Saturday, August 25, 2007

Lent in September

You can tell a lot about someone by his or her trashcan.

Case in point: I like Dunkin' Donuts. In North Carolina, Dunkin' Donuts exists as junk food; accordingly, my semi-addiction left me a glutton. In New England, Dunkin' Donuts exists a staple, a way of life even; accordingly my growing addiction leaves me, well, normal. Normality eludes me most days in this strange and foreign land, so I cling to it on a daily basis at the purple and orange. My trashcan reveals this.

This September, however, my trashcan will remain empty. I will not consume Dunks coffee. I will not gorge on Dunks donuts. In fact, I will not visit Dunks at all.

Lent comes early this year for your humble hack.

Now, dear reader, you may find yourself asking, "Why this new found abstinence? Health kick? That seems rather out of character. Budget cuts? Well, coffee only costs $2.00. Tired of taking out the trash, perhaps? Foolishness! A small price to pay for such excellence! If not these reasons, then why?"

Glad you asked. Allow me to explain.

The InterVarsity chapter at the University of New Hampshire will travel to the Gulf Coast this Spring Break to help with the continued Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Three years later, much work still remains to help people recover their lives, though you might not know this since the media and many celebrities have not found it chic to continue pointing towards the need. Regardless, it remains and desperately so.

Last year, InterVarsity in New Hampshire sent 70 students (2 of whom were the co-captains of UNH's nationally ranked football team) down to the Gulf, half of whom did not profess a faith in Christ. Here, they found themselves exposed to suffering, Christians who care about that suffering, and the biblical truth about how God responds to this suffering. In short, they heard the Gospel and saw it in action. This year, we have implemented a new program called "Bring a Friend to Build." The gist: this Spring Break, any IV student who invites and brings someone not currently involved with the fellowship goes for half the $400 price. The invited friend also attends for half price.

We have to raise money to make this happen. To do so, some of the InterVarsity staff, self included, will embark on a marathon. No, not the kind that involves lots of running. We will take on a task much bolder, much riskier than that. We will tackle a 100-hole (yes, 100 holes!) golf marathon in one day, that day being September 24. Trees, houses, rodents, anything within reach of my slice, beware!

I seek sponsors for this endeavor.

Enter: my trashcan.

Now, I do not have a lot of money to fling around. Most of you find yourselves in similar situations, especially considering I have already approached most of you for money to fund my salary. However, I do somehow find enough money to fling around each day at Dunkin' Donuts - specifically, $3.00/day for a coffee and 2 donuts, 6 days/week, 4 weeks/September. Abstaining from coffee and donuts will free up $72 over the course of September.

I challenge you, dear reader, to find something in your trashcan you can give up for the month of September to enable someone to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ this March. Magazines. Coffee. Little Debbies. Deodorant. Sweet Tea. Beer. Movie Tickets. Join me in giving something up for the month of September and committing the savings to non-Christians seeking Jesus Christ.

If you commit $0.25/hole, that would be $25. $0.50/hole would come out to $50. If you committed $2/hole, you would send one non-Christian to the Gulf. All donations are tax deductible.

If this peaks your interest, send an e-mail to to let me know. I will let you know how, when, and where to give. If we can get enough people interested, I will write a post on it, and we can keep track of how our abstinences progress (or, even more entertainingly, fail) throughout the month of September. I may even ask some of you to write a post to let us know how it goes.

What's more, we will have much to celebrate together come Spring Break.

You can tell a lot about a person by his or her trashcan. May your trashcan make a statement about the Kingdom of Jesus Christ this September.


Anonymous said...

great idea Ben! that's incredible!

Jeff said...

"May your trashcan make a statement about the Kingdom of Jesus Christ this September."

Well, I don't even know how to respond to that sentence.

I hope this idea works out well for you, my friend.