I came here and realized I had a long road ahead of me with the youth ministry here. I felt a little desperate and lost. Didn’t know where to begin, or how to begin. And on top of all that whirlwind, there was talks about starting a new alternative worship. This was something within my passion, but was reluctant to do so, because of critical state of our youth ministry. But I was volunteered to look into it with a very passionate and wonderful lay person. But I had no idea how this was going to work and felt even more confused.
So what was there left for me to do? Pray. Fervently and desperately for direction, for guidance, for courage and wisdom. For God’s help.
And, I don’t know how theologically incorrect this is, but I also felt that I owed God a 20 day fast.
There was a problem though. I felt that this church may not understand why I felt the need to go on a 20 day fast. So I decided to break it up. Mondays through Fridays, I will be fasting. And over the weekends, I will break the fast, and will do this for four weeks.
My prayer request were/are:
- That a decision would be made: whether we go through with the alternative worship service or not. (not knowing if it was going to happen or not was a big burden on me. more than i realized)
- Strength, vision, patience and God’s guidance on how to put focus on faith rather than games in YM. And for God to stir the hearts of the youth.
- For a part time help, or dedicated volunteers who share the same/similar vision for youth ministry
- For a baby.
- For my wife to find a job
- I have an idea for a book (actually 2).
I know this may look like a selfish prayer list, but really, I just was desperate for God’s help and I needed to make sure that all the decisions I made from here on out was God’s will and not mine.
With that and the prayers in mind, I started this journey at the beginning of September. I may have made a mistake in breaking up the days. My dad has always told me in his 20 and 40 day fast, the first week is the hardest. That’s when you feel the hunger and are in discomfort. After that, it’s about dealing with weakness and fighting fatigue, and also not being able to fall asleep. Day 3-5 are particulary the hardest, he would tell me.
I have to face day 3-5 four times. And my dad suggested that next time, just go and do it all at once.
Not only that, and I apologize ahead of time, during the weekends, I always felt discomfort with my bowel movements. I think my body wants me to go #2 throughout the week, but there’s no waste to push out. As soon as I break fast, it feels like my body says “YAY! We have something to do! Let’s get on it now!”
I end the fast for good tomorrow evening at 5pm. I didn’t think I lost a lot of weight until last night, when my wedding almost slipped off my finger.
But can I tell you how good and gracious God has been?
Within the first week of the fast, the date was set to start the new alternative service starting on Nov. 2. And last night, we got the go ahead and blessings of our SPRC to do whatever necessary. The prayer topic has changed to where to go from here and that God will lead me and I will faithfully follow wherever he may lead.
With the youth, there’s a certain sense of comfort that overpowers the frustration and lostness I feel. And that comfort is God reminding me that I’m never alone.
I brought up the idea of hiring a part timer. We’ll see how that goes.
My prayer is also that we’ll be able to find more volunteers for the youth ministry from the new alternative services so that this youth ministry becomes a team ministry with counselors and small group leaders.
I can’t say anything about the baby yet. but we’re still praying.
Pending a background check and fingerprints, my wife got a job!
And as for the book ideas, I have no idea how to approach that. But I thought it was just something to pray about. I’m not that clever and the thoughts that came to me were, and I knew it had to be from God.
I’m underserving, but God has been real gracious and good towards me.
If anything, I just feel more devoted to God. I feel like I belong to God more than I did in August.
I’m also looking forward to breaking my fast.
And as soon as I can, which I assume is next Wednesday or so, I’m gonna have me some Mexican food. (I’ve been craving Mexican food the most.)
I’ve been going to sanctuary each day and sitting there praying to God.
I hope that this discipline will continue long after the fast is done.