8:00pm - I have officially started the 40 hour famine. My target is $960 (which will help feed 12 kids for 12 months). If you are interested in sponsoring me to make a difference in the lives of the world's poorest kids, please put a comment here and I'll contact you. Alternatively you can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am going to keep a log of how I spend the next 40 hours without food and what God will teach me!
9:30pm - the last hour and a half saw me chatting with a few people on msn and getting more donations for the 40 hour famine (so far I've raised $545.20). I have also started reading a book called "Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough" by Elmer L. Towns - a book that Alex (my senior pastor at CCBC) gave me a few months ago. Thought it would be a good book to read while I am doing this famine.
11:30pm - the last two hours were spent reading more about fasting, and also chatting with a very good friend on the phone, talking about various interesting and intimate topics. Amongst others we also said a brief prayer in the name of Jesus for the poverty of the world to end.
I also thought about the "Make Poverty History" campaign again. During the campaign I pledged with thousands of other Australians in letting our leaders know that we:
*care about the needs of the world's poor;
*want them to commit money and take action to implement the MDGs (Milennium Development Goals)
*wear the White Band showing "MAKE POVERTYHISTORY"
Saturday 13 August
12:30am - Isaiah 58:6-7, "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?"
That is exactly what Micah Challenge set out to do. The Micah Call is the first step of the campaign. It is a vision statement and it also tells our leaders how many Australians care about justice for the poor.
As well as sponsoring the 40 hour famine, I'd like to encourage and challenge you to sign the Micah call as well.
2:30am - I don't feel hungry, but I am sleepless! My heart goes out to the poor people in the world. Every single day, 30,000 children are dying as a result of extreme poverty. The G8 made significant commitments on debt and aid last month but fell well short of what they should have achieved, especially on trade. So there is still much work to be done. I just remembered the explosions of London and the unpredictability of life, and can't help but wonder: as Christians what should be our mission?
Jesus said in Luke 4:18-19: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me,because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor."
9:30am - During my devotion just now, I read about the plea of Abraham for Sodom (Genesis 18). This has reminded me that as we pray to God, we can talk with him as with a friend. The plea of Abraham gives me another example of prayer as conversation. How respectful Abraham is in his approach to God, yet he argues his case before Him with such incisive logic.
Gracious and loving Father, help me understand more deeply that though You are my Creator, You are also my Father and my friend. Teach me how to maintain the balance between awe for You and friendliness with You. I plead specially for the people that are in extreme poverty in the world. Lord may your Kingdom come in their midst through the love of your children, as you love every single one of them. In Jesus' Name. Amen!
1 pm - I took mum to see a chinese massage therapist for her back problem this morning. The therapist Dr Bill Wu has written a book called "Bible - The Lord's Word Is Beyond the Space and Time" (in Chinese). During the consultation, we had a meaningful discussion about the correlation between the Bible and Science, as well as the ministries of overseas students here in Melbourne.
My mum is enjoying her lunch at home right now. She gave a few sighs seeing that I am hungry! (hehe she's so sweet). Comparing to many poor people in the world, this is really nothing. I spent some time reading some Scriptures about the fasting of various biblical characters, including Samuel (1 Samuel 7), Ezra (Ezra 8), Esther (Esther 4), Elijah (1 Kings 19), the widow (1 King 17), Paul (Acts 9), Daniel (Daniel 1), John the Baptist (Matthew 3:4 & Luke 1:15), and Jesus (Matthew 4:2). These gave me great insights of the importance of prayer and fasting. Will share more later.
Sunday 14 August
1 am - Wondering what hungry feels like? I have a glimpse of it now, cos all I can think about is food and sleep right now. I am hungry and tired physically, but refreshed and renewed spiritually. The Lord has taught me many wonderful things during the last 12 hours without food, which included celebrating Philip's graduation, getting more donations for the 40 hour famine from my blogging buddies and friends, meeting Chin Hor (a new friend from Malaysia), and going to the UNOH "Surrender" Conference with Jackie Pullinger. I'll leave it all till later to share the reflections.
Praise the Lord! So far God has given me the privilege of raising over $670 for this famine, which is about $300 away from my target. If you would like to sponsor, please let me know!_______________________________________________________________
7am - I got waken up by a dream. In that dream I was serving the poor with a friend. I was feeling hungry. The Lord reminded me of these verses from John 6:
Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."
I was reading the devotional book "God Calling" just now - here is the entry for August 14:
LIFE, spiritual, mental, physical, abundant Life - Joyous Life, Powerful Life. Yes! these I came to give you.
My Heart was sad that so few would accept that gracious gift!
Think! earth's richest, choicest gift held out - free to all, and no man to care to stretch out a hand to take it.
Is that possible? My Gift, the richese Heaven has to offer, that precious Gift of Life, abundant Life - Man turns away from - rejects - will have none of.
Let it not be true of you. Hasten to take - to use.
I asked myself, how am I really feeling? I know deep down, I have a mixture of feelings - I feel a paradox of joy and agony - joy of having this most wonderful gift of all, but agonising over the need of the poor. Yet I sense that Jesus is sitting by my side, and sharing these feelings with me.
Hey you know what? I've made it :-) Praise the Lord Yeah! I’ve gone without food for 40 hours to help raise money for the hungry kids in Africa. As I shared above, I was hungry, tired, and even tempted but I was really energised spiritually and excited to have gone through this wonderful connection with God and people through this prayer and fasting experience!
Once again, just $40 will help feed 6 children in Africa for a whole month. To find out more about how the funds raised are going to be used click on http://www.worldvision.com.au/40HourFamine/about_money.asp
So far I've raised over $1200, and you can still donate if you want. If go to the website, you can enter my famine number 25197505-8. This makes sure that the donation is recorded against me and that I'm sent a record of your donation. For those of you who have sponsored me and donated, I want to say a hearty "thank you" on behalf of the kids!