Fasting with the Teachable Spirit

» Posted by on Jun 30, 2014 in teachable spirit | 0 comments

Fasting with the Teachable Spirit

The prophet Isaiah struggled with the hypocrisy that he noticed in his generation. Fasting was typically accompanied by wearing sackcloth (a loose undefined garment made of a scratchy coarse fabric) and pouring ashes on one’s head. As any teachable spirit knows, going through the motions may not be indicative of what is really happening in the heart. In Isaiah 58:3-5, the prophet identifies behaviors that he observed, which did not seem to match the sincerity of fasting, namely:

  • you do as you please
  • you exploit all your workers
  • your fasting ends with quarreling and strife
  • you strike each other with wicked fists
Women all over the US, including my mom, make these dresses, contribute them to Little Dresses for Africa, who makes them available to anyone traveling to a country in need, February 2013.

Women all over the US, including my mom, make these dresses, contribute them to Little Dresses for Africa, who makes them available to anyone traveling to a country in need, February 2013.

Then Isaiah describes the kind of fasting God has chosen:

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? –Isaiah 58:6-7

Fasting, according to Isaiah, is being humble in a different way than the tradition of wearing sackcloth and ashes. The teachable spirit can fast through:

  • loosing the chains of injustice
  • untying the cords of the yoke
  • setting the oppressed free
  • sharing your food with the hungry
  • providing the wanderer with shelter
  • clothing the naked
  • remembering your family of origin
Dr. Kahrs with Maasai children in Kenya, December 2013.

Dr. Kahrs with Maasai children in Kenya, December 2013.

Does this seem like a daunting list?
Do you feel like this is an impossible task?
Where do you start in a world of people who are in serious need?

Since the teachable spirit has an attitude of open willingness mixed with gratitude, the first step is to begin with awareness. Being sensitive to those around you is the starting point for creating opportunities to help others achieve freedom. After observing others to determine what their needs might be, the next point of recognition is considering what could be helpful in that person’s situation. As Mother Teresa said,

Never worry about the numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you. –Mother Teresa

Dr. Jeff Kahrs with the Gear4Goals team in Kenya, Africa, December 2013.

Dr. Jeff Kahrs with the Gear4Goals team in Kenya, Africa, December 2013.

If you need an example of how this works, you can observe the ministry of Gear for Goals, who contribute sports gear to children and people in places where this type of equipment is unavailable or difficult to acquire due to lack of resources. Giving a soccer ball, baseball bat, or baseball glove can change the attitude of a child for the better, providing freedom of the soul, and lifting the yoke of oppression.

The children of Ingrid Education Centre with the soccer balls sent by my mother, Joan Rasmussen, January 2013. Douglas Monene, the founder of the school is kneeling in the center of the photo.

The children of Ingrid Education Centre with the soccer balls sent by my mother, Joan Rasmussen, January 2013. Douglas Monene, the founder of the school is kneeling in the center of the photo.

Sharing your food with the hungry and clothing the naked can be achieved by contributing $15.00 a month to Ingrid Education Centre, where children’s souls are nourished with good education, and shelter is provided for the day so that the children do not have to wander the streets where they are vulnerable to abuse.

Vision of the finished Kilimanjaro Mission Hospital.

Vision of the finished Kilimanjaro Mission Hospital.

Additionally, Dreamweaver International works in the Kimana Rift Valley, desiring to create the Kilimanjaro Mission Hospital, serving a 250 square mile area that has no medical facility. Opportunities abound to assist in contributing to the effort:

  • $25 will purchase antibiotics to save 5 people from a death threatening infectious disease
  • $50 will purchase worm medicine to treat 100 children
  • $100 will purchase medical supplies to complete 3 basic emergency medical procedures
  • $350 will purchase a portable adjusting table to provide chiropractic care for thousands of Maasai over the next 10 years
  • $1,000 will purchase 1/10th of the cost of a medical suite for patient care.
Students in front of the KSLPS building at the end of their semester, June 2014.

Students in front of the KSLPS building at the end of their semester, June 2014.

The hospital is being built next to the Kimana School of Leadership and Professional Studies, offering a college degree and professional training to the most underserved population in Kenya, assisting the needy to become needed; in other words, to find their purpose and calling.

While fasting can take on the outward appearance of sackcloth, ashes, and food deprivation, the teachable spirit is open to the type of fasting that gets God’s attention:

Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am IIf you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. –Isaiah 58:8-10

Photo from Dreamweaver Gear for Goals blog by Dr. Warren Bruhl.

Photo from Dreamweaver Gear for Goals blog by Dr. Warren Bruhl.

Fasting is finding healing for yourself through helping others do the same.

Today is the day to sponsor one of the children of Ingrid Education Centre and encourage the development of the teachable spirit by contacting Douglas Monene via email: douglasmonene@gmail.com. 

For more information on how you can make an incredible impact on the Maasai in the Kimana Rift Valley of Kenya by contributing to the Mount Kilimanjaro Mission Hospital, contact Dr. Warren Bruhl via email: dr.bruhl@dreamweaver911.org or other members of  the Board through Dreamweaver International.

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