It is done.
The 30 Hour Famine has come to an end! I am sorry to inform you that I will have to keep you in suspense for a while about the challenge I issued to my youth group. I challenged them that if ONE of them could raise more than me, I would commit to run a 5K race. Well, one of our young ladies worked really hard, but is out of town so I haven't heard her final numbers yet. I've heard rumors, though, and let me just say...I think I'd better start training.
We met up with the Angels On Wheels on Friday night at the Sienna Francis house (a local shelter.) We served food, drink, and clothing to about 150 homeless men.
Most of the men in line looked the part...tattered clothing, beard, and rough, unsmiling face. But as I watched, something incredible happened...
Several of our teen girls were cooking and serving popcorn. They took one look at these downtrodden men, but treated them like they were kings. The popcorn was not the only thing emanating warmth that chilly evening. Smiles from the ladies ignited smiles on the faces of those haggard men. For a moment, just ONE moment, at least they felt like someone truly cared about them.
I secretly smiled as I made my way to one of the Angels' buses. Onboard, several men had surrounded a man named Russell who had just returned to the shelter.
Russell once had everything like you and I, but fell prey to the clutches of alcohol. He lost all those wonderful things that we take for granted: family, friends, and his job. He had been doing well, and even launched out on his own for four months until temptation struck once again. And once again, Russell fell.
We prayed that Russell would get up and face his roadblock once again. We put our hands on him, prayed and hugged him. We commissioned him to serve God even while in rehab and while sleeping at the shelter.
We learned about the 2nd Sudan civil war (1983-2005, though fighting continues today.) Our hearts broke when we learned about the 27,000 "Lost Boys" whose families were murdered or separated from them. They made their way to Ethiopia for three years in a refugee camp until that country could no longer support them. Making their way back through Sudan to a refugee camp in Kenya, they arrived with only 12,000.
A great documentary on this is "God Grew Tired Of Us," which I hope to review in another blog entry. But don't watch it if you're looking for a popcorn flick, it's not that kind of film.
For some reason, after fasting and sleeping on the gym floor with teenagers, I get very emotional at the end of our 30 Hour Famine. Probably a mixture of lack of food and lack of sleep, but I also like to think that it is the result of the Holy Spirit breaking the walls around my hardened heart.
Why don't I fast more often?
Maybe God would break my heart more.
Maybe He would make me see the good things that He is doing.
Maybe He would show me where He wants me.