In a noticeable dull voice, Pastor Jason Norton said he has not eaten for the past 15 days.
Beginning at midnight on Dec. 1, Norton stopped eating altogether and has subsisted on drinking liquids such as Gatorade, V8, coconut juice, water and coffee. His plan is to fast for 25 days, including Christmas day.
"I feel good. God is keeping me strong, most definitely," Norton told The Christian Post this week. "The weird thing is from day three to five it seems like your body is really not agreeing with what you're doing. It's like putting up the last fight. But around day six it literally is like the body gives up and says, 'alright, I guess you want to do this.'"
Norton, who pastors the King's Trail Cowboy Church in Van Alstyne, Texas, is calling his 25-day fast Project G6:2. The idea for Project G6:2 came from a fellow Texas pastor Norton knows who went on a food strike to collect 30,000 non-perishable food items. That pastor had also helped Norton plan Project G6:2.
G6:2 is a reference to Galatians 6:2, which reads, "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."
Recognizing the burden of many families this Christmas is lack of food and presents, Norton took it upon himself to help those in need.
"What God laid on my heart was to go without food and to go without Christmas so others can have both, so others might be motivated to give," Norton said.
Besides not eating, he has been living outdoors in a tent in an effort to give out more so others can have more this Christmas.
Every day, the King's Trail pastor collects toys, clothes and food dropped off by people who heard about what he is doing. Local needy families also stop by the 18-foot trailer besides Norton's tent, where the pastor gives them donated items and wishes them a Merry Christmas.
In the last few days, Norton said, he has been concentrating on building up the supplies for the big distribution day, "Cowboy Christmas," on Dec. 23.
As of Tuesday, the donation drive has collected enough items for at least 60 families, he said.
After the community giveaway, Norton plans to return to his tent and continue his fasting and outdoor living until midnight Dec. 26.
"I'm not going to eat on Christmas and I already told my family to not come visit me," said Norton, who has also asked his family and friends to not give him any gifts but donate items instead. "I'm just going to stay in my tent and other than coming out to use the restroom, I'm just going to stay in my tent and have no Christmas.
"It is a thing laid on my heart and that's what I'm going to do," the cowboy pastor explained.
This is the first time Norton has gone a full 25 days without food. Previously he had fasted for only six days, Norton said, so the seventh day of Project G6:2 was particularly hard for him.
The King's Trail Cowboy Church is affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the Texas Fellowship of Cowboy Churches.