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March 28, 2013 - 

A fast for teens at Bellevue (Wash.) Christian Reformed Church meant leaving behind food as well as other distractions such as social media so they could focus on God.

Bellevue CRC youth group does yard work for a neighbor as part of their 30-hour fast.

Fourteen members of the youth group and their leaders fasted for 30 hours just prior to the start of Lent. During that time they pulled weeds, scraped moss, and trimmed bushes for a neighbor in the community struggling with health problems. “The kids all took responsibility for different areas and did whatever needed to be done without complaining, not thinking about their stomachs,” said Amy Deur, youth leader.

The service project was followed by a time of Bible study, personal journaling, and group discussions. “These discussions and reflections really gave meaning to fasting for me and provided us with a great opportunity to grow as a youth group by going through this experience together,” said Kyle, 18.

The group discussed what fasting is and how it can help people grow deeper in their relationship with the Lord. “Different things in our lives might distract us from God like cell phones, Facebook, the Internet. We can limit those in our life through periods of time just like fasting from food,” explained Deur.

After a full night of sleep, the group attended church together Sunday morning. The students broke their fast following the morning worship service with a soup lunch shared with their families.

“It was a neat way to start the Lenten season, reminding us not to focus on things of this world but to focus on God,” Deur said.

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