40 Day Fast – HEART

22 07 2008

Today, it’s my turn to blog for the 40 Day Fast.  I am honored to be a part of it this year.  I read every single post during 2007’s 40 Day Fast with great anticipation.  I was touched.  Moved.  Floored!

 

I’m not fasting today.  Because of my schedule, I chose to fast on Sunday.  That was the 3rd time I’ve fasted in my life, and this time, I had mixed results.  First of all, I spent a lot of time in focused prayer.  The pangs of hunger were my reminders!  Really, this was the main point for my fast.  As the day went on, I began to feel the physical effects of not eating (I only consumed water, coffee, and my vitamins): an uncomfortable stomach, a bit of light-headedness, and fatigue.  The hardest part was going to sleep, hungry.  I thought about how so many people feel this way every day.  And then the guilt set in.  What I was going through didn’t compare to the “real” hunger in our world.  The difference?  I abstained by choice and knew that I was going to eat well the next day!  I felt bad for comparing my experience to someone who really suffers.  My fast was just a small taste.  

 

God honored it, nonetheless.

 

In case you don’t know me, I have been an animal lover, practically since birth.  I worked at an Exotic Animal Facility in high school and studied Wildlife Management in college.  I love to birdwatch and exercise my botany knowledge on hikes.  One big dream of mine has always been to go to Africa to see the wildlife.  That would be the ultimate trip.

 

 

 

 

I still want to go to Africa, but my reasons have changed.  A lot!  Although I’d thoroughly enjoy a safari, I want to go to make a difference for the people there.  I want to meet the little girl I’ve been sponsoring.  I want to care for the orphans, teach the community about health and hygiene, and spread the love of Jesus with smiles and hugs.  Africa calls…  But I have yet to go.  Honestly, the only reason I haven’t signed up for this gig is that I have a young son at home.  If you read my blog regularly, you’ve seen him.  Realistically, I’m not ready to leave him for more than a few days.  I can just see myself in Africa, a total basketcase because I miss my baby – what kind of help could I be in that condition?  It isn’t an excuse; I want to go bad.  I am just not ready.

 

My mother has been there, though.  She’s been to Kenya twice with an organization called HEART.  HEART stands for Health Education Africa Resource Team, and its founder/president, Vickie Winkler, has a passion for the people of Kenya.  This multi-faceted organization started out with only an HIV/AIDS education mission but has since expanded into its current 7 “chambers.”

*  Clean water

*  Youth and children’s programs

*  Nutrition education

*  Medical and surgical intervention

*  Girl child assistance – undergarments and sanitary napkins

*  Orphan prevention – empowering women with AIDS/HIV

*  Kids for School – goats and uniforms

 

 

 

 

When Mom went, she worked in the youth and children’s programs and nutrition education.  Her testimony reflects a changed life because God has changed lives through her!

 

One of HEART’s greatest present needs for prayer is the orphan situation; it’s huge in Kenya.  HEART’s program needs blankets and mattresses for about 1,000 children … they are currently sleeping on the floor on rice sacks.  If you are moved to make a donation, here is the link.  And please browse HEART’s webpage to learn more about what they are doing in Kenya.  Thank you in advance for supporting this wonderful organization! 

 

Last year, several bloggers recommended this book: Under the Overpass.  I bought it.  Last yearI’m not much of a reader for pleasure, but I just (FINALLY) started reading it a couple of weeks ago.  I wanted to share with you one of the most powerful sections I’ve come across so far.  Read it.  Chew on it.  This is good stuff:

 

If we are the body of Christ – and Christ came not for the healthy but the sick – we need to be fully present in the places where people are most broken.  And it has to be more than just a financial presence.  That helps, of course.  But too often money is insulation – it conveniently keeps us from ever having to come face-to-face with a man or woman whose life is in tatters. 

 

A bunch of high school kids from Nebraska showed me something important:  When we’re willing to get down to eating together, listening and telling the truth together, cleaning together, peeling potatoes together, the Gospel comes alive.”

 

Kat posted the same message on her blog for the 40 Day Fast!  Giving of our money IS a wonderful thing.  But we can do so much more and should.  I hope that you will consider giving more, doing more, going more than you ever have.  If you’ve been reading these posts for the past few weeks, there are countless opportunities to get involved in blessing others, spreading God’s love, and changing the world.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  I hope you’ll also head over to my blogging teammate Joel’s post for today.  Then, pray about how the Lord has equipped you to help someone in need. 

 

God bless.

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11 responses

22 07 2008
joelstapleton

I stand with you in the group that wants to go to Africa on missions!!

23 07 2008
Great-Granny Grandma

Your post was so convicting. I think the Lord must be trying to tell me something because it kind of confirmed what convicted me in a fiction book I just finished reading, Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson.

And I had never really thought of fasting the way you described your experience, but it makes me want to try it again. Wish I had known about your blog when this 40 day fast started. If you ever do it again, I’d like to join you.

23 07 2008
euphrony

Annie, thanks for your post and for being part of the 40DF. HEART sounds like a great group. I’ll be praying for their work.

23 07 2008
thisiskristin

Annie, this is such a great post!

I love HEART and all that they are doing.

Thank you for joining in the 40 day fast this year!

23 07 2008
ThisIsKristin » Blog Archive » Africa and Atlanta

[…] Annie, who is talking about an organization, which I personally love and support.  It is an organization that I’ve written about before, and my church in CA is involved in, along with many friends who’ve gone on trips with this organization, it is called HEART, and go read about it!  […]

23 07 2008
Rowan

Great post. I am lifting you and HEART up this day. I love you, my friend. Come home safely. – Stephanie

23 07 2008
melodymilbrandt

Annie – “We need to be fully present in the places where people are most broken… come face-to-face with a man or woman whose life is in tatters…” Amen and amen! The Lord has continued to drive home the truth of this to me in my own life on a very personal, intimate level. I would love to say it is through wonderful, soul-stirring mission trips and amazing, powerful ministry positions… however, the reality in my own life over the last decade or so is that I have often been “the ministry.” My children, myself, our lives. We have been “broken, in tatters,” again and again. The awesome thing is, God has continued to not only meet our great needs, but empowered us somehow, someway, no matter how small a thing it may seem-to be “fully present.” To “get down together,” “to listen,” “to tell truth,” “to clean…peel…and come alive.” As I read your HEART, God spoke to mine. Thank you.
Blessings and prayers – Melody Milbrandt

24 07 2008
annie

Thanks for the comments, all.

I really believe God is working wonders through HEART. I hope to travel to Kenya with this group one day, sooner than later…

25 07 2008
40 Day Fast update – 7/19 through 7/25

[…] | HEART | Church on the […]

27 07 2008
The Secret Life of Kat

I love that passage from Under The Overpass…

Thanks for sharing about HEART. I hope you get to go someday….

13 08 2008
Read (books) and learn. « redcedar

[…] (books) and learn. 13 08 2008 I mentioned in my post for the 40 Day Fast that I picked up a book “recently.”  As someone who is not a pleasure-reader, I am […]

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