I did not grow up going to church and the churches I have attended since I became a Christian in 1992 have not made a big deal of Lent so neither have I. That is, up until this year.
This year I am fasting every Wednesday night to Thursday night as part of Lent. Although I’ve heard for years what my Catholic sister is giving up for Lent, I’ve never really given up anything before. I fasted once (not during Lent) and found it to be a spiritually satisfying experience so I’m looking forward to doing this on a regular basis.
My church is having everyone who is willing fast one day each week from the beginning of Lent, February 22 (Ash Wednesday) to April 5 (Maundy Thursday). Then we are breaking our fast with a sedar meal.
I was even more excited about doing this because I know about skip1. It’s an organization that asks people who have a lot to skip something—a meal, a latte, a round of golf, a dessert—and give what they would spend on it to a project to provide food and water to the needy.
The head pastor’s wife at church suggested several different types of fasts including water plus fruits and vegetables as one option. Since I asked my husband to do it with me and he’s never fasted before, he chose the water/fruit/vegetable option. I’ve found that in the beginning I was providing a lot of fruit and veggies but now after four weeks, I’m providing less and less.
In any case, I’m guessing I’m saving an average of eight bucks a meal, so I gave eight dollars to skip1’s project in a town in Peru called Chilca which is about 45 minutes outside of Lima. An orphanage there has a kitchen that’s incomplete and the orphanage can’t open without it.
It needs a new roof, pots and pans, a refrigerator, a stove, pantry, flatware and food. It also needs a dining area with tables and chairs so the kids have somewhere to sit.
Skip1 has donors that take care of all the fees related to processing the money and sending people to set up the kitchen so every cent I sent goes toward the above items. And, as of the time of my donation, skip1 was only $1133 from its fundraising goal of $30,000.
At the rate of eight bucks a meal, I still have about $80 to donate somewhere and with three more weeks that will add up to $152. I’m looking into several different options. I’ll keep you updated. Let me know if you have any suggestions or want to share what you have given up for Lent before.
Where I am anyway, the earth is definitely showing signs of spring. I even had to mow my lawn this week. The new growth is symbolic of Jesus rising again and reminds us that his love for us is always there, even below the snow drifts and bare roots of winter. May you feel His love this spring and always.