Author Rick Bloomer and his family firmly believe in our mission. They have sponsored children for several years and consider themselves blessed to also be able to sponsor a student in our Leadership Development Program.


Over the past couple of years, my wife and I have partaken in the discipline of fasting. We have really focused on strengthening our relationship with the Lord, and with His grace and guidance we have experienced success with many challenges.

In September 2008, our daughter, who was born with spina bifida, had her only ventricular shunt revision to date (thank God). At that time and after hearing God’s calling to do so, my wife decided to do her first fast, with a dedication toward our daughter’s health. It was a 21-Day Daniel Fast, which essentially consists of consuming all natural plant-based foods only (fruits, vegetables, nuts).

About a week after our daughter’s shunt revision, we took her out of the bathtub one night and noticed that her shunt tract looked majorly infected. It was bulging out an inch from her neck.

We knew from all of our reading and study what an infected shunt looked like. We also knew that infections were somewhat common following surgery and that if she did ever have a shunt infection, it may require a hospital stay of 10+ days before it was resolved.

We quickly called the neurosurgeon and she told us to get to the hospital right away. It was about 7 p.m. We put our daughter down to sleep in our bedroom while we packed and got ready to go.

My wife, packing the suitcase on the living room floor, looked up at me and asked, “How will I ever comply with this fast while in the hospital?”

We knew after spending 14 days in the hospital after our daughter’s birth that the food certainly was not “Daniel Fast compliant.”

Couple that with the stress that is often present when dealing with such a situation and you can understand the potential difficulty here. But after thinking about it for a minute, she made it perfectly clear that because she made the commitment to the Lord, she would stick to it. My wife proceeded to pack her plain rice cakes, natural peanut butter, and fruit.

About an hour passed and we were ready to leave. My wife went in to wake our daughter and yelled for me to come into the room. When I arrived and looked at our daughter, I could see clearly that her shunt tract was perfectly normal. No bulging. No discoloration. No swelling. Perfectly and beautifully normal.

We called the neurosurgeon and she suggested to simply observe her and then to see how things looked in the morning. Well, in the morning, she looked great, and praise be to God — she has not had one major health problem since that night.

In fact, she started walking on her own this summer … a real miracle for a 2-year-old with spina bifida!

Some people might think that the issue with the shunt was mere coincidence. But we know better. That was the awesome and mighty hand of God blessing our daughter abundantly!

I strongly believe that this blessing was due to my wife’s obedience and faithfulness to the Lord during this difficult time. She accepted His challenge to complete the fast and He blessed our family because of it.

I can relay many similar stories of God’s blessings over our lives during other periods of fasting over the past two years. This is why I am so enthused about sharing the wonderful discipline of fasting with others.

In fact, a few months ago, God placed an idea in me to engage as many people as possible in a program of fasting.

Why? Because our family has experienced firsthand the absolute power of fasting and prayer and I want others to have the fulfilling experience that we have been blessed with.

But God also gave me an idea associated with the fast that involves “fasters” requesting sponsorship for their devotion and effort during the fast, in much the same way as they would if running a race or walking a 5K. This made perfect sense to me. Give up some of my food, my comfort, and my way of life in order to provide food for others in an attempt to enhance their way of life.

We decided to call the program Fasting-for-Food, and we have been working hard to develop the program over the past few months.

Because so many individuals who fast choose to follow the Daniel Fast, we have partnered with Susan Gregory (The Daniel Fast blogger), author of the best-selling book “The Daniel Fast: Feed Your Soul, Strengthen Your Spirit and Renew Your Body.”

Susan is a wonderful woman of God and oversees a New Year fast for thousands of individuals worldwide. She will be instrumental in promoting this program.

In addition, as my wife and I have been involved with Compassion over the past few years, we thought to ask Compassion to serve as the main partner, receiving funds from this initiative.

Specifically, funds raised will be directed to Compassion’s Global Food Crisis Program, to be used to provide food and other basic needs for some of the poorest people in this world.

In the true spirit of Christmas, please remember that the wise men came and gave gifts to Him and not to each other. Our own personal fasts might be the best gifts that we could ever provide to God — the giving of ourselves through a focused time of prayer and devotion to Him.

I hope that you will consider a fast this New Year. I also hope that you can help spread the word about this program so more people can learn of the benefits of Christian fasting.

It is our intent to engage as many people as possible in a fast this New Year — with the main objective of enhancing their own personal relationships with Christ.

When individual relationships are enhanced, group relationships are enhanced and good things really begin to happen.

You can learn more about this program by visiting www.fastingforfood.com.

I pray that the Lord will place on your heart the desire to dedicate yourself to Him this New Year through a focused period of fasting and prayer.

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  1. Momma Foster
    Dec 22, 2010
    at 4:31 pm

    I like some parts of this idea. But I am troubled with the part of “broadcasting” your fasting. Jesus’ teaching on fasting seems to say you should do the opposite.

    “But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:17,18

    Just concerned about that really important aspect of this idea.

  2. Dec 22, 2010
    at 9:47 pm

    Great idea! I’m doing it! Just wanted to say that I’m praying for your family, as well. As a parent, when your child has a health challenge you just think, “I wish it were me instead.” It’s hard. I’m just praying for strength and comfort for you guys.

    Bless you for your contributions to Compassion!!

  3. Dec 23, 2010
    at 2:34 am
  4. Dec 23, 2010
    at 6:02 am

    Rick, thank you for sharing your story. I wasn’t aware of how the Lord first led you to the Daniel Fast. Also, the Fasting for Food is a great idea and a powerful way to minister to the poor. I pray that the Lord will richly bless your efforts to love people in Jesus’ name.

    Kristen Feola
    Author
    The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast
    http://www.ultimatedanielfast.com

  5. Cynthia
    Dec 23, 2010
    at 11:14 am

    Please help me understand how this event (“fasting for dollars”) is biblical. For example, the NT tells us that Paul had a trade by which he supported his ministry. There’s no evidence Paul, or the Apostles sought donations for their prayers, fasting or healing.

    While a non-believer may choose to raise funds fasting as a physical endurance challenge (much like the marathon funding you cited), for a Christian, fasting is a means to help focus our spiritual life on God. In the Bible, Daniel’s fast is about defilement. In fact, nowhere does the Bible direct believers to a Daniel fast.

    Like Momma Foster said, Fasting is a private affair (Matthew 6:16-18). Turning it into a fund-raising activity, regardless of the cause, is a perversion. I’m troubled that Compassion is promoting a misuse of fasting regardless of the “benefit” it may appear to bring.

    I trust that your heart is well-meaning, however I exhort you to seek out a biblical basis before you lead others astray.

    • Rick
      Jan 3, 2011
      at 2:30 pm

      I believe this is an excellent point that deserves to be addressed. I would imagine that others may have the same question about the “privacy” aspect of fasting—I know I have thought about this a good deal over the past few months. My position on this is as follows. Of course you may agree or disagree—either way I appreciate and respect your view.

      1. During the time that Jesus spoke of fasting, it was a regular part of life for the Jews. This is clearly not the case today for most Christians. In fact, most know very little about the discipline and benefits of fasting (I understand clearly that fasting is not a firm biblical command and I am not suggesting that people need to fast in order to be a Christian). Also, I believe that when Jesus spoke these words about fasting “privately” he did so because so many prideful Pharisees were fasting in an attempt to receive public attention and to secure glory for themselves, rather than giving the glory to God. Our plan in no way is calling for this. While it is a public fast, the work is being done to glorify God. This is made clear in the program objectives.

      2. There are many occasions throughout the Old Testament when people were called to fast publically, as a congregational or national fast (as done by many churches today). Some examples are found in Joel 2:15-16; 2 Chronicles 20:3; Nehemiah 9:1; Esther 4:16; and Jonah 3:5-8. Luke also refers to a time of fasting in Acts 13:2. National fasts have also been called by various presidents in the past (John Adams, James Madison, and Abraham Lincoln). Based on the current state of our nation, a period of fasting and prayer is timely.

      3. Having been involved with many individuals who fast for the first time, I note that most are so excited about what they are doing that they want to share this with others. It’s not a matter of boasting about what they are doing. Rather, it’s a testimony to allow others to learn of this discipline and how fasting has helped them further develop (or to renew) their own personal relationship with Christ.

      Nonetheless, I fully understand and respect your view. There will likely be others who do not feel at all comfortable telling others that they are fasting, or requesting sponsorship during their fast. This is perfectly understandable. For these individuals, I would suggest that they ignore this component of the program and simply consider a private fast in which they devote themselves to the Lord during this time. This is of most importance.

      The encouragement to become more involved in service, in giving, and in leading a life devoted to Christ is often rightfully discussed within sermons today. I believe that individuals must first develop a strong relationship with Christ for their actions to then truly change towards a life of servanthood and devotion to Him. I know from experience that fasting is one discipline that can work to improve that relationship.

  6. Dec 23, 2010
    at 1:28 pm

    My understanding of the Bible is that Jesus doesn’t want you to use fasting to promote yourself — i.e. look at how great I am, look at how righteous and holy I am, etc. I think it’s more about avoiding self-aggrandizing, rather than being secretive.

    In fact, there are examples in the New Testament of groups fasting together. I think it’s okay for people to know that you give, fast, and pray. And it’s okay to do these things as a group.

    Ultimately, I feel like this project is about making sacrifices in your own life in order to benefit others.

    Scripture doesn’t require Christians to fast or demand it of them. So it’s a purely optional exercise.

  7. Sarah
    Dec 26, 2010
    at 7:37 pm

    I’m not sure about the fasting for money, how about fasting while you fundraise, but not have that be the reason that people give you money?

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