Sponsored fasts

Well. So many memories have been brought up in the last few days.

I remember two sponsored fasts with youth group, these fasts would have been when I was 20 and 21, or thereabouts, the first one was when I was in a sheltered flat, and the second one was when I was living and working 14 miles away and came back for the weekend.
The sponsored fast was a great event, because it wasn’t just a fast, it was a sleepover, in the church room.
It was a 24 hour fast, starting on Saturday? and finishing on Sunday?
We were raising money for Africa, one of a number of fundraisers we did.
I was unique in that most of the youth group were still school age, but I was childlike, and I was also pretty much a helper as well as part of the group.
I had been told at some point by my sister that most of the family had a genetic problem with blood sugar, and it wasn’t until the sponsored fast that I really found out how it affected me.
Just as village show days get confused in my memory, the two sponsored fasts get mixed too.
I think the first one, when I was in sheltered housing, I was allowed to go home for a light meal in the evening because I was on medicine, but we slept in the church room on the floor, mainly under the tables, and most of us didn’t sleep much.
It was not comfortable on the floor, and everyone was too hyper and too hungry.
We prepared presentations on our fast as we were to stand up and tell the congregation in church on Sunday morning about our fast and what we were raising money for in Africa.
I was a little horrified by the pictures of a naked starving child that some of the group drew for the presentation.
We also did craft and played games and did Bible study and worship to pass the time during the 24 hours, it was a lovely time of fellowship, and as I may have said to you before, these kind of things helped to make up for everything I missed out on in my childhood, it also helped me to socialize and be with other young people, and learn that they had vulnerabilities and fears too, even though this lot really were the sons and daughters of the rich and successful, they were lovely young people.
The second sponsored fast I did not have a light meal in the evening, and I got very sick indeed, and was sick even of the water and and orange squash that we were allowed to drink, I was shaky and dizzy and sick, I worried the youth leader a bit.
At least from then on, I knew I had to keep an eye on my blood sugar, because it no doubt had made me sick at college when I skipped meals.
It was a relief, both times, when we broke the fast with a meal after the 24 hours, and I think all of us learned how lucky we were to be able to choose to fast, whereas, those in Africa that we were raising money for, couldn’t always afford to eat.
I am glad we were able to raise money that way and in other ways, and that those young people were willing to do that and had that experience, because I think it will stay with them. It has stayed with me.

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