Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger
 

13 posts categorized "Bread Rising"

World Prayers for Sept. 21-27: Belarus, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine

Sergiyev Posal domes 1
Domes of Sergiyev Posal, Moscow, Russia. Photo by Stephen H. Padre

This is a weekly prayer series that appears each Friday on the Bread Blog.

One aspect of Bread for the World’s new Bread Rising campaign is prayer. The campaign is asking Bread members to pray, act, and give. In this blog series, we will be providing a prayer for a different group of countries each week and their efforts to end hunger.
 
This prayer series will follow the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle, a list compiled by the World Council of Churches that enables Christians around the world to journey in prayer through every region of the world, affirming our solidarity with Christians all over the world, brothers and sisters living in diverse situations, experiencing their challenges and sharing their gifts.
 
We will especially be lifting up in prayer the challenges related to hunger and poverty that the people of each week’s countries face. In prayer, God’s story and our own story connect—and we and the world are transformed. In a prayer common to all of us—the Lord’s Prayer/the Our Father—we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This line from this prayer can also be a prayer for the end of hunger.
 
We invite you to join Bread in our prayers for the world’s countries to end hunger. And we encourage you to share with us your prayers for the featured countries of the week or for the end of hunger in general.

For the week of September 21-27, we pray for: Belarus, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine:

O God of all nations, we give thanks that you sustain your creation through good government and cultural diversity around the world. We pray especially for the people and leaders of Belarus, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine. May the long history of Christianity in these countries and their beautiful places of worship be a source of peace and strength, as their societies seek to resolve political conflicts and overcome economic challenges. May harmony and prosperity replace violence and poverty, so that these countries may see an end to hunger. We pray in the name of Jesus, who is the Bread of Life of the world.  Amen.

Percentage of the population of these countries living below the national poverty line (2014 figures):

Belarus: 5.5
Moldova:
16.6
Russia:
11.0
Ukraine:
9.1

Source: World Bank World Development Indicators as found in the upcoming 2015 Hunger Report

Bread for the World at 40: Not Aging but Rising

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Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, speaks at the 2014 National Gathering in Washington, D.C. (Bread for the World)


By Stephen Padre

Nicholas Kristof, a well-known columnist for The New York Times, is making the rounds of talk shows promoting his new book, written with his wife, journalist Sheryl WuDunn. A Path Appears explores the question of how people can best make a difference in the world with the overwhelming array of charitable causes and organizations.

In an interview on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday on Sept. 14, Kristof made the argument for supporting well-established organizations. “It's incredibly glamorous to start your own organization, and it looks great on your resume. But we have this flowering of thousands or millions of tiny organizations that never gain scale and, often, after five years or so, they kind of disappear because the founder loses their initiative and enthusiasm,” he explains. “We also have to join existing enterprises and grow them.”

While existing organizations may be big bureaucracies and still aren’t able to solve enormous problems like access to water for all or the Israel-Palestine conflict, Kristoff argues that there are still advantages to working with well-established organizations.

This year, Bread for the World is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Some may think that reaching 40 is entering middle age, when we realize we’re no longer young and full of energy. But Bread has more energy than ever these days. There is new vitality as we pass the 40-year mark and set our sights on an ambitious goal – helping to end hunger by 2030 – through our new Bread Rising campaign.

What better time to set a huge goal than with 40 years of advocacy experience behind us? It’s only because we have several decades of experience in advocacy to end hunger that we’re able to set this goal, to believe that we can actually end hunger within our lifetime. We’ve built a strong foundation of legislative victories and have built up years of expertise to convince us that ending hunger is do-able.

Of course, it’s important to support startups or small organizations—the new food pantry at your church or the nonprofit trying to establish green spaces in your neighborhood. These enterprises often target local concerns and alleviate immediate needs. But nobody else is doing what Bread for the World is doing in such a big and powerful way. As with Moses, our first 40 years were only the preparation. And now we’re ready to move the mountain – Capitol Hill -- to get our government serious about ending hunger.

We’re not getting old—we’re hitting our stride! Now is the perfect time to support Bread and to be part of this 2030 goal of ending hunger.

Stephen Padre is the managing editor at Bread for the World.

World Prayers for Sept. 14-20: Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania

Hungarian_Goulash
Hungry in Hungary? Why not have the goulash? Nothing is more Hungarian than that! (Photo by bucklava from Wikimedia Commons)

This is a weekly prayer series that appears each Friday on the Bread Blog.

One aspect of Bread for the World’s new Bread Rising campaign is prayer. The campaign is asking Bread members to pray, act, and give. In this blog series, we will be providing a prayer for a different group of countries each week and their efforts to end hunger.
 
This prayer series will follow the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle, a list compiled by the World Council of Churches that enables Christians around the world to journey in prayer through every region of the world, affirming our solidarity with Christians all over the world, brothers and sisters living in diverse situations, experiencing their challenges and sharing their gifts.
 
We will especially be lifting up in prayer the challenges related to hunger and poverty that the people of each week’s countries face. In prayer, God’s story and our own story connect—and we and the world are transformed. In a prayer common to all of us—the Lord’s Prayer/the Our Father—we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This line from this prayer can also be a prayer for the end of hunger.
 
We invite you to join Bread in our prayers for the world’s countries to end hunger. And we encourage you to share with us your prayers for the featured countries of the week or for the end of hunger in general.

For the week of September 14-20, we pray for: Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania:

God of the north, south, east, and west, we thank you for the contributions of these countries and their peoples to the world. We thank you for the long history of Christianity there and the work of their churches. Continue to enliven the deep and abiding faith of Christians there. We pray for an end to corruption and organized crime, high unemployment, and limited supplies of food and housing. We ask you to bring healing for those who suffered under Marxist regimes. And we pray for the creation of stable economic and political systems that allow for the participation of all the peoples in these countries so that all may have enough to eat. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Percentage of the population of some of these countries living below the national poverty line (2014 figures):

Bulgaria: 21.2
Hungary:
not available
Romania
: 22.6

Source: World Bank World Development Indicators as found in the upcoming 2015 Hunger Report

World Prayers for Sept. 7-13: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYR of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia

Serbian_Christmas_meal
A typical Christmas table in Serbia - grilled pork, Olivie salad (also called Russian salade), dzadziki salade, red wine, and Bajadera sweets. Photo by Petar Milošević from Wikimedia Commons

This is a weekly prayer series that appears each Friday on the Bread Blog.

One aspect of Bread for the World’s new Bread Rising campaign is prayer. The campaign is asking Bread members to pray, act, and give. In this blog series, we will be providing a prayer for a different group of countries each week and their efforts to end hunger.
 
This prayer series will follow the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle, a list compiled by the World Council of Churches that enables Christians around the world to journey in prayer through every region of the world, affirming our solidarity with Christians all over the world, brothers and sisters living in diverse situations, experiencing their challenges and sharing their gifts.
 
We will especially be lifting up in prayer the challenges related to hunger and poverty that the people of each week’s countries face. In prayer, God’s story and our own story connect—and we and the world are transformed. In a prayer common to all of us—the Lord’s Prayer/the Our Father—we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This line from this prayer can also be a prayer for the end of hunger.
 
We invite you to join Bread in our prayers for the world’s countries to end hunger. And we encourage you to share with us your prayers for the featured countries of the week or for the end of hunger in general.

For the week of September 7-13, we pray for: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYR of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia:

Lord, we lift up our voices in prayer – remembering the needs of our brothers and sisters in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYR of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia. May the words of our mouths and the intentions of our hearts extend to places we  have never been and to people we have never met.

We give thanks and praise for those who use their hands and hearts, care and creativity
to build bridges between ethnic groups within their communities. We ask that, through the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit, you would strengthen bonds and relationships between those who hold differing views. Give your people eyes to see one another as a part of the same divine family.

Lord, we offer prayers for those who are working to rebuild that which has fallen to the destructive forces of war. We pray for economic opportunities where there are none. We pray for resources to reconstruct where there seems to be nothing left. We pray for fresh vision — for the energy of younger generations to help cast new visions of reconciliation and peace for these nations.

We give you thanks, Lord God, for the natural beauty of these lands — the hills, the rivers, the trees, the seasons – all of the richness that sustains rural life.

Lord, remember your people — those who live still as displaced persons and refugees. For women, whose bodies lay victim to war. For children, who cannot forget what they’ve seen and heard. For men, who fight and struggle against pressures to hate. For those who experience hunger as a part of daily life. Give them daily bread. Be their Daily Bread. Lift us up, together and for one another, and lead us “to the rock that is higher.” (Psalm 61:2)  And for those who mourn – cover them with the comfort of your enduring love.

We praise you for the ways you are already at work in this region of the world. God, we pray that you will work, in us and through us, for the establishment of human rights for all, for the healing and restoration of your holy church, and for the equipping of leaders who will lead well – in unity, with hope, and for the benefit of all whom they serve.

Lord, we pray for the end of economic instability, warfare, and changes in climate that perpetuate hunger in these countries. Free us all from the burdens of scarcity and the threat of hunger and malnutrition.

In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

Percentage of the population of some of these countries living below the national poverty line (2014 figures):

Albania:14.3
Bosnia and Herzegovina: 17.9
FYR of Macedonia: 27.1
Kosovo: 29.7
Montenegro: 11.3
Serbia: 24.6

Source: World Bank World Development Indicators as found in the upcoming 2015 Hunger Report

World Prayers for Aug. 31-Sept. 6: Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia

Święcone2007
Święconka is a  Polish tradition of blessing food on Holy Saturday. Ołtarzew, Poland, 2007 (photo by Paterm from Wikimedia Commons)

This is a weekly prayer series that appears each Friday on the Bread Blog.

One aspect of Bread for the World’s new Bread Rising campaign is prayer. The campaign is asking Bread members to pray, act, and give. In this blog series, we will be providing a prayer for a different group of countries each week and their efforts to end hunger.
 
This prayer series will follow the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle, a list compiled by the World Council of Churches that enables Christians around the world to journey in prayer through every region of the world, affirming our solidarity with Christians all over the world, brothers and sisters living in diverse situations, experiencing their challenges and sharing their gifts.
 
We will especially be lifting up in prayer the challenges related to hunger and poverty that the people of each week’s countries face. In prayer, God’s story and our own story connect—and we and the world are transformed. In a prayer common to all of us—the Lord’s Prayer/the Our Father—we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This line from this prayer can also be a prayer for the end of hunger.
 
We invite you to join Bread in our prayers for the world’s countries to end hunger. And we encourage you to share with us your prayers for the featured countries of the week or for the end of hunger in general.

For the week of August 31 through September 6, we will be praying for the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia:

Lord, God of all people, we offer our thanks for the nations and people of the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia.

We give you thanks especially for the rich traditions of these people and for their strength and fortitude during tumultuous moments in their nations’ histories. Despite persecution, war, and repression under Nazi and Soviet domination, the people of theses countries remained hopeful, steadfast to their faiths that offered strength in demanding times. We offer our thanks especially for pastors and priests who remained faithful to their calling even when they were persecuted.

Today, we pray for continued economic stability in these places, and we especially remember the poor, the elderly, and the unemployed who bear the brunt of economic reforms and the loss of state social services.

We also remember the victims of anti-semitism, and ethnic, gender, and social intolerance in the midst of rising nationalism and pray for a renewal of the church in the midst of both growing freedom and growing secularization.

We offer our gratitude for the people of the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia, and pray in a special way that they and all of us will continue to grow with one another in faith and trust in God. Amen.

Percentage of the population of these countries living below the national poverty line (2012 figures):

  • Czech Republic: 8.6
  • Poland:17.1
  • Slovakia: 13.2

Source: World Bank

World Prayers for Aug. 24-30: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania

Latvian_dinner
A Latvian dinner consisting of a cold soup, pot-cooked cabbage, a cotlette, a gjerkin, sour milk (kefir), and some Russian kvas. Aigars Mahinovs via Wikimedia Commons

This is a weekly prayer series that appears each Friday on the Bread Blog.

One aspect of Bread for the World’s new Bread Rising campaign is prayer. The campaign is asking Bread members to pray, act, and give. In this blog series, we will be providing a prayer for a different group of countries each week and their efforts to end hunger.
 
This prayer series will follow the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle, a list compiled by the World Council of Churches that enables Christians around the world to journey in prayer through every region of the world, affirming our solidarity with Christians all over the world, brothers and sisters living in diverse situations, experiencing their challenges and sharing their gifts.
 
We will especially be lifting up in prayer the challenges related to hunger and poverty that the people of each week’s countries face. In prayer, God’s story and our own story connect—and we and the world are transformed. In a prayer common to all of us—the Lord’s Prayer/the Our Father—we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This line from this prayer can also be a prayer for the end of hunger.
 
We invite you to join Bread in our prayers for the world’s countries to end hunger. And we encourage you to share with us your prayers for the featured countries of the week or for the end of hunger in general.

For the week of August 24 to 30, we will be praying for Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania:

Lord, God of all people, we give you thanks for the unique contribution of the Baltic and Finnic peoples to the flourishing of your world.

We give you thanks especially for their strong, historical commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Lord, care for the people of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia as they face economic hardship.  Provide good jobs that they might honor you in their work. We pray that strong and just economies will be built where all people have a place at the table as these countries emerge from decades of communism.

Merciful God, raise up the church in those countries to care for the hungry and the marginalized. Give wisdom to their leaders as they seek the common good. In your way and by your means, end hunger and poverty there.

We pray all these things in the name of our Savior who redeems, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Figures for these countries' Human Development Index (HDI), a summary measure for assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge, and a decent standard of living:

  • Lithuania: HDI value for 2012 is 0.818—in the very high human development category—positioning the country at 41 out of 187 countries and territories.
  • Estonia: HDI value for 2012 is 0.846
  • Latvia: HDI value for 2012 is 0.814
  • For comparison: HDI value for the United States in 2012 was 0.937, third highest in the world after Norway and Australia.

Source: United Nations Development Programme Human Development Report 2013

Member Profile: Rev. Roger and Marilyn Timm

Timms 1By Stephen Padre

In mid-June, Bread for the World held its National Gathering and Lobby Day. More than 300 anti-hunger activists from across the country came to Washington, D.C., for education, inspiration, and to speak directly to their lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

The gathering was an occasion to celebrate Bread’s 40th anniversary and to recognize many of the founders and early staff members who got the organization off the ground. This celebration was possible because so many Bread for the World members have, decade after decade, supported the organization and engaged in advocacy.

Among those attending the gathering were Rev. Roger and Marilyn Timm, a couple from Emmaus, Pa. Roger Timm has been a Bread member since its founding, yet remarkably, he had never attended one of its National Gatherings until this year. “I’ve been a member for 40 years, so I thought I should come celebrate,” he said at the gathering.

Roger had spent his career as a Lutheran pastor. In 1974 he was working at a small church in Bronxville, N.Y., when he heard of Rev. Art Simon. Simon was a fellow Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, not far from Roger’s church on Manhattan’s Lower East Side (Roger later joined the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). Simon had founded a new organization called Bread for the World, and Roger became a member.

The final congregation Roger served before he retired in 2011 was in the Chicago suburbs, where he and Marilyn had lived for many years. Besides providing financial support over the years, Roger was involved in other ways with Bread in the congregations and campus ministries he served. He often conducted an Offering of Letters and organized a performance of Bread’s musical, Lazarus.

“Now that I’m retired, I’ve got more time,” Roger said. “One of the things I can do is be more active in advocacy.” This has included the trip to Washington, D.C., to visit his members of Congress as he and Marilyn did on Lobby Day following the gathering in June.

As a pastor, addressing hunger has always been a fundamental biblical tenet for Roger. “Providing food is one thing, but it’s important to go beyond that and advocate for hungry people,” he said. He added that he resonates with Bread’s belief that the government can provide more than churches can.

Marilyn shares Roger’s passion for social justice and global issues. Before she retired in 2007, Marilyn worked for 11 years in the global mission department of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) at its church-wide offices in Chicago. Her positions in different parts of the department gave her a broad view of the denomination’s work around the world through missionaries and with relief and development projects. Both Marilyn and Roger give thanks that Bread is a ministry of the ELCA and is a vital partner in the denomination’s anti-hunger work domestically and internationally.

Roger and Marilyn Timm embody the generous financial support and steadfast involvement in advocacy that have sustained Bread for 40 years. To the Timms and many others who have been with Bread over the decades, we say a hearty thank you.

Stephen Padre is the managing editor at Bread for the World.

Photo:  Roger and Marilyn Timm at Bread for the World's National Gathering in June in Washington, D.C.  (Stephen Padre/Bread for the World)

This post originally appeared in Bread for the World's August online newsletter.

World Prayers for Aug. 17-23: Oceania

Solomonislands
A group of women from Aorigi (Santa Catalina) in the Solomon Islans carry baskets pana (breadfruit) on their heads. Photo taken by Irene Scott for AusAID.

This is a weekly prayer series that appears each Friday on the Bread Blog.

One aspect of Bread for the World’s new Bread Rising campaign is prayer. The campaign is asking Bread members to pray, act, and give. In this blog series, we will be providing a prayer for a different group of countries each week and their efforts to end hunger.
 
This prayer series will follow the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle, a list compiled by the World Council of Churches that enables Christians around the world to journey in prayer through every region of the world, affirming our solidarity with Christians all over the world, brothers and sisters living in diverse situations, experiencing their challenges and sharing their gifts.
 
We will especially be lifting up in prayer the challenges related to hunger and poverty that the people of each week’s countries face. In prayer, God’s story and our own story connect—and we and the world are transformed. In a prayer common to all of us—the Lord’s Prayer/the Our Father—we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This line from this prayer can also be a prayer for the end of hunger.
 
We invite you to join Bread in our prayers for the world’s countries to end hunger. And we encourage you to share with us your prayers for the featured countries of the week or for the end of hunger in general.

For the week of August 17 to 23, we will be praying for Oceania: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia (Maohi Nui), Kanaky, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu:

Creator God, you made the land and the sea for us, and even tiny islands in the middle of great oceans for people to live on. We give you thanks for the amazing diversity of these places, for the people who know how to live in harmony with the sea and their warm hospitality. We pray for the preservation of these island nations in the midst of global warming and rising sea levels. We pray that they and other nations of the world will find just ways to address these problems that can affect livelihoods and land use and, in turn, cause hunger. We also pray for those who are caught up in disasters, which can also cause hunger. Give our brothers and sisters in these places a sense of connection to the world despite their distance from others, and help us to connect with them across the waters or whatever else divides us. Amen.

Poverty and hunger figures for Oceania:

World Prayers for August 10-16: Aotearoa/New Zealand, Australia

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Church of the Good Shepherd, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand. (Rexness, Creative Commons)

This is a new weekly prayer series that appears each Friday on the Bread Blog.

One aspect of Bread for the World’s new Bread Rising campaign is prayer (the campaign is asking Bread members to pray, act, and give). Staff of Bread for the World in Washington, D.C., gather every Friday morning for prayer, and as part of our participation in the Bread Rising campaign, we will be praying for a different group of countries each week and their efforts to end hunger.
 
We will be following the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle, a list compiled by the World Council of Churches that enables Christians around the world to journey in prayer through every region of the world, affirming our solidarity with Christians all over the world, brothers and sisters living in diverse situations, experiencing their challenges and sharing their gifts.
 
We will especially be lifting up in prayer the challenges related to hunger and poverty that the people of each week’s countries face. In prayer, God’s story and our own story connect—and we and the world are transformed. In a prayer common to all of us—the Lord’s Prayer/the Our Father—we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This line from this prayer can also be a prayer for the end of hunger.
 
We invite you to join Bread staff in our prayers for the world’s countries to end hunger. And we encourage you to share with us your prayers for the featured countries of the week or for the end of hunger in general.

For the week of August 10 to 16, we will be praying for Aotearoa/New Zealand, Australia.

Loving God, Master of all Creation, we come to you today in fervent supplication for our brothers and sisters in Christ on the other side of the world. Despite the distance on our vast earth, we are still connected by your eternal love and mercy as we are called to be in solidarity with all, especially those suffering from hunger and poverty in Australia and New Zealand. Poverty and hunger anywhere, experienced by anyone, is an affront to the dignity and potential of your wonderful and amazing creation. Lord, we know, just as we experience here, that hunger and poverty are in large part our creation. You provide us with all we will ever need and yet we, your servants, fail to realize the vision of your Kingdom. To you, we ask for strength, compassion, and persistence to lend our voices in prophetic call and in solidarity to urge our global leaders to prevent the tragedy of any child going to sleep at night with an empty stomach. We ask this and all things in your name, Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Aotearoa/New Zealand:  27% of children live in poverty (The Annual Child Poverty Monitor)

Australia: 17.3% of  children live below the poverty line (ACOSS).

World Prayers for August 3-9: Canada and the United States

14406614634_1f61e5a88a_hThis is a new weekly prayer series that appears each Friday on the Bread Blog.

One aspect of Bread for the World’s new Bread Rising campaign is prayer (the campaign is asking Bread members to pray, act, and give). Staff of Bread for the World in Washington, D.C., gather every Friday morning for prayer, and as part of our participation in the Bread Rising campaign, we will be praying for a different group of countries each week and their efforts to end hunger.
 
We will be following the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle, a list compiled by the World Council of Churches that enables Christians around the world to journey in prayer through every region of the world, affirming our solidarity with Christians all over the world, brothers and sisters living in diverse situations, experiencing their challenges and sharing their gifts.
 
We will especially be lifting up in prayer the challenges related to hunger and poverty that the people of each week’s countries face. In prayer, God’s story and our own story connect—and we and the world are transformed. In a prayer common to all of us—the Lord’s Prayer/the Our Father—we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This line from this prayer can also be a prayer for the end of hunger.
 
We invite you to join Bread staff in our prayers for the world’s countries to end hunger. And we encourage you to share with us your prayers for the featured countries of the week or for the end of hunger in general.

For the week of August 3 to 9, we will be praying for Canada and the United States.

Lord, You know that we can do nothing tangible to bend US policy in support of impoverished people living in the United States without your assistance. We beg You, Lord, O gracious God, to give of your supernatural power and strength that we might do better on their behalf. We ask that you send your Holy Spirit of comfort and peace to those who bare the unbearable strain of suffering from poverty. We ask for your Holy privilege to aid and assist them. Make us conscience of the fact that we are all children of God, all be us living in incarceration amid our nation’s wheat fields or huddled in homeless shelters in our cities. These things we pray in the precious name of our savior Jesus Christ. Amen

  • United States: In 2012, the official poverty rate was 15.0 percent. There were 46.5 million people in poverty (source:  U.S. Census Bureau).
  • Canada: 9.4 % live below the low income cut-off (source:  World Factbook).

Photo:  Prayer at the Bread for the World 2014 National Gathering in Washington, D.C. (Joseph Molieri/Bread for the World)

 

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