Blessed to be a Faster

Rev. Dr. Ken Brooker Langston | November 27, 2013


As originally published on the Fast for Families blog. (

As Eliseo Medina, Dae Joong Yoon, and Christian Avila enter their seventeenth day of fasting on Thanksgiving, I am humbled by their sacrifice. I ended my second day of fasting early this morning. I wanted to fast for a third day, but unfortunately I was too sick because my medications would not stay down on an empty stomach. But my spirit soars with gratitude to God and to these core fasters for allowing me to participate with them for even a little while in the mighty work of God that is taking place in that tent, which is now, without a doubt, a holy tabernacle.

Powerful people are taking note of the incredible witness happening in this tent. We’ve received visitors from a wide diversity of our society: pastors of large congregations and the leaders of national religious organizations; leaders from the major unions; Congressional leaders, both Republicans and Democrats; Cabinet members, Presidential advisors, and other White House staff — who joined the fasters for a day — and even the Vice President of the United States. All of them were invited to tell their story about their personal commitment to comprehensive immigration reform, and then lead fasters in a prayer for reunited families, functional government, and immediate reform.

I was blessed to be one of the fasters in the tent when the President of the United States spoke about us in his speech on immigration in San Francisco as we all huddled around a laptop to watch. I was blessed to be in the tent fasting when word came that the First Lady had tweeted about the fast, and then, later, that the President had done the same. But most of all, I was blessed by being in the presence of the core fasters and the other solidarity fasters just steps from the US Capitol. Despite all the words and visits by powerful people, the greater power was that Power manifesting itself in the living faith of those fasting and praying for Congress to act.

My prayers are with the core fasters and with all the solidarity fasters as they continue to publicly witness and channel the redemptive and transformative power of God to the seats of power — and also give hope to millions of God’s children trapped in our broken immigration system. God is good! And our God is able! Praise God for God’s faithful servants! And thank God for allowing me, even if for a brief time, to share in this faithful witness.

Rev. Dr. Ken Brooker Langston is the Executive Director of the Disciples Center for Public Witness.