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David Beckmann's Remarks
David Beckmann now takes the stage to welcome all of the participants of the Gathering. (That includes you, blog readers! Welcome!) Rev. Beckmann provides us with some context about the hunger and undernourishment rates around the world in and our country. We rejoice, in the midst of these things, because God is with us. We know that God is good and we rejoice in the radical promise of the day where there is "hunger no more."
He notes that in this decade -- the United States has more than doubled the money it spends on fighting disease and poverty around the world. He notes that this simply could not have happened without Bread for the World's activisits. This work is making a real difference in families all around the world.
President Beckmann notes that domestically, Bread for the World has focused on ensuring that poor and hungry people recieve food provision assistance. Compared to 2000, 16 million more people are receiving support from nutrition programs because of the work that Bread for the World and activists who are advocating for policies for poor and hungry people.
He tells us the story of his adopted son's birth mother -- who informed him that when she was a graduate student and became pregnant, her family all but disowned her and she was left without support. She turned to the WIC program - a nutrition program benefitting women, infants, and children. This program nourished her unborn child and she was extremely thankful for the support provided to her in such a difficult time. Rev. Beckmann notes that we should think of stories that are behind the faces of those benefitting from these nutrition programs. Who in your community is receiving support from these nutrition programs? Do you know their stories?
Moving on to our current campaign, Rev. Beckamnn speaks of Bread for the World's activity on the Initiating Foreign Assistance Act of 2009 -- H.R. 2139. President Beckmann reflects on the last six weeks of activity surrounding this important bill. Bread activists are making a difference and are working to secure cosponsors for this bill. On Tuesday, we will go to speak to our representatives in person and ask them to cosponsor HR 2139 -- what creative thing will you do on Tuesday to communicate with your representative about reforming foreign aid? (You don't have to be too creative -- a phone call is helpful!)
President Beckmann is calling us to leadership on these issues. How will you lead your own faith community, family, or neighborhood to respond to the need to reform foreign aid?
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