The UNC Freedom Fast held a worship and prayer night at the North Carolina Study Center Friday night and broke the fast together at the bottom of Lenoir on Saturday afternoon. Hugo said an estimated 50 to 60 students participated in the fast, and students got involved in a variety of ways.
“Fasting looks a lot of different ways, too. So some people will abstain from eating food for a day, or some people will abstain from using technology, or going on Facebook, or things like that,” Hugo said.
Senior Moriah Sharpe, who participated in the Freedom Fast, said before the event she was looking forward to the experience of fasting with UNC students that want to draw attention to important issues such as human trafficking and sex slavery.
“I’m really hopeful that a lot of people are going to participate in it, and a lot of people will understand the impact of what we’re trying to do,” Sharpe said. “For me personally, I’m hoping it will help me focus on issues outside of myself and outside of things that affect me to really refocus on why, as a Christian, I’m called to speak up for people who are disadvantaged and are living in injustice.”
Valerie Lundeen, secretary of the International Justice Mission at UNC, said the chapter also sells secondhand clothing each semester in the Pit to raise awareness about unfair labor practices in the clothing industry and to raise funds for the global organization. She said the chapter also hosts an annual benefit concert called Just Music!.
“I’ve really loved my experience with IJM — the community of members is really tight knit, and I think it’s the most organic club or student organization I’ve been in before in terms of the natural leadership we do have,” Lundeen said. “We’ve pulled off a few grassroots types of events and things you can only pull off if you have people who are really dedicated to the cause and are okay with taking on extra responsibility without a title. So, I just really respect the other students in the organization for that.”
Lundeen said the fundraising goal set for the UNC Freedom Fast was surpassed. The money will go directly toward funding IJM rescue missions which can rescue 50 to 60 people per mission.
“I think that even just for 24 hours going through a communal fast is just a really unique experience to be able to mourn together and grieve together injustices around the world and really look at that biblical example of lament, but then also be hoping and anticipating a lot of redemption,” Lundeen said. “It’s really encouraging when there are moments of getting to see what our efforts are doing tangibly.”