Hal and Cherrie from London based east-meets-west electronic pop group Ooberfuse have been finding sticking to their Lent Give It Up Challenge a little tricky – especially when Hal had to face the cold of the ‘Beast from the East’ without hot food or drinks!
Hal: Giving up hot food and drink on the basis that it starts with the first letter of my Christian name sounded like a great idea before the season of Lent began. What I never foresaw, however, was that London would experience its coldest winter with temperatures dropping to sub zero levels.
It’s a primitive instinct when you’re cold to take in hot fluids and hot foodstuff. For example, nothing tastes better than a baked potato on a cold winter’s night. So when the Beast from the East burst in to our lives, I was struggling with these basic instincts.
Summoning up strength
Rather than yield to them and in order to stay faithful to my Lenten #GiveitUpChallenge, I had to summon every fiber of my being, spiritual and physical, to transcend the urge to indulge in hot food and drink in search of warmth.
But every cloud has a silver lining. Whilst I strained hard to resist natural bodily appetites, I did experience an inner spiritual awakening. I found myself praying to God to give me strength to help me stay true to this challenge.
Mangoes in Mindanao, Jelly in Japan
Cherrie: For Lent I gave up food starting with the letters “ch”. For me, refusing chocolates is a daily struggle. I need my sugar rush every day! So I had to find alternatives and I find myself praying more for inner strength.
When we were in Mindanao, Philippines for an anti-human trafficking concert in early March, I turned to dried green mangoes and fried sweet bananas. Right now in Tokyo, Japan whilst writing this blog, I am eating lots of grape jelly and fresh fruit juice/shakes. So I guess one positive thing from this experience is that I am forced to look for slightly healthier sweet options like fresh fruit.
I also find myself talking more to people about why I am not eating chocolates, chicken, cheese etc. So there are more opportunities to talk to them about CAFOD and the #GiveItUpChallenge. Depriving myself of treats such as cheese and chocolates focuses my mind on why I am doing this challenge.
For some going hungry isn’t a choice. Read about the reality of hunger as told by three people in Zimbabwe
Being thankful for the little things
I also find myself more thankful for small everyday things. For example, I am thankful that Tokyo has great pork katsu and so I’m not missing out too much on chicken katsu! I hope to continue after Easter to find ways to highlight the importance of helping those who are facing economic challenges and hardships in countries around the world.