Monday, January 17, 2011

Surfing the Nations

It's day number 7 for us at Surfing the Nations where Kristof and I are doing our three-month internship. Some may be curious as to what this means for us and some may wonder, does Lizzie even surf? Well, yes, but not very well, but that's not really the point, exactly.

Surfing the Nations is a registered non-profit, humanitarian organization whose occupants and volunteers are mostly of the Christian variety. Its focus is, for lack of a better all-encompassing phrase, essentially to meet the basic physical and spirtual needs of our fellow man in a way that's truly impacting for both giver and receiver. It's pretty simple, but we believe, also effective. These "things" include being a Hawaii Food Bank distribution point here in Wahiawa and in Kalihi. There's a surfing instruction program for the youth at a homeless shelter in Waianae, an after school tutoring/mentoring prgram on base here, collection and distribution of donation items & several other things that we're still learning about.

In any case, when we stepped off the plane, it was a whirlwind getting settled here. But now that we finally feel like we have a functioning place to live for the next few months, the real work begins. Today also marks the first Monday of "fasting".

It's been a long time since I've fasted the Biblical way of "no food". In fact, I can't really the remember the last time I did it. Perhaps I am reminded of the trama from when I was a kid growing up in our cult church eeking my way through another, painful, yet dutiful Day of Atonement; no food no water. I don't know about you but, I don't know very many 7-year olds that would take to kindly to that. In fact, I remember my sister and I would sneak nacho Doritos (maybe 2 or 3 chips?) into our secret hiding places to munch on. I always remember feeling super guilty about not having the will power to resist. But of course, with hindsight intact, I see the sticky, ugly fingers of legalism all over that and no longer have to acknowledge it as true fasting. My heart was not in it and I wasn't even sure what I was doing it for.

Here, we get to determine for ourselves what type of fasting we do. Biblically speaking it generally means a "no" to all foods  (I'm going to assume solids here) so I'll be drinking water today...until 5pm that is. The idea though is to determine, through prayer, what I should be fasting for; which makes sense. I mean, why would I do this without a purpose? So, I've just decided what I'm fasting for and will leave it up to God. I would love to share it here but there's just this sense that this time, it's just between God and I for now.

I wonder how I'll be feeling at 3 o'clock today? Phew, feels like a long time from now. We'll see!

Aloha aʻe ana mākou i ke ehu wāwae o ka lani,
<translated: "We remember fondly, the footsteps of THE King"...Jesus>,

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