John Hanson, First Baptist Church of Sedalia’s youth pastor, coordinated a 30-hour fasting project on Friday, May 31 that included gathering and shipping 10,000 meals to third-world countries.
About 25 youth took part in the project, called Stop Hunger Now, in the fellowship hall of the church, located at 200 E. Sixth Street.
“This particular packaging program could possibly end up in Haiti,” Hanson said. The non-perishable food has a shelf life of about two years, he added. “They are hoping to get it shipped overseas in about two months.”
The food consists of vitamins, rice, soy product and vegetables. “Each packet that we make up feeds six people,” Hanson noted. “So it’s going to take quite a bit to feed 10,000 people.”
The 30-hour famine, which began at 1 p.m. on Friday, has been tried before at the church through World Vision, but this is the first time they have been involved with StopHungerNow.org. “We will be able to drink juice and water, but we don’t eat for 30 hours,” he emphasized. The “famine” ended at 7 p.m. Saturday.
“We’re going to learn about what it’s like to be from a third-world country; we’re going to put ourselves in some of those roles, and see what their lifestyle is like. On Saturday, we will head up to Forrest Avenue Family Shelter in Kansas City and work at the shelter which we, the church, partner with,” Hanson explained. “And we’re going to finish up the evening with a fun activity by jumping on trampolines and then finally eat.”
On Friday, youth of all ages were working together to process the packets by measuring, filling and then sealing them. One box held 32 packets. “Its costs 25 cents per meal, and we have raised some of the money, but if anyone wants to give donations, they can provide that to First Baptist Church for the Stop Hunger Now project,” Hanson said.
Andrew Tilley, 17, who will be a senior at Smith-Cotton this fall, was one of the 25 youth dressed in hair nets who volunteered his time and energy to the humanitarian relief project. “We’ve probably done about 300 meals (so far), but we’re doing 10,000,” Tilley said, estimating that it would take about five hours to complete the process. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.