Who Cares? This was the theme of the very first Disciple Now that I had at City View. Our theme verse was out of 1 John 3:17 which says, “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him,how does God’s love abide in him? I truly believe that it was at this event, that my students caught the bug. What I mean is they caught the need to do something about hunger. That year, we did a massive mission project with other churches in the Knoxville area to fill food boxes that would be shipped to hungry people all over the world. By the end of that D-Now, my kids had a drive, a passion to serve the hungry. We wanted to do something.
It’s strange how God works from experience to experience in order to make His plan known and work for the good of all. From that D-Now, we decided to do something again. We decided to partake in World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine. This is an event where students go 30 hours without food to raise awareness and money to send to starving children overseas in need of food. We did 2 of these famines and we all noticed the same thing. Each year we spent part of the 30 hours working on service projects. I make them work around food for the experience that many children are all to familiar with- knowing food is there, but they can’t get it. During these mission projects, we all began to notice something else- Knox County, especially our area, was in desperate need. As we worked at 2nd Harvest and other food ministries, we got to witness first hand the need in our own neck of the woods. People were hungry and they were starving in our own back yard. After our 2nd experience that God gave us, we decided to once again do something and #30for30 was born.
We created our own event, #30for30, where the premise is we want at least 30 people to go 30 hours without food in an effort to experience, even if for only a moment, what many people- especially children- go through each day in Knox County. So each March, we set up our own 30 hour fast. Last year we came up just shy of our goals of 30 people, but this year 33 adults, teenagers, and college students will partake in the fast. The neat thing about this event is the desire of our students to do something real in an effort to affect change. The words to Matthew West’s song Do Something ring true to this. We can complain and we can shake our fist at God and ask him why doesn’t He do something about all of this pain and poverty in the world. Then we are hit right between the eyes with the lyrics that respond “I created YOU!” God created us to do something. This year we have 5 teams competing in food events/service projects and each team represents a food ministry in Knoxville. These teams will be competing for their charity and the winning team’s ministry get all of our donations.
The greatest thing about this event is realizing you are part of something bigger. Many students are a part of the 2nd Harvest Backpack Program that sends a bag of “kid friendly” groceries home each weekend for children who need it. I love this idea, but there are times that not even that program can help. We all love snow days as students & teachers. Let me tell you, I live for them; but as a pastor in inner-city Knoxville, there are many children who don’t eat regularly or at all when school is called off. These students are fed through a program in the summer, but its not available for snow days. I have had many students come through my ministry that were part of these assistance programs and I feed my students in some way, shape, or form each time we meet so that I know they have the opportunity to eat. I can also tell you through experience, there is nothing more heart warming than to watch one of those students give everything they have to this event because for them, what we are fighting is a reality. They want to do something!
So, what about you? Will you do something? Your passion may not be hunger. it may be something else. Will you do something the way God has commanded us? You can be a part of our weekend. We are currently collecting non-perishable food items, hygiene products, and clothes to donate to the winning charity. You can follow us and our progress on social media through the hashtag #30for30. One of our challenges will be a food drive outside local grocery stores from 12-2 on the 19th. Create your own movement or feel free to support our cause, but by all means do something. We wonder and we plead with God to do something about all the violence, all the poverty, all the need, and all the starvation in the world, but we really need to remember that the answer is found in us. Affect change whenever and wherever you can because I can promise you this- change won’t happen unless we DO SOMETHING!!
In Christ Alone,
Rev. Bro. Coach