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Opinion Letters ‘Famine’ event a game-changing experience

I had the heart warming opportunity to participate in World Vision’s “30 Hour Famine” this weekend with a wonderful group of individuals who will forever be referred to as “game-changers” in my book. This diverse group of likeminded, steadfast and God-fearing folks helped me to realize a couple of things:

When you are in His presence, beautiful things can (and often times will) happen; and

We are all perfect in His eyes.

First, I will start off by saying that 30 hours without food isn’t for everyone. I learned really quickly how “hangry” (hungry + angry) one can become with having too little to consume, we were only allowed juice and water for the duration of the fast. I also realized the lingering side effects of not consuming enough calories have on the body and mind. I am still recovering from a headache and fatigue from the experience. I had prepared my speech for Saturday’s worship service, which was to be held right before our feast and thus the end of the famine; however, when I went up to speak (notes in hand) I struggled to tie my thoughts together, I found it hard to focus on anything but the wonderful smells coming from the church kitchen. Wow! I thought, is this what so many struggle with day-to-day? One in eight people in the world don’t have enough to eat and one in three children right here in Macon County alone find themselves wondering what, if anything, is for dinner?

Now my intention is not to go on a rant here with this problem, as I find it hard to believe I would have to debate with anyone over the severity of the issue of hunger, especially when children are involved. I simply wanted to set the stage for my points above and what I learned this weekend.

So after my horrific speech, if anyone has ever seen the movie “Old School” you might remember the scene where Will Ferrall’s character, Frank, does the debate and immediately after giving the most profound speech says, “What happened? I blacked out.” That pretty much sums up how I felt after, only without the profound speech. It wasn’t until a young man stood up in front of his peers and offered his experience from the weekend when my first revelation came: When you are in His presence, beautiful things can (and often times will) happen.

As I listened to this young man, mind you who spoke wise beyond his years share his experience from participating for the second year in the Famine, I thought of how powerful his words were and the impact he was having on every other youth present in the sanctuary. This prompted my second revelation: We are all perfect in His eyes. I had been sulking over my dreadful speech and quite honestly comparing it to the young man who had just wowed me with his charisma and conviction, but then I realized we both had given our own experience, totally unique and separate from one another and that no matter what we said or how we said it, we were still perfect in His eyes. I immediately felt comfort and relief in knowing that although I was and will continue to always be my most unrelenting critic, that in the larger scheme of this life it doesn’t matter because The Lord will always love us and be our biggest fan!

When I reflect on this weekend’s Famine and think of all the things I experienced and felt: hunger, anger, frustration, confusion, compassion, love, humor, victory. Of all these things, one feeling and experience above all had the most profound impact on my participation in the Famine and overall on my life ... experiencing the Spirit of the Lord.

Thank you to all of those who organized, supervised and participated in this year’s “30 Hour Famine” to support both World Vision and Macon County Care Network. A special thank you goes out to all of the youth here in Macon County who participated and the churches from which they represented: Franklin First United Methodist, Dryman’s Chapel, Asbury, Union, Mulberry, Memorial, Clarks Chapel, Cullowhee and All Saints Episcopal Community.

Shaina D. Adkins
Executive Director Macon County Care Network





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published: 10/18/2013
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