Christians from throughout Blair County will address issues of the area by taking a day to fast and pray.
A fast called The Restoration will be held from 1 to 9 p.m. April 14 at Blair County Convention Center. Teens and adults from various denominations and organizations are expected to take part in the eight-hour event.
It is being coordinated by George Bell of Bellwood who was inspired to organize the fast last winter. Bell said he was seeking God for direction when he learned about a 24-hour fast in Detroit called The Call held Nov. 11, 2011 in Ford Field.
He said he watched the podcasts from Detroit and saw how the people prayed over the Motor City's issues and for each other.
"I was humbled and moved as I watched it," Bell said. He said he realized the same kind of fast could be held in Altoona.
Bell said his thought was reaffirmed when he attended the Awake 2012 Arise men's event held in February at the Jaffa Shrine Center. Pastor Doug Abner of Hope Community Fellowship in Manchester, Ky., told how Clay County, Ky., was known for its violence and drug addicts until the pastors and churches came together and prayed in 2004. Now Manchester is a called "City of Hope."
Bell said at the Precious Life banquet, also held at the Jaffa Shrine Center, Ruth Bell stated that God sees ruins and wants to bring restoration.
Bell said he believes God wants to restore Altoona.
He said the purpose of a fast "is to position yourself to hear from God," citing Joel 12 and Isaiah 58.
Although only water will be available at the convention center, how people fast is an individual decision.
Bell said teens and college students may decide to forgo electronic gadgets such as iPods or Xbox 360s for the day.
"Going without food for one day is not very much," he said. "Jesus fasted for 40 days."
The Restoration event will begin and be interspersed with praise and worship music led by teams from various churches.
Speakers will address prayer topics throughout the eight hours.
Racism - Pastor Henry Hansard of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church.
Abortion - Scott Manganella, executive director of Precious Life.
Sexual molestation - Debbie Miller of Buffalo, N.Y.
The fatherless - Dave Taylor, director of the Door in Bellwood.
Drug addiction - Pastor Jim Balzano of Pleasant Valley Assembly of God. Individuals who have faced the issues also will speak.
Prayers will be said for pastors, ministries and businesses in the county.
Bell said the event is free but an offering will be taken. People are not obligated to stay eight hours but may come and go.
For more information, visit The Restoration on Facebook.