Group flirtation with hunger an enlightening experience

First Posted: 8/4/2009

Too often, we as a society are too caught up in what is happening here, in our own neighborhoods, to think about the rest of the world.
That is understandable to a large extent. People here in Mount Airy and Surry County are no different than others around the nation they have bills to pay, families to raise, elderly parents to take care of, work obligations, community involvement, and, along the way, hopefully a bit of time for some relaxation.
In such a busy lifestyle it is hard to keep other concerns in our mind, difficult to remember there is a world of people out there, some of whom desperately need help from those who are in more fortunate circumstances.
The leadership at Antioch Baptist Church put those world concerns front and center recently, when 13 teens, along with two adult leaders, embarked on a 30-hour fast to see what life would be like without food.
They added to the event by having participants live in cardboard shelters, sans mattresses and other creature comforts, to give the teens a taste of what homelessness and chronic hunger might feel like.
The group used the experience not only as an educational tool, but also as a fundraiser for World Vision, an organization which works to help communities around the world tackle such pressing issues as poverty and hunger.
Of course, spending 30 hours subsisting on fruit punch and sports drinks, sleeping in air conditioned quarters (though on a hard floor), cannot truly teach what it is like to live on the streets, or to do without food because there is none available. Still, this activity was a wonderful illustration for the teens involved, one we suspect they will not soon forget.
And it no doubt served as an eye-opening experience for those involved, widening their world view and showing that there are things people can do, right here in Mount Airy, which has far-reaching effects beyond their community.
It was a good thing the leaders and teens at Antioch did. We hope more will follow their lead.

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