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This past summer our Jr. and Sr. high youth visited Heifer ranch in Perryville, Arkansas and learned about poverty and sustainable agriculture. We spent a week on the ranch living and eating very differently from our lives in Williamson County. We were forced to make tough decisions about how we would use our very limited resources. Food was scarce and the portions were VERY small. One item did not appear at all and that item was dessert. We tend to think of dessert as that sweet added bonus at the end of a meal, while millions of people think of a meal as a sweet added bonus. World hunger is hard for us to truly grasp living in a place that offers endless choices and excess around every corner. Our youth were truly moved towards action by our experiences at Heifer ranch. The youth were asked to brainstorm about ways to inform others and transform the way they understand sustainability and poverty.

The youth are challenging the congregation to join them in the “Don’t dessert Dan West” challenge. Dan West was the founder of Heifer International. He was a visionary in many ways and a man that believed in and lived out his convictions. He lived a simple life and expected others to do the same. One thing that Dan did not do was eat dessert. When Dan was offered dessert he would politely decline by saying “I will not eat dessert as long as there are starving children in the world.” The youth are asking YOU to join them in a dessert fast that will start on September 23 and end on October 31. You may be thinking, “wow, that is a really neat thing for them to do, but there is no way I will make it that long without something sweet.” But the truth is that when you sign up for the fast you will be a part of a group of people fasting and praying together in community and that is a powerful thing!! You will have an opportunity to explain to others why you are fasting.

During the Sunday school hour on November 11th the youth will give a presentation in the sanctuary about Heifer International, global poverty and sustainability. We will discuss:

  • What are fair trade products and where can I buy them?
  • What is sustainability?
  • How do I “vote” with my dollar? (not political)
  • What are the benefits of a CSA?
  • And much more…

Mark your calendar for November 11th and join us as we give up sweets. Who knows – God may soften your heart and take a little off of your “bottom” line.


Peace and Grace,  Doug