COH Food and Water Challenge – Day 2


Hello Hungry Friends!

Congratulations on making it through Day 1! While my stomach growled yesterday, I was spurred on by reading through the blog entries posted on our website. I, like many of you, found it to be a very challenging day. My girls were bitter that they couldn't have Craisins in their oatmeal, and I was grumpy because I couldn't have my hot tea. Others wrote about their caffeine headaches, their craving for their daily coffee or their extra large Diet Coke. One student described her discipline in sticking to a rice and beans diet and giving up her weakness . . . marshallow peeps! Way to go as our bodies and our minds begin to acclimate to this challenging diet. We are all making sacrifices in varying degrees.

Even though that bowl of oatmeal or those rice and beans may seem simple, we are actually eating what is normal for the broad middle of the world's population. Our food choices are the options recommended to us by the advocacy group, Bread for the World. They want us to remember that what we are eating is still quite generous for much of the world. There are approximately 1 billion people who live on less than $1 a day!

Check out this definition of hunger:

1. the discomfort, weakness, or pain caused by prolonged lack of food
2. to have a strong or compelling desire

As we each experience discomfort this week, my prayer is that God will stir in us a strong and compelling desire to be more like Him and to see His Kingdom come here on earth. I was sitting with a group of friends in the lobby last Sunday after all the buzz of the weekend service was quieting down. We were talking about the days ahead and the 5-Day Challenge. Warren Beach said, "While people in the developing world have great physical needs that we can help address, we also have great spiritual needs that can be addressed by getting out of our comfort zone and participating in challenges like this. To grow spiritually, we need to embrace these challenges for the nourishment of our souls."  May this week be "sustenance" for you spiritually.

"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 him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 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." Isaiah 58:6-8

In Solidarity,

Heather Larson

and the COH Team

Category : Celebration of Hope


It is just incredible to me that I have such a hard time doing this for less than 1/52 of my year, yet for most of the world, this is a full time fact of life! This challenge brings me face to face with the ugly level of my expectation for non stop comfort and safety in my life!

I thought my biggest challenge is to work around business lunches and events and then I stop myself thinking how fortunate I am to not have to spend the majority of my day simply looking for food/water for myself or my family as does too many of the world’s poor. We are living in “Disneyland” and we don’t even know it…

On Saturday, April 18th, I received a letter from a young girl named Sibomana that my family and I sponsor through World Vision. Sibomana lives in Rwanda and contained in her letter was the following sentence -“At my house we plant sweet potatoes and I like to eat rice with beans”. Only God could give me this gentle nudge that the next week is not a sacrifice for me, but the norm for much of the world. Thank you Lord!!!

I wasn’t able to post yesterday. But I’m sorry. I failed yesterday. I gave in to a hamburger and coffee. My eyes were all cloudy and the smell was irresistible to my salivating mouth. I’m home today where temptation is controllable. So I’m going to try again. God bless everyone who has made it through day one and this blog. What a great resource to feed the soul and turn our backs from temptation, and to focus ourselves from many worldly things.

We support two children in Africa (Tanzania and Ghana) through Compassion…. My prayers for them took on a deeper meaning yesterday as i shared in their diet 1. That they would have enough food for the day and 2. that they would feel God’s sustaining power.

I really really really really want a cup of coffee.

“The task ahead of us is never as
great as the Power behind us.”

My wife and I made it through day 1, and I am doing ok so far on day two. It is really eye opening what it feels like after only one day. Imagine if this was your life. This is an incredible time for me. I was laid off from my job Thursday before Good Friday, Bills sermon on Easter really hit me and I posted my needs on the wall. This is a rough time but God has a plan and I trust in him…

I woke up this morning at 4:30, hungry. Seven hours later, I’m still hungry and having a hard time focussing. Oh and I’m crabby ! I am thankful for the blog and knowing so many are on this eye-opening journey with me. I started a prayer list yesterday and am adding to it daily — thanking God for all I have and asking him to help me simplify & purify my life !!!!

This is an interesting journey as a family. After day one my husband and I were secretly hopeful that the kids would boycot the experience and we could stop after day one. Not the case, boy are they leading us. When I asked them should we do day 2 they said, “why do you even ask?! We are doing all 5 days” I guess I better shut up, and follow.
As a family yesterday we discussed what the day one experience had been like. My favorite was from our 5th grader’s lunch experience.
As he sat with his small portion of food at the school lunch table and none of his friends offered him any of their food he found himself wondering why when there is so much around him he still had to be hungry. He then went onto say, “I think I need to be better about sharing.”

Day 2 has been a little bit easier for me. My caffeine headaches are diminishing. And I am increasingly humbled at the thought of those who have no choice but to eat like this, or less, every day.
For those who have stuck with it…Way to go! Keep it up!
For those who have slipped…You can do it! Pick it back up!
May God continue to work in all our hearts and grow them with compassion for His people!

Instead of one cup of oatmeal with skim milk and brown sugar, I’m having a half cup with water. My lunch and dinner each consist of one tortilla with rice and beans. Drinking a lot of water, too. I am thankful to have something. We are truly blessed!

I went to sleep hungry and wokr up hungry. It was hard to see snacks in my kitchen and I had to resist from taking a bite. I decided to put the pamphlit, that was given out on Sunday, in my mirrow so that I can wake up and remember why I am fasting. Its working for me so far. I am thankfull for what I have though. For the last two years my youth group in another church was doing the 30 Hour Famine (World Vision Oraganization). So we didn’t eat for 30 hours and during the day we helped out by doing community service around the neighborhood. I think this is another great experience!

I feel hungry and tired. Grouchy and weary. While on the treadmill the other day I thought “Well, I won’t be able to workout this week, because I won’t be able to nourish myself afterwards.” But, then I thought, “Wait a minute, girls walk 10 miles a day sometimes to get water. And they might not have anything to renourish their little bodies!
How spoiled we are?!

Day 2…. it is a humbling experience…My will wants to get up and grab some chocolate, but I know that the majority of thw world does not have that option. We only have 5 days of rice and beans, some children live their whole lives on nothing more that that. Some even eat dirt to fill their stomachs. I am thankful that I have my rice and beans.

This morning, my husband made the “plain” oatmeal that we had bought for this week. We took one bite, looked at each other, and spit it out. It tasted delicious! We checked the ingredients, and, sure enough, it had salt and flavoring in it. We decided it wasn’t fair, threw it out, and ate some rice and beans for breakfast. Oh – it was so hard to throw out the tasty oatmeal after having actually tasted it! I think my stomach is already shrinking some, because I am feeling sort of comfortable after eating my tortilla with a half cup of rice and quarter cup of beans in it. Caffeine headache is pretty much gone. Doesn’t change the fact that I want a Diet Coke and a Dove Bar.

My guess is that I am totally cheating as we made .refried beans and spanish rice. Enjoying the concept though. In the 70s I visited the UT BSU on the day they had decided to have beans and rice and donate their normal meal cost to missions. I did not get that at all.

Last year, someone’s commnent to me was “Food is an idol in our country. A culturally acceptable one, yet still an idol.”

Bible search on the word “Hungry” for consideration….
Proverbs 27:7
He who is full loathes honey, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.
Isaiah 29:8
as when a hungry man dreams that he is eating, but he awakens, and his hunger remains; as when a thirsty man dreams that he is drinking, but he awakens faint, with his thirst unquenched.
Isaiah 44:12
He gets hungry and loses his strength; he drinks no water and grows faint.
Isaiah 58:9-11:
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: “Here am I”.
If you do away with the yoke of oppression…..
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.

Something that is helping push me through the weak moments is the fact I told people I was doing this. Friends not involved at Willow that wanted to hear more and have encouraged me to continue. Accountability? saving face? wanting to show my desire to grow my compassion for and understanding of the poor? A combination I suppose.

I like Christa’s comments about telling people about our week. I know Bill said in service on Sunday to “not complain about it” and “not tell anyone” – that it is between us and God, but I’m agreeing with Christa. The people I have told think it is a very powerful thing; I really see it as a mechanism for teaching people about the compassion of Christ.

I am a mother of two small children, I never realized how much I grazed on food all day long. I have made it so far (without even popping one goldfish in my mouth!) and am counting down till five for my rice, beans, and tortilla. My husband (200 lbs) is actually doing this too and it was funny to see him eat ONE chicken nugget with rice and 4 green beans for dinner last night (you should see how he normally packs back the food). He’s popping advil for his hunger headaches!
My stomach pangs really make me look wistfully at my children’s plates when they don’t finish their food. I have been noticing crumbs on the counter from making lunches and breakfasts…it’s hard to see anything go to waste. This is already very growing for me…

I dont know where to begin … I’ve noticed sitting at my desk all day I can and have the availability to snack on food. But these last two days I’m tryin my hardest. But, Its hard to imagine someone only having the option of beans and rice or nothing!! I’m craving such a LARGE meal right now and thinking about it I can have it whenever I want!! Even if I lasted a day its already set it … sorry rambling is my thing … but I cant express the sadness that comes over me when I see what these children look like. Or can imagine water that is a lil “cloudy” … God I thank and love you everyday for taking care of me and I’ve decided that I want to sponsor a child you cant take care of them self.

Thursday is my birthday. Does any one know how to stand a candle in a bowl of rice or beans, since my son and his family is doing this also, I think we will wait and have dessert next week. This sure makes my heart hurt thinking of all the people who go to sleep at night with their bellys aching of from hunger

My husband and I are doing the challenge and finding it hard. We are tired and fighting headaches from lack of caffiene. It’s hard to concentrate at work and hard to stay awake in the evenings.
A few things we have been reminded of/convicted of already:
*We should never say “I’m starving”…because it simply isn’t true
*We are very spoiled and used to our comfort.
*We are not as tough as we’d like to think.
*God is able to be everything we need.
I’m glad to see this blog and read everyone’s responses and experiences is. I really took it to heart what Bill said about keeping this between myself and God. And so I haven’t talked to anyone about it. My MIL’s 50th birthday party is tomorrow night and it was scheduled before we knew about the challenge so we are planning to eat lightly enough to make sure we are still hungry but not ruin the celebration for her with questions about what we are doing. We will go one meal longer to make up for it. It’s going to be hard to make key lime pie tonight, knowing I won’t be eating it! But we are really committed to sticking to this as best we can. We want to hear what God has to say to our hearts!

i feel like a zombie!! i ate a grape and it tasted like one of my beloved PEEPS! my mom is making my quit tomorrow because i look like i’m gonna pass out…

This has definately been an eye opener for me today. I realized that we snack a lot at our house, and yet again my son’s 1/2 of a sandwich he had for dinner looked like the best food ever! My husband and I are doing well. He lost 4 1/2 pounds yesterday! I have not checked, but it will be interesting if I find the same! We are doing plain rice and beans, not flavored or refried, no salt either. What a challenge this is, and an encouragement to know that even thought we don’t go to WC and live in Wyoming, all of you are doing this too!

I have just finished day two, as my husband who has an intensive labor job eats next to me-rough, but I realize those all around us suffer every day. As I cut my husband a piece of choclate cake and the icing was on my fingers, I quickly put them under water so I wouldnt be tempted. It just shows how spoiled we are. I know I will make it through, it is such a small sacrifice. And it gives me more time to pray-sure miss that coffee though.

The deepest message I got from the blogging so far is from Lori’s son’s comment above:
“As he sat with his small portion of food at the school lunch table and none of his friends offered him any of their food he found himself wondering why when there is so much around him he still had to be hungry” It caused me to wonder about those same thoughts being in the heads of the people who must face this every day. These people see/hear of the wealth of the developed world and it must be very hard for them to understand why they still have to be hungry. I know I must help alleviate this as best I can.

I have been thinking about Bill’s words last year when he discussed how much food gets thrown out in this country every day, and how much more people eat each day than they really need. I’m so thankful that God continues to show me what “Enough” really means in this life, especially when so many in the world are suffering.

The hardest part is at work between 2:30 and 3:00. I want to reach for a snack in my snack drawer. Everyone keeps on saying, “Rice and tortilla, that is all you are eating?” Thankful for me, I dont eat condiments anyways. I love rice and bread. The hardest part at home is no wine. I love a glass of wine with my dinner. But I also love this challenge. I have to admit, I did have 1 chocolate mini egg yesterday….whooops!

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