Re-blogged from: Connect-Engage-Inspire
My name is Danielle Mitchell. I am an 18-year-old Canadian, a grade 12 student, and a Community of Christ member. This year, I received a special opportunity to be part of the “Get God” program put together by members of our church.
Goals included writing in a weekly journal, attending a Temple School class, attending local youth camps, and doing outreach in our local and/or global community.
To reach my goal, I planned a fastathon to raise money for Women for Peace and Democracy in Nepal in affiliation with World Accord. David Barth, World Accord executive director, had suggested this cause, and I quickly became excited. We planned it for March 9, which was a perfect weekend because International Women’s Day was March 8.
Five friends, my family, and I fasted for 24 hours to raise money. It was a great success.
But before I go into detail about the fastathon, I’d like to share about the women in Nepal. Women for Peace and Democracy in Nepal (WPD-Nepal) is an independent, nonprofit, nongovernmental, nonpolitical, noncommercial, nonreligious, women-led organization. It strives to empower women and unite their passion for building a peaceful and democratic Nepal.
Essentially, these women want to better their community and help women who live in it. During the fastathon, I shared a story that had touched me about a woman in Nepal. She is a member of the Makhamali women’s group and is a mother of two. Her husband’s job did not provide sufficient income, and the family had to take loans to survive.
However, through WPD she took a course in economic literacy training and then opened her own grocery store with a loan of 5,000 Nepalese rupees, or C$50. She now is able to send her children to school. This is just one example of how these women are changing lives.
Now back to the fastathon. Though several of us fasted, many others got to experience some wonderful food. On March 9 we started the day with a yoga session followed by a chili lunch. The wonderful ladies in the Prince Albert Congregation cooked the chili, and about 40 people came.
We also asked two women from a group called Grandmothers 4 Grandmothers to speak. They told about how they help grandmothers who have lost their children to HIV/AIDS and are now raising their grandchildren. It was an eye-opener.
Afterward, I explained why I put on this event, the importance of Women for Peace, and a bit about World Accord. Following the chili lunch we did group activities that included pottery and arrowhead making. It was an enriching experience because the couple that taught our arrowhead-making class had fasted many times and shared their experiences.
On Sunday morning we held a donation pancake breakfast at the Salvation Army church, where all events took place. About 75 people attended.
It takes a lot of planning for such a big event, and I had a lot of help and support. My family, church members, and others helped a great deal. I’m deeply grateful.
I believe World Accord does amazing things. And I believe it is important to support and help women, not only in Nepal, but all over the world. Women in Canada are very lucky to have all the rights and opportunities we do. The more we spread the word, the faster hardships in other nations can be lessened.
I’ve asked myself a couple of times now, “Why did I put on a fastathon?” The answer is simple: It was what God called me to do. The thought of a fastathon just popped into my head, and I ran with it. God leads each of us in different directions.
Perhaps my future will involve outreach ministry in different parts of the world. Or maybe it will be in my hometown. I’m too young to know that answer. But I’m eager to learn what God has in store for me next.