The Breaking of Fasts: A General Warning (Zacharias T. Fomum)
It is easier to start a fast than to stop it. Read the following testimony and learn a lesson from it. Brother Elijah Enyeji wrote:
“I bless the Lord my God that I am alive to testify and in this way contribute to help brethren who would approach their Father by the sacrifice of fasting. This testimony dates back to the year 1981. I had fasted before but the particular fast in question was one of twenty days and it was the very longest I had had then. I was at home with the children, for my wife was in school in another part of the country. I had not received any teaching on how to break a fast and I did not see anything on the subject of how to break fasts in the Bible.
I know myself just as everyone knows himself. When I am healthy I have an appetite for many delicacies. I like cakes, salads, well-prepared cocoyam fufu with nice okro soup, eggs fried with tomatoes and onions. I accumulated a lot of appetite for these things during the twenty days of fasting and, as the fast drew near to the end, I prayed more for the arrival of the day when it would end than for the purpose of the fast, which was the numerical and spiritual growth of the Assembly. Our refrigerator was packed full with the delicacies I loved. It contained eggs, pears, meat, soft drinks and a special guava drink prepared for me by a sister in the Assembly.
On the day I broke the fast, I took some soft drinks in the first place. Then I ate some cake and fried eggs full of tomatoes and oil. This was followed by a full dose of salad that contained a lot of eggs and avocado (pears). I then drank a lot of milk to give me resistance. All this was around 6 p.m.
Later on, at about 8 p.m, I went in for some cocoyam fufu.
During the course of eating the fufu, I found that I was sweating profusely and that my strength had begun to fail me. One of the children had to come and help me put the food into my mouth. That did not go on for long before I rushed to find comfort in bed.
On my bed, I was unable to close my eyes. Toward, 1 a.m, things were very bad and getting almost out of control. I had serious indigestion and gas had only one exit out of my system and that was through the mouth. My stomach began to grow bigger and bigger with increasing gas coming out through my mouth. I went to the toilet but nothing came out. It was as if my intestines had sort of closed themselves and there was no passage through. Then they began to twist and turn and I felt very sharp pain. The pain was so sharp and continuous that I felt that death was near. I took a laxative drug called “Eno” and some others to fight the indigestion. The acute pain continued all through the night. It was only in the course of the next day that I was able to go to toilet and relieve myself of some of the wastes that were in me and began to feel relief from the pains. I was like a man who had come back from the land of the dead; for I got very close to death. I had experienced deep and far-reaching agony and cried aloud in such a way that I woke my children from sleep in the height of my agony.
I had learnt a bitter lesson on how not to break a fast. I am grateful to the Lord that He had mercy on me and spared my life so that I may continue to live for Him and minister to His children in many ways, including this testimony. I have had other fasts which although shorter than the one in question, were broken wisely and painlessly. Fasts should be broken carefully. That is what I had failed to do and that failure nearly cost my life. There is much information now available in the Assembly and I do hope all will profit from it and not repeat my error.