ZIONSVILLE, Ind. - More than 50 youth and five adult leaders of Zionsville UMC participated in World Vision's 30 Hour Famine April 28-29 to raise money and awareness to the plight of world hunger.

More than 29,000 children die each day from hunger and hunger related diseases. Participants willingly gave up food for 30 hours so that someone else could live. They recruited friends, family, teachers, neighbors and teammates to sponsor them for the famine. Through the generous support of our sponsors and our ZUMC family the group raised more than $14,000 to fight hunger. Combined with numerous grants World Vision has received from the U.S. government that amount increases to more than $56,000.

The weekend included a 30-hour lock-in at the church where participants engaged in a variety of activities including: service projects, "Tribe" games that taught them about the struggles of children in Uganda, worship, Bible study, free time, and eventually food.

The group also put together a paper chain consisting of 2,900 links. The chain was then hung all around the sanctuary. Each link represented ten children whose lives would end that day due to hunger and preventable diseases. It was impossible not to notice the chain at worship on Sunday morning. It was a powerful, silent testimony from the victims of hunger.

Participants broke their fast by receiving Holy Communion led by Senior Pastor Ted Blosser. Many commented that the Communion bread never tasted so good! The group then feasted on a great meal prepared by a team of parents.

Blosser said, "The weekend was life-changing - not just for the children who will benefit from the monies raised, but for the participants themselves. The experience opened our eyes to the reality of how blessed we are and how much we take for granted. Simple things like having grocery stores, running water and more than one outfit to wear made huge impacts on us. We thank God for His blessings in our lives and for making this experience a phenomenal success."

For more information regarding World Vision's 30 Hour Famine, log on to www.30hourfamine.org.