Each year ELCA World Hunger provides funding through our Education/Advocacy grants to organizations working to educate Lutherans and others on the root causes of and solutions for world hunger, or organizations advocating on behalf of those who live in hunger and poverty. In 2010, ELCA World Hunger worked with ELCA Outdoor Ministries to provide Education/Advocacy grants to eleven Outdoor Ministry locations. The money is being used to help campers learn about world hunger, its causes, and solutions. Beginning with this post, on second and fourth Fridays we will highlight a few of the projects being conducted with these funds. Today’s post comes from Lutherhill Ministries in La Grange, Texas.
Greetings from Lutherhill Ministries in La Grange, Texas! The weather is hot and humid here in our neck of the woods, and storm clouds seem to linger overhead daily. While others grumble as they are called out of the pool – we are quietly elated as the fresh rain soaks our new garden!
As a grateful recipient of an ELCA World Hunger Education/Advocacy grant, we are excited to share our happenings with you! This summer, every Lutherhill camper participates in the Daily Bread Project. The Daily Bread Project includes a garden, compost pile, recycling program, hunger meal, Daily Bread worship and more. We experience as a community the emptiness that comes with hunger and poverty. And as a community we experience the fullness that comes when we fulfill God’s call to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God. Here’s a taste…
As campers, staff and sponsors enter the dining hall for Wednesday lunch, each draw a colored marble. These marbles represent their lunch destiny, but more importantly they represent the distribution of food resources across the world.
The lunch-time experience helps youth explore hunger first hand – 65% eat rice on the floor, 20% eat rice and chicken on the floor, 10% eat pasta in chairs and 5% eat a three course meal at a table setting. As campers seated on the floor wait, kitchen staff graciously serve those at the head table. After this upper class is served, the others are haphazardly served their meager meals.
Reactions are intriguing. Some weeks campers are eager to share their food; other weeks campers turn inward, more concerned about eating their own lunch; other times campers linger on the verge of getting it, of pushing themselves beyond their comfort zone.
Food for Thought
The hunger meal becomes a topic for discussion throughout the day. We walk together in frustration and disappointment and come out on the other side equipped and empowered. Simple lessons from the garden, compost, worship and more give us the tools to abate hunger locally and globally. To date we’ve collected $560.92 in offerings for ELCA World Hunger and gathered 675 canned goods for local food banks in 9 communities.
Surrounded by abundance, love takes on a different shape than it does in the midst of poverty and hunger. The Daily Bread Project gives us the chance to explore Christ’s love in the middle of both!
For more information on The Daily Bread Project contact Geoff Roach, Daily Bread Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.