VAN ALSTYNE, TX - He's gone without food for a month hoping to bring attention to the real reason for the holiday season. As his 25 day fast and camp-out is almost to an end, he’s lost about 30 pounds and toughed out some chilly nights. But despite all that, he’s gained something much more.
Jason Norton says his project goes beyond the food, clothing and toy drive.
"At first it started out that way and how naive of me to think that, but the Lord had bigger plans,” said Norton.
The Pastor of King's Trail Cowboy Church in Van Alstyne soon found out his month long camp-out was doing more for people than just providing basics for the holidays.
"Some people that wouldn't even go up to church, walking up to the campsite needing prayer and we just pray for them and get to talking to them and leading them to the Lord in prayer," said Norton.
While Jason goes without this Christmas, the community provided donations and the Lord provided his strength.
"It's all Him and without Him we can do nothing and the Bible says that and I really, really believe that now. So what kept me strong was the lord, every time.... It's very humbling to see him work," said Norton with tears in his eyes.
And thanks to the support of the community and Norton’s efforts, Christmas will be a little brighter for over 200 local families.
"I feel blessed that I got to be a part of their church ministry and it took a lot of anxiety and worry off of me because they've helped us so much," said Sherry Asaro, who received some of the donated items today.
For people like Asaro, this year would have been much harder without the Cowboy Church's help.
"It's a very tough one and we just, you know we try to do the best we can... And I've got two big boys and they have ideas of course about what they'd like to get, but it's just going to make a big difference in our lives. I'm looking forward to cooking now, I've got groceries to cook with," said Asaro.
And while Jason’s heart is filled with joy to be able to others, he says the real credit goes to one man.
"No matter what's said, what's done or what happens, I can't help and I don't feel obligated, I feel privileged to say this, and that is may God get every single ounce of the glory, not no man, not no church, not no town, no nothing, may God get all the glory,” said Norton.
He’ll finish out his 25 day project of fasting and living in a tent and he'll be at the corner of Highway 5 and 121 until midnight December 26th. He says anyone is welcome to stop by, but if you'd still like to donate then he asks you please give to local food banks.
And as for his first meal when the fast is over? He says chili with Fritos is his first pick.