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FSM 249 / FN 358 DO
THE BIRTHDAY FAST 1994!       Special Issue
--By WS Staff 1/94

© Copyrighted Feb. 1994 by Family Services, Zurich, Switzerland

       (The first five pages of this FSM should be read unitedly {\ul \i before} February 15th, when the Birthday Fast begins. Pages 6 through 8 should be read {\ul \i unitedly} during your {\ul \i first meeting} on the morning of February 15th.)
       God bless you, dear Family! We love you very much & appreciate your faithfulness to the Lord, Dad & Mama, & the Family!
       It has been thrilling to see all the Lord accomplished through our Family in 1993. It's amazing what the Lord can do through our small missionary movement, because each person is fully dedicated to the Lord & His service. Doesn't it make you feel proud of our Family & so thankful to be a part of it?! PTL!
       1994 promises to be another thrilling year of wonderful victories. Since the Lord has so much in store for us, Dad & Mama felt it would be well worth our time to begin this new year with another Family Birthday Fast, during which time we can unite our hearts in the Word & prayer, & seek the Lord for His continued guidance, strength, protection, supply & blessing. Therefore, we'd like to ask you to please join us in three days of prayer & fasting on February 15, 16 & 17, followed by a day of celebration on Dad & the Family's Birthday, February 18th. PTL!

The Physical Aspects of the Fast
       The physical aspects of the Fast, as far as who will fast & what foods will be eaten, & when the Fast will begin & end, etc., will be the same as the last two years. We'll include here some helpful explanatory paragraphs from GN 495:
       "For the three days of the Fast we ask that as many in the Homes who can, from ages 14 (junior teens) & up, participate in the Fast, sticking as much as possible to taking in only liquids. Children, JETTs, pregnant & nursing mothers, & those who work with children or who have to do any unavoidable work should eat 'fast foods'--foods that are quick & easy to prepare & that, if possible, require little or no cooking, such as sandwiches, boiled eggs, granola, cold cereal, fruit, nuts, yoghurt, cheese, cottage cheese, carrot & celery sticks, etc. Perhaps some of these 'fast foods' can be prepared ahead of time, so that during the fast as little work as possible will have to be done in the kitchen. Although the children & JETTs will eat during the fast, if they are only eating 'fast foods,' they will feel that they too are taking part in this special time."
       (Note: We would not recommend that the JETTs fast one meal a day this year, as some of them may have done in years past, because they will be very busy with their very important activities as prayer warriors and helping to organise and assist in the care of the children.)
       "Those who are fasting can drink liquids such as fruit or vegetable juices, herbal & fruit teas with honey, hot bouillon or broth, water with lemon or apple cider vinegar, milk, etc. (Those who need their regular tea or coffee 'to survive' may have it.) It would be good to have a variety of juices available. (Note: This instruction was updated in 1993: 'In addition to those liquids, you could also include canned or packaged soup, if available in your area.'--GN 538, page 3.) If during this Fast you feel so weak that you must eat, then by all means eat something. In such a case, fruit might be the best thing to eat as it is light & requires no preparation except washing.
       "Of course you will experience hunger, as during the first three days of a fast your body is living off of its immediate reserves. Usually after three days the hunger subsides as your body shifts to metabolising fat for nourishment. It should encourage you that most of the fasting experts say that it's good to continue your basic schedule during a fast, that you don't have to lie down all day to conserve energy, but you can carry on pretty much as normal, as long as you use moderation in your activities.
       "Of course any essential work such as answering phones, caring for children, etc., will have to be done. However, you are not obligated to fulfil all the DTR Requirements during the week of the fast. Because your regular schedule will not be in operation & everyone will be so busy fasting, praying, reading & having united meetings, you are exempt from the DTR Requirements for that week. Get-out should be taken, but it should not consist of more than a gentle walk for 30 minutes or so. If possible, it would also be good for everyone in the Home to have some time available to take a daily nap.
       "This is also a time for fasting all bodily pleasures, sex, TV, videos, unnecessary talking & any unnecessary work. Perhaps one or two people can watch the news & read the important sections of the newspaper to keep abreast of any important information, but everyone else in the Home should avoid these activities. The extra time gained by forgoing such activities will enable you to spend more time with the Lord in the Word & prayer.
       "Please begin the Fast on the morning of February 15th, & continue it until the evening of February 17th. You can end the Fast the evening of February 17th, by having a light evening meal, such as soup. Please try to set aside February 18th, Dad's & the Family's Birthday, as a free day, to be spent in thanksgiving & praise for all the Lord has done!" (GN 495, Ptr.#65:103-108)

Two Separate Meeting Schedules Running Concurrently
       The program for this year's Fast will be quite different from the previous years because, as you read in FUN 11, the adults, YAs & teens will spend most of their time reading & discussing Mama's Letter to the Family in Europe, "Getting Back on Track for Jesus!" in GNs 575, 576 & 577. Because Mama's Letter contains vital counsel & lessons for our whole Family, & because it is quite long, it became apparent that the most opportune time to read it would be during the three days of the Birthday Fast, at which time most of the adults, YAs & teens will be able to give it their full attention & will have sufficient time to fully discuss it & properly follow up the reading with any needed pow-wows, personal talk times, prayer requests, open forum discussions, etc.
       Apart from the important subjects covered in Mama's Letter to the Family in Europe, we also have other crucial prayer requests related to the many battles & needs of our worldwide Family. It was a real relief to realise that these other important prayer requests would not be overlooked or neglected, because the Lord showed Dad & Mama that we can call upon our dear JETTs & children to be our special 1994 Birthday Fast prayer warriors. In order to accomplish this, the idea would be to have two separate schedules or programs running concurrently during the three days of the Birthday Fast--one for the adults, YAs & teens who will read, pray about & discuss Mama's Letter, & another one for the JETTs & children & their overseers who will follow the Birthday Fast prayer & activity schedule that is outlined in FSM 251.

Scheduling Tips
       Organising these two programs will require some preplanning & probably some juggling. Of course, you'll need to determine how to go about this according to your particular situation, but here are a few suggestions that we ask you to please keep in mind when planning your Birthday Fast schedules:
       Please try to work out your schedule so that as many teens, YAs & adults as possible can attend the united reading of Mama's Letter & the related discussions.
       If YAs or teens are normally with the JETTs or children, as their usual teachers or Shepherds, we would suggest it be arranged so that they not be with the JETTs or children during the Fast, so that the YAs & teens can participate in the adult/YA/teen meetings where Mama's Letter to Europe will be read. Please have adults take their places with the younger ones.
       It would also be advisable, as much as possible, that the Shepherds of the teens & JETTs attend the united reading of Mama's Letter.
       In order to allow the adults, YAs, teens, & Teen/JETT Shepherds to attend as many of the meetings where Mama's Letter is read as possible, we suggest your Home choose a crew of adults, such as parents, the adults involved in childcare, & other stand-in adults, to help with the care of the JETTs & children. You may need to unite some of your childcare groups at times, to make it easier.
       You will need to continue to give the children the same loving and diligent care and oversight during the Fast that they are accustomed to receiving. So even though you're trying to work it out for as many adults as possible to attend the reading of Mama's Letter, please be sure to have enough people with the children to ensure they're well cared for and there is no safety risk due to the childcare groups being too large. It is also preferable that the children know and feel happy and secure with the adults and JETTs who are caring for them.
       The adults who work with the children during the Fast can & should call upon the JETTs to be their helpers & assistants. Many JETTs probably already help with their younger brothers & sisters, but if not, this will be an excellent opportunity for them to take up this challenge, as well as to be the overseers' righthand men & women & bellwethers for the younger ones during these Prayer Days. This will be an added challenge to the JETTs.
       We understand that in years past the normal arrangement in many Homes has been for the adults to rotate so that all the adults can attend some of the adult meetings. In this case, we suggest that if possible you do not alternate adults, but just have the same adult crew handle the whole JETT/children's schedule & program. Or if you do alternate adults, the ones who go in & out of the adults' meetings should be given time as soon as possible to catch up reading the portion of Mama's Letter that they missed. Otherwise, if they don't read what they missed, when they go back to the adult meetings, they'll be a bit lost as to what is going on.
       If possible, it would be good if the adults who are with the JETTs & children can take time during the Fast to read Mama's Letter, so they can be informed as to what is going on. They should have copies of the Letter handy so they can read it, if they have any freetime, such as during rest time or before bed. (We realise, of course, that the adults who are with the JETTs & children may not have much free time during the three days of the Fast. If that is the case, then they should definitely be given ample time after the Fast to read Mama's Letter.)
       All the adults in our Homes are involved with working with YAs & teens in some way, & it would be a blessing if all could attend the united adult/YA/teen meetings. Since this is just not possible, it might be good to record any significant pow-wows or discussions or prophecy sessions so that those adults who were not able to attend can hear these discussions later. However, please do not record the actual reading of Mama's Letter to the Family in Europe, nor any of the other Fast-related pubs. (Time should be set aside for the adults who missed the meetings to listen to the taped discussions. After several days, all of the tapes of any discussions & pow-wows related to Mama's Letter to Europe should be gathered & erased!)
       Mama's Letter to the Family in Europe was read at a YA Seminar in Europe & they found that it took them approximately three days to read & discuss it. Therefore, we suggest you prayerfully consider your schedule of meetings for adults, YAs & teens so that you are sure to allot enough time in united meetings each day to finish the reading of the Letter & the related discussions in time to have united prayer & communion on the evening of February 17th. (It is not necessary to read & pow-wow "Hell's Bells" during the Fast if you don't have time. The reading & discussing of that pub can be done later, if need be. You can just concentrate on getting through Mama's Letter during the Fast.)

First Meeting Is United --A Time of Prayer & Praise
       Since you will have two fairly separate schedules going during the Fast, that means two different sets of activities will be going on for the majority of the three days, & you adults, YAs & teens won't see much of the JETTs & children during that time. Therefore, in order to start the Birthday Fast off with real unity & to have desperate prayer for some urgent prayer requests, your first meeting should be a united meeting--a time of prayer, praise & thanksgiving. This meeting, which should be held the morning of February 15th, can be attended by Home Members of all ages, as you feel led. Along with having desperate prayer & reading the various materials supplied for this meeting, it should also be a fun, happy time of singing, praising the Lord & counting your blessings.

Two Separate Communions to Close the Fast--But United Birthday Celebration
       You will see that the closing of Mama's Letter to Europe calls for a time of prayer & communion. This prayer session & communion should be the final meeting of the Birthday Fast for the adults, YAs & teens, but because the nature of the meeting will probably be specifically related to the Letter that has just been read, it seems best that you have a separate communion & closing meeting for the JETTs & children. Please make the JETTs & children's communion time very special, fun & lively so they won't feel left out.
       You can encourage the JETTs & children that everyone can look forward to a fun happy united celebration after the Fast on the Family Birthday. Please try to make the most of this time together. When you have your Family Birthday Party, special commendation & appreciation & attention should be given to the children, & the adults & JETTs who cared for them, for the very important role they played during the Fast as our prayer warriors!
       In "1993--Our 25-Year Anniversary" notice, you'll find a list of some of the many major victories that the Lord won for or through the Family in 1993. You could have a "count your blessings" jubilee during your Family Birthday celebration, during which time you could read this list & then follow up by sharing the victories the Lord has wrought in your Home or personal lives this past year. PTL!

Mealtime Prayer for Adults, YAs & Teens
       Because you adults, YAs & teens are not going to be able to participate fully in the Birthday Fast program of prayer requests, due to the fact that you'll be concentrating on reading Mama's Letter to the Family in Europe, perhaps you could adopt some new ways to get at least a little more prayer time in during your Fast days. Possibly you could designate someone--a different person for each liquid meal--to be responsible to choose a couple of prayer requests for special prayer during your liquid meals. This would give you the opportunity to participate a little more in praying for the Birthday Fast prayer requests. Perhaps you could pray for one worldwide request & one local request at each meal. Or you could try this for several meals, & then if you wish to adapt it or do it differently in any way to make it more convenient & workable, then that's fine.
       If you like this idea, maybe this prayer time could become a habit for you & part of the "routine" of your Home. Of course, if you want to continue having special prayer requests during your regular mealtimes when you have all the children & adults together, you might need to keep your prayers for these special requests short. This prayer idea is just a suggestion, you're not bound to this. You can find what works best in your situation.

JETT Version of Mama's Letter to Europe
       The JETTs should also be informed before the Fast begins that they will be able to read a special JETT version of Mama's Letter to the Family in Europe after the Fast is over. (Mama's Letter to the JETTs at the beginning of FSM 251, "The Birthday Fast 1994--Part Two" also mentions this.) We tried to figure out how it could possibly work out for the JETTs to also read Mama's Letter during the Fast, but it seems that would have made the scheduling way too complicated & it would have taken more adults out of the united adult/YA/teen meetings & away from the care of the children. And it is important that the JETT Shepherds attend the adult/YA/teen meetings, so they will be informed & full of the subject, in order to later present the JETT version to their students. So it seems best for the JETTs to have a special reading of the JETT version of Mama's Letter to Europe as soon as possible after the Fast & Birthday celebration is over. Please allow for sufficient time as soon as is convenient to read & pow-wow this Letter with the JETTs, & please do all you can to make it a real meaningful unforgettable time for them. Thanks!
       God bless you with a wonderful time of prayer & fasting, a real good kickoff to a tremendously fruitful & happy new year! "He will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry, when He shall hear it, He will answer thee" (Isa.30:19b).
       P.S.: For good tips on meetings, reading aloud, & having prayer & prophecy sessions, please see "Tips for Spirit-filled Meetings" & "Hearing from the Lord" on pages 9 & 10 of GN 496. Also, you may want to read "Fasting in the Bible" again, especially with the children. (GN 496, page 14)
* * *


       Children's Birthday Fast Materials

Dear Family,
       We love you & pray that this coming Birthday Fast time will be a blessing to you.
       A number of new pubs for children have been prepared for this Fast time, which are listed below. Please do not distribute these pubs to the children until the Fast, so that when they receive them, the pubs will provide new, fun & interesting reading & activity material.
       However, please allow time for your JETTs to become familiar with all this material before the Fast, as Mama has called the JETTs to be our Prayer Warriors for the Fast & to help inspire the children to do the same. (Please see "Our JETT Prayer Warriors" by Mama in FSM 251. This Letter is required reading for all JETTs & adults before the Fast.) These new pubs will provide the JETTs with lots of fun new ideas, & we would like to see the JETTs have sufficient time & opportunity to prepare activities, materials, etc. for the children.
       Following is a list of the children's new Fast materials, which we would like you to give the JETTs ahead of time:

       1. FSM 251, which includes "Our JETT Prayer Warriors", the Fast days prayer schedule & a reading list for the children & JETTs.
       2. FSM 250 "Prayer Ideas for All!"
       3. Kidz 78 DO & Kidz 80 DFO
       4. Kidz Activity Pages (KAP#2, #3, #4)
       5. Children's Prayer Vigil Promises
       6. Additional activity pages: Our Symbol, & colour-by-number pages
       It will probably also be helpful for the JETTs to be able to study over the Reading Lists & Activity Guides from the previous years' Fasts (FSM 203 & 233), so please also make these available to them. Thank you!
       God bless & keep you, & give you a fruitful & inspiring Fast time.
       Your WS Family

       P.S. to Adults, YAs & Teens:
       Since the JETTs are going to be taking the responsibility & burden of the prayer ministry during this Fast time, your Home Members should commend them & try to help them all you can, & follow Mama's lead in encouraging them & being proud of them (vocally) for their job this Fast time with the children. Please be sure to read Mama's Letter "Our JETT Prayer Warriors" in FSM 251.
* * *

Suggested Agenda for Your First Meeting
       (This section of the FSM should be read unitedly at your first meeting on February 15th.)
       We suggest you begin the first united meeting with a few upbeat songs. We'd appreciate it if you could then please unite in desperate prayer for a few outstanding prayer requests:

       1) For Dad: Mama commented: "I have a special prayer request for Dad. It's not too much different than what we have already been requesting for him, but it is becoming more important all the time that we pray fervently for it. It's been very difficult recently for Dad to get out & get good exercise. He has become quite weak as a result, although in general his afflictions have been minimal, thank the Lord. But if he doesn't get exercise, this could be very detrimental to him physically, so please pray that the Lord will make a way for him to exercise." Thanks!

       2) For the Lord to supply finances more abundantly than ever before, so we can be free to do our important Work for the Lord without being hindered by lack of funds.
       Before having prayer for finances, please take time in your united meeting to read Mama's Letter, "Ask & It Shall Be Given!" (See GN 578.)
       Mama commented: "Even though we are putting forth a prayer request for finances, the answer is already there in print for your encouragement in the form of the wonderful promises that the Lord made in the prophecies about finances. He said, 'Ask that ye may receive & that your joy may be full, & that ye be not hindered in the work that I have for you. For through history My people ... have had great wealth to advance My Kingdom, & how much more should ye? For ye are My Heavenly Kingdom of the spiritual realm.... Ye have been found faithful, & yet ye must have more faith to reach out & receive that which I would give you. For I have much more for you to do. I want My Message to get out in even greater volume, & for you to have a greater influence than you have had so far. And I shall supply your needs if you ask in faith, doubting nothing.'
       "We wanted to give you these few words from the Lord to help you to put your minds at rest during this Fast time so you won't have to be worried about finances, & so you can rest assured, knowing the Lord is going to supply as you pray. Please be sure to read the prophecies in GN 578 in full after the Fast is over. Thanks!"

       3) For our children's education, which is in need of a boost in many Homes worldwide. We have received various positive and encouraging reports and evaluations from authorities on our Family education, TTL! However, there are a number of areas in our children's schooling and care that need more attention & emphasising in order for our children to receive the training & education we want them to have, as God's Endtime soldiers. The Lord has great plans for them & they need to have a strong, Godly education for their missionary calling. We need to train, strengthen & encourage the teachers we now have, & raise up new teachers to help fill the ever-increasing needs of our children's education.
       Some Homes, which are on the frontline of the battle of persecution, have been involved almost fulltime in fighting to preserve the future of the Family & save our dear children. But even the Homes that aren't directly under fire of our enemies at this time have also taken part in the battle & spent a huge amount of time in persecution-related activities, such as picketing, demonstrations, public prayer vigils, mail ministries, following up on key people, reaching the media with press statements, etc.
       Our lives & Homes have become so much busier & so much more complicated since we've been fighting these vicious ongoing persecution battles, that it seems almost impossible to dedicate more time & attention to the schooling of our children. But we know you'll agree, our children are our most precious treasure, and we certainly don't want to neglect training them to be the disciples and witnesses in the Lord's Endtime Army that the Lord has promised they will be!
       So please, let's seek the Lord for a way to be able to give our children & their education more time and attention. Many years ago, when talking about childcare, Dad said, "You think you can't do any more than you're doing already, but you can, with the help of God!" ("What Is That in Thy Hand?", ML#315:24) So, lets all pray desperately that the Lord will show us how we can fill this need.

       Here are some specific prayer requests:
       That our children will continue to be well-shepherded & cared for in the spiritual & physical by loving parents & Shepherds; & that our Homes will also learn to make better use of our teachers in the education of the kids.
       For the children to receive consistent scholastic, practical & discipleship training.
       For the Lord to raise up more dedicated teachers who will make education their profession in the Family; & for the encouragement & appreciation of our present teachers.
       Funding for the many schooling & children's needs in each Home, & for the visitation of Family Educational Overseers to the Homes. For full-of-faith fund-raisers in each Area! Education is a great appeal project!
       For faith, initiative & a supportive attitude of each Member as they see the importance of carrying out our Family educational program to prepare our children to be the leaders & witnesses of the future that the Lord has promised they will be.
       That any weak areas in scholastics will be strengthened through extra tutoring and/or supplemental workbooks & study material.

       When praying about the need to put more emphasis on our children's education, the Lord recently indicated through prophecy that He has the solutions & He will supply the needs. Following are excerpts of those prophecies:
       "For I would that ye would train your children & teach them in every way for the great ministry that is before them.... As you will pour out, I will pour in such a blessing, wealth & riches, too, & physical material wealth ye shall find as ye care for these little ones.... I will spare nothing for My children!... I have ordained some amongst the Church as apostles, some prophets & some as teachers. Seek ye out among you good men to fill this role. For I say unto you, 'He that findeth a teacher, findeth a jewel of great price'.... I will lead you in a perfect balance so that these precious ones of Mine may be trained in Godly education."

       4) That the Lord will bring us through these battles against our enemies victoriously & give us a time of peace & calm, without further persecution emergencies. We need a time of reprieve from the battle, so all our dear Family Members, both young & old, can be strengthened. We also could then concentrate on some of the projects & needs of the Family that have been temporarily shelved or put on the back burner as a result of the intense persecution & media battles & the long-term court cases we've faced this past year, & are still facing.
       As you will recall, the Lord made it clear through prophecies & direction given at the Summit '93 Meetings that the fight had only just begun & that we would be faced with more persecution in the year to come (1993).
       "Over & over He said that we're going to battle, to war! 'Ye shall be men of war! Ye shall not fight a defensive warfare, for ye shall be on the offensive & ye shall be an offense to the World! For this World is not of Me. Ye shall speak against it, ye shall bear testimony, not only before magistrates, but before kings, & before nations.... It shall be known worldwide, that the prophets of this age have come & your Message shall ring abroad.... There are many battles yet to fight! There are many enemies yet to defeat! Therefore gird yourselves, prepare yourselves for the battle!... There is only time now to fight & to destroy the Enemy. Now set yourselves for the battle, for I will hurl you forth! But yet ye are attached to Me. I will not let go of you!'" ("A Summary of Summit '93", Ptr. #72:15.)
       This certainly has proven to be the case, as we have encountered greater persecution & attacks by our enemies this last year. The Lord has hurled us forth into battles that have been noised worldwide! But in answer to our desperate prayers, He has also wonderfully fulfilled His many promises to bring victory & spread the Message! "Call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, & thou shalt glorify Me!" (Psalm 50:15) PTL! What a year this has been!
       It was not possible to have a Summit Meeting this year, but a few top leaders were able to meet together with Peter for a time of prayer, to seek the Lord for solutions to the problems the Family is currently facing.
       These leaders were very burdened about the pressure & enormous workload all our Family Members face. Even under normal circumstances there is a huge amount of work to do in our Homes with outreach; the care, education & training of the children; business matters; the raising of finances, etc. But this year, on top of all that, we also had the pressure of enormous ongoing persecution battles! So every Home has in some way felt the stress & strain of the battle, & surely many of you are feeling battle-weary by now.
       Knowing that the Family has been under considerable strain for months & months weighed heavily on these leaders' hearts. They came before the Lord in prayer, seeking the Lord's direction & guidance as to what we could expect in the not-too-distant future. You will be happy to hear that the Lord promised in prophecy that there are great victories ahead, & He seemed to indicate that there may be some kind of rest to come, a period of calm during which we will be able to regroup & gather our forces after this very eventful & busy time. TYJ!
       There will be more on this coming later, but following are a few brief excerpts of the prophecies the Lord gave concerning the victories to come:
       "For the battles that ye fight rage on, but lo, victory is sure, as I have promised. For I have said from the beginning that ye shall be victorious, and so shall ye be. But ye must fight and ye must win. And when these victories are won, then ye shall have peace. And in peace ye shall care for your little ones and love them and strengthen them.... I have called you unto this fight, and I have forced you into this fight. I have flung you into this fight that ye may be victorious!... For there will be those that have fought and have conquered, and the time for victory is coming!"
       Thank the Lord for the good news that we have these wonderful victories to look forward to! Praise the Lord! But we have not yet won all the battles & we are not yet in much of a time of peace & calm. In fact, we are still in the middle of a raging war with our enemies! So let's please keep praying that the Lord will help us to win ringing clear victories in the persecution battles & court cases we're facing, & that we will have a time of peace & rest to regroup & restrengthen & bind up the wounds & get prepared for the other great battles ahead. PTL!

Copyright 1996 The Family