they are thinking and imagining! Discussions and “experiments” like these are my some of my favorite memories from my school days!

    And btw, I like your header!

  2. rjshetler says:

    It’ll be good for all of us. Most times if you can give a concept a tangible context, it becomes more poignant.

    Aaaw, thanks. I like it better than my last one too.

  3. Charissa Barkman says:

    I think this is a great idea! It’s always so much fun to watch students’ worlds becoming enlarged and to be a part of that process!

  4. Becca says:

    This gave me goosebumps. The good kind. Count me in! What an awesome way to both stand in solidarity with the poor and plant a seed of awareness in your students’ hearts! My 8th-grade teacher was very instrumental in my beginning to learn how to love like Jesus and live like Him with abandon… It excites me to see this stuff happening in classrooms.

  5. rjshetler says:

    God’s been teaching me the last while to stop talking about this stuff so much and do something about it instead. It’s been an awesome journey so far as I’ve actually genuinely started caring about people that go through this, and not just wishing I cared more about them. It costs a little money, but it’s true what Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

  6. Andrew says:

    Wow, that is so cool!

  7. Sherilyn Miller says:

    I so love this!! I need to figure some way to do the same with my girls…

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