Hunger | Teen Ink


February 20, 2009
By Lauren Cowell BRONZE, New Egypt, New Jersey
Lauren Cowell BRONZE, New Egypt, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

25 hours down, and everything is going good. I haven't struggled with wanting to eat and now I'm watching as my friends scale the rock wall. I sit and watch wishing I could do it but am happy that I am at least there and not home like I thought I would be. My stomach begins to growl as I see people eating. I can feel the pain coursing through my body, but I ignore it. In the car I glance up at the sky and pray to God that the growling will go away.
18 hours gone and we are almost halfway through our 30 Hour Famine. We walk into the church laughing and talking about our past and what we want to do in the future. We set up chairs in front of the TV and the lights turn off. The screen lights up and two African-American boys about the age of 10 appear on the screen. He looks sun-worn and you can see their ribs showing through their skin. Their brothers and sister surround them, all looking tired and thin. They all have the same sad expressions on their faces. An older gentlemen walks onto the screen and picks up one of the boys and holds the hand of the other. He begins to tell the story about the children. The two oldest were the ten year olds we saw in the beginning, Alex and Christian. Their family lives in one of the poorest countries in the world and their parents passed away and they were left on their own to support themselves and their family. Pictures of their family and friends and neighbors flashed on the screen along with facts like 'A dollar can feed a child for a day' or 'Every 3 seconds a child dies from hunger'. I glance around the room and see that I'm not the only one who is starting to tear up from the truth of what is going on in countries overseas. We watch as the boys show us where they live and what little food they have to survive on.
Once the movie is over, we sit and discuss how we feel about what we just saw. We talk about how we wish we could go there and help, and we talk about how we never realized how lucky we really are. After we put the chairs back we get into our 'tribes' and we play a trivia game about the movie we saw. After that it was time to get ready for bed and to calm down and get some sleep for the next days activities. We begin to watch a movie and by the time it was halfway done everyone was asleep.

10 hours left and we all wake up to our stomachs growling at us. We get up and have our 'breakfast' of water and juice. We get changed into our clothes and get ready to play some games and do some community service events in our church. We play a game with our 'tribes' where we have to depend on each other. After the game we split up into groups and one group stays at our church and the other goes to the town festival. Going to the festival was one of the hardest things we had to face. The smell of funnel cake and kettle corn popcorn filled the air around us as we handed out flyers and asked for donations for our famine. Countless people stopped and talked to us about what we were doing. They praised us for what we were doing and gave us a dollar or two. It was time to switch and the other group went to the festival and we went to clean up the church. We polished pews, vacuumed floors, planted flowers and cleaned windows.
3 hours left and we are now on the way to the movies. We've made it 27 hours and I'm still doing it without problems. We're all hungry and tired but we all are looking forward to the big feast that is coming our way. 1 and a half hours left. The movie is almost done and so are we with our famine. I feel so accomplished and proud because I did it. I made it 30 hours without eating, even if there were some problems. I never thought I'd be able to do this but I did and it was finally almost time for us to eat.
10 minutes left. Almost done, I'm counting down in my head.
5 minutes. Almost there, just 5 minutes until we completed one act of kindness towards someone we don't even know.
2 minutes left. We pull into the church parking lot and all get out and head into the church.
1 minute left. The smell of food is calling to us and we are ready to enjoy the first bite of food after 30 hours.
10 seconds.
9 seconds.
8 seconds.
7 seconds.
6 seconds.
5 seconds.
4 seconds.
3 seconds.
2 seconds.
1 second.
We're done.
We can finally eat and we all congratulate each other on a job well done. We all went 30 hours without eating. We got a first-hand look into what children who have nothing go through. We did something none of us thought we would be able to do. On top of that we raised about $2,000 which was higher than our youth leaders wanted us to. I can't believe I made it and it is such a good feeling that I did. I helped save lives of children my age and younger. I ignored the hunger pains that I had. I ignored my stomach growling and begging me for food. I went 30 hours, now the question is, will you?

The author's comments:
March 2008 was the first year I did the 30 Hour Famine with my church. We ended up raising a lot of money. We're doing it again this year and I'm hoping we raise even more. For more information about the 30 Hour Famine visit or

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