Church youth members plan fast

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 23, 2008

The youth of First United Methodist Church in Andalusia will soon sacrifice one full day of food with the hope that their example will encourage others to help feed desperate people throughout the county, state and world.

Robin Livingston, youth and program director for FUMC, said the youth will consume only clear liquids for 24 hours on Sat., Nov. 1, in an effort to raise awareness concerning local and global poverty.

“The youth have been studying the attributes of Jesus and what he actually did during his time,” she said. “Instead of, ‘what would Jesus do,’ it is what Jesus actually did. I guess it is also to help the youth understand what children around the world deal with on a regular basis. They will be getting food while we give it up for the day.”

Livingston said the fast will run in conjunction with a food drive and residents are asked to donate non-perishable food items that will benefit the Christian Service Center of Covington County.

“We have boxes set up at the First United Methodist Church in Andalusia, Winn-Dixie and Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Straughn,” she said. “All donations will benefit the Christian Service Center of Covington County and the families of Covington County.”

Livingston said more than 2,600 households in Covington County receive food stamps and the money given out in food stamps has risen $22,000 in the past year.

“Right now with the economy the way it is we wanted to be very thoughtful in what we expected the people of Covington County to give,” Livingston said. “We did not think it would be proper to ask for monetary donations and decided food would be the best donation to ask the community to give.”

Reports indicate that nearly 10 percent of households in Covington County have an income that is below 50 percent of poverty level ($10,602 per year).

Livingston said she hopes the initiative taken by the youth of FUMC will prompt more people to donate food for the cause.

“As someone who works with youth, it inspires me to see young people in our community react in such a positive and meaningful way to such a widespread concern,” she said. “I really do hope that this encourages other people to do the same.”

The youth of FUMC will be outside Winn-Dixie from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. during the day of fast on Sat., Nov. 1, with boxes to collect food donations from the community.

According to Livingston, medical professionals have already been consulted to determine whether or not 24 hours of only liquids will create any serious health complications.

“For us it will be clear liquids only unless medically consulted otherwise,” she said. “We have consulted medical doctors to make sure it is safe. There are a lot of different ways to fast.

“To make people feel like it can be something for everyone, there are some people who will be doing things differently because it is not medically safe for them to drink liquids only,” she added. “The purpose of a fast is to focus on spiritual things rather than physical things. Some people simply give up one particular thing for a set period of time. We chose to give up all solid food.”

Livingston said the Youth will be rewarded for the efforts first thing the following morning.

“The moms and dads are going to come to the church Sunday morning to have breakfast with us,” she said. “We are all looking forward to the event and feel it will be a very positive way to generate support for an issue that affects several children throughout the county, state and world.”

For more information, contact Livingston at (334) 222-5018.