What We Can Learn From the African Pastor who Died of Malnutrition Trying to Replicate Jesus’ 40-Day Fast

Credit: South Africa Buzz
Credit: South Africa Buzz

A pastor wanted to do the right thing, but went about it the wrong way, and the decision ultimately cost his life.

Pastor Alfred Ndlovu, 44, of South Africa, died of malnutrition after going 30 days without food in an effort to replicate Jesus’ biblical 40-day fast.

In Matthew 4:1-11 Jesus was tested in the wilderness after fasting for 40 days and 40 nights.

According to Buzz South Africa, the deceased pastor, who was known as a “very spiritual” man, was discovered on the ground in the South African wilderness by a male passerby.  The man notified police, who told his family and congregation the devastating news.

“It’s unfortunate he had to die this way. After a month we got the sad news of his death,” a close relative told reporters.

The pastor’s “spiritual journey” began on June 17 with him reportedly being “healthy as a horse.”

Though Ndlovu’s heart was in the right place, his method of walking in the footsteps of the Savior was unwise. While the number of days someone can survive without food and water varies, on average the survival window is between 8 to 21 days.

So what can we learn from this pious leader’s fatal mistake? Being like Jesus is a wonderful and needful thing, but before going on any type of spiritual journey that includes extended periods of fasting, wilderness excursions and isolation from the world, pray for guidance and seek professional advice.

“Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers” (Proverbs 11:14, NLT).

“Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do!  And whatever else you do, develop good judgment” (Proverbs 4:7, NLT).

SOURCE: EEW Magazine