24 hour phone fast: students in UK participate in challenge for Ukraine

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Do you think you could give up your cellphone for 24 hours?

That's what students in the United Kingdom are doing to help both Ukrainian refugees and those that are still in the country facing the challenges of the war.

Aid to the Church in Need UK
ACN Mobile Phone Challenge
What I found was that when things like this happen, students can sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed and they can think, 'Oh, I can't do anything in the world and I can't make a difference.'

So the mobile challenge is about saying to them they can do something. So they give up something that's important to them, so there's an element of fasting in there.

Marie Fahy with Aid to the Church in Need has created a challenge to help students get involved in providing relief to Ukraine. For 24 hours, students give up their phones and every time they think to look at it, they offer a prayer for peace in the world and Ukraine. 

Students ask their families and friends to sponsor them for this 24 hours fast and Aid to the Church in Need gives this money directly to Ukrainian parishes to help people pay for food, gas, and other necessities.

Aid to the Church in Need UK
ACN Mobile Phone Challenge
It just shows people what's happening and it helps you to be involved. I love the idea of us as the Body of Christ thinking, 'I'm doing this one tiny little action today by not picking up my phone. I'm gonna say a Hail Mary for a sister I've seen on ACN's resources and her work and the people she helps.

Fahy said her inspiration for this challenge came from a Pope John Paul II quote, which says, “prayer linked to sacrifice is the most powerful force in the world.”

Some schools have taken the challenge further. Together with Aid to the Church in Need, students from around the world have created 1-2 minute prayer videos to pray for those who have left their countries, those who stayed in war zones, and those who have died.

Aid to the Church in Need UK
ACN Mobile Phone Challenge
If our children can see that there are these people under these terrible conditions and their faith is so strong, then why isn't my faith so strong? So actually the persecuted Church is helping us as well and as much as we're helping them. So that's why the prayer always has to be central.

For Fahy, this challenge is more than a fast, but a reminder that you're never too young to make a difference in the world.


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