Helping Those in Poverty Blossom, An Advent Devotional

Each year, the parishioners of Holy Comforter create an advent reflections booklet composed of their own contributions. This is mine, used for December 18, 2013.

For he delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper.

He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.

From oppression and violence he redeems their life; and precious is their blood in his sight. (Psalms 72: 12-14)

Bob Hentzen

Bob Hentzen

On October 8 of this year, Bob Hentzen passed away from natural causes. I had the blessing of spending a week with Bob when Tenley and I went to Guatemala as part of a Christian Foundation for Children and Aging Mission Awareness Trip in July 2011.

As I read the psalm for today’s reading, I couldn’t help reflecting on Bob’s approach to helping people who live in poverty.

Before our trip to Guatemala, I had possessed a vague idea of the ways in which CFCA helped the “lives of the needy.” Our extended family had given $30 a month for years to help our sponsored child, Silvia, and her family have access to education, food, health care, and shelter.

Although the trip involved the incredible highlight of meeting Silvia, it involved so much more. The most eye-opening parts were when we were able to visit the homes of families being helped by CFCA. I had never seen residences that appeared so vulnerable to weather, so rudimentary from the standpoint of plumbing and waste management, so different from our orderly neighborhoods here in the U.S.

“Electricity” meant one light bulb hanging from a cord. When a homeowner was asked why she did not have the light on, she explained “it’s too hot.” I don’t know if the real issue was that she was ultra conservative about the use of power, or if she truly felt it was “too hot.” No use of resources happened without deliberation.

In addition to the tours of homes, we watched presentations about various ways in which people were given help in learning to make a living. We met women who had learned a skill, gone on to use that skill to support their families, and completed the circle by teaching other women to do the same thing. To see a woman empowered with the ability to rely on herself in order to feed and educate her children was to see a “dawn” of a new and improved life for that woman.

Carolyn Zimmerman, of Topeka, Kansas, said this about Bob after his death: “His steps and his life took him throughout the world, where he connected families across the divides of distance, privilege and poverty.”

The people I met in Guatemala were often people who had “no helper” and needed support to cross the divides that Carolyn wrote of. They were people who had been affected by violence and oppression. Perhaps not personally, but culturally. Although Bob did not treat them with the “pity” mentioned in this psalm, he saw the precious potential in each one. And through him, God helped them blossom.

As you reflect, how can you help someone in poverty blossom?

A Guatemalan Mother Participates In A Reforestation Project

A Guatemalan Mother Participates In A Reforestation Project


Photo credits: Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (www.hopeforafamily.org)

 

In Praise of Snail Mail

Carolyn Gaines passed away last week. Carolyn was a fellow parishioner at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church. I believe we may have met in person once, but our connection was established when we began exchanging “snail mail.” For her birthday (I think it was her 85th), we were all encouraged to send her cards, since she valued snail mail so much. I sent a card and got back a lovely reply. Over the years, every response of mine was returned with a lovely note from Carolyn.

A 2010 Letter From Carolyn

A 2010 Letter From Carolyn

Carolyn’s passing got me thinking of snail mail and the ways in which email just isn’t the same.

Snail Mail Makes Us Think and Process Differently

For me, writing a traditional letter forces me to retrieve a different set of writing tools, especially if I am writing by hand but even if I am typing a letter that will be printed and mailed. I discovered this most recently when I participated in the “Snail Mail My Email” project.  SMME is “a worldwide collaborative art project where volunteers handwrite strangers’ emails and send physical letters to the intended recipients, free of charge.” Admittedly, when I volunteered I focused on the “handwrite” component instead of the “art” part. I hope the recipient who requested a “gray striped cat, turnips, and a gingko leaf” appreciated my efforts which were pretty amateurish!

One of my SMME projects, featuring the turnips and the "gingko leaf."

One of my SMME projects, featuring the turnips and the “gingko leaf.”

Snail Mail Feels Like A Gift

It is tangible. You can hold it in your hand. I still love the thrill of paper in my hands. My friend Kathleen is a true “snail mail only” person. My family knows that if the mail contains a letter from Kathleen, all activity will come to a standstill until I devour it. I am pretty sure Kathleen is this generation’s Erma Bombeck. I hope all her great material gets compiled into a book someday and makes her a million bucks. We’ll be able to say we knew her when (and heck we may be able to sell her old letters on eBay (just kidding….)).

Letters from Kathleen are always a treat!

Letters from Kathleen are always a treat!

Snail Mail Makes Us Wait

Who among us hasn’t tapped out a lengthy email missive to a friend, analyzing the day’s events with its frustrations and high points? Or a lengthy email missive to a friend, written with no filter in a moment of anger or frustration, that went beyond a “venting” session and verged on hurtful and spiteful? When I sit down (finally … it always takes a while) to respond to Kathleen, I am forced to think about what really mattered about the intervening weeks. I think she gets a clearer view of my life for hearing about the things that mattered enough to commit to paper. And the little things that didn’t deserve to have more energy spent on them remain unwritten.

Snail Mail Gives Us Memories

Sure, we could print out the important emails in our lives and put them on a bulletin board. It’s just not the same. Fifteen days after my mother in law’s death, and about six weeks after receiving her postcard from her “bucket list” trip to Rome, I am so happy to have this little memento. She and I sat at her computer prior to her trip and went through her address labels so she could have them with her in Rome. I know she and my sister in law Mary went to special efforts during their trip to apply the labels, write a note, and get the special Vatican stamps. It is so much more meaningful than any email they would have been able to dash off.

Postcard from Raphael's Tomb

Postcard from Raphael’s Tomb

The postcard Barb sent included the poem “The Key to Paradise” by Mother Teresa on the back. One of its lines is “Find the time to be a friend.”

Thank you, snail mail, for being a way for us to carve out time for our friends.

Is there someone you could delight with a piece of snail mail? Why not drop them a line?

 

Blowing Out The Flame (For Now)

I have been serving as an acolyte during church services for 17 years. Unlike many “cradle Episcopalians” who may have started acolyting as youngsters, I began acolyting as an adult (I was confirmed an Episcopalian in late 1995). I served at St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church (where I had been confirmed) and continued serving at my present church, Holy Comforter Episcopal Church, when I transferred there in 2005. Today was my last day acolyting regularly, at least for now. (I share responsibility with my husband for transporting my inlaws to their church now that neither one of them can drive. I had been “hanging on” by acolyting once a month but with my schedule, I sometimes have to decline my monthly assignment. It doesn’t feel fair to either party, them or me, for me to be so sporadic in my participation). This “break” feels a little bit more like a goodbye, though, at least to a worship responsibility that I have loved. It deserves a bit of reflection.

Processional Torch

I was recruited to acolyte by Judy Coleman when she and I both attended St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church. Anyone who knows Judy knows that she is one of those people “you can’t say no to.” I am so glad she convinced me to serve. The way she and Michael Berry taught acolyting, you walked away prepared and respectful of the process (although this “prepared adult acolyte” had more than her share of misfires over her career!).

Judy focused a lot on decorum among the acolyte crew (remember, a lot of trainees were kids). You don’t swing your rope around; you don’t chew gum; you remember that you are at a place of reverence. The order in which you light the candles matter because you don’t want the gospel to go unilluminated. They are messages and lessons that I have perpetually carried with me, even in environments that were much more loosely structured.

As someone who gets drowsy easily, being an acolyte was a HUGE help to me in staying engaged with the service. Having an active role to play made a difference for me. Listening for the next cue to do something; counting attendees in order to have the right amount of supplies at communion; knowing that little kids were watching us and how we carried ourselves, the cross, and the candles was a reminder that we were, as we were often told, “leaders in worship.”

Eventually, Tenley (who I was pregnant with when I started training) began acolyting as well. It was such a pleasure to serve side by side with my daughter. She continued acolyting a bit at Holy Comforter. These are all times I treasure.

Getting To Know Parishioners Better: Having the opportunity to serve as an acolyte at funerals, as well as services I wouldn’t necessarily normally go to gave me a deeper connection to parishioners I did not know that well. I was soberingly honored to be part of the funerals of some cherished parishioners, and to help celebrate their lives.

Outtakes: Oh yes, there are outtakes! I guess there always are when you do something for a long time. There was the infamous (to me) time I didn’t ring the bells during communion at St. Francis (the prayer book didn’t have “ring now” notes for anything except Prayer A so I didn’t ring them when we were doing Prayer B). Father Gil saying he thought I omitted the bells “because I may have had a headache” still makes me laugh. //  There’s the time I handed Father Tom the wrong piece of altar linen (maybe it was a purificator instead of a corporal – I still don’t know!) and exchanged an email with him afterwards in which he went out of his way to make sure I didn’t feel criticized // There’s the parishioner who (recently) suggested I hold my hands farther apart on the cross so “it wouldn’t wobble so much.” (Gotta admit I’m still smarting a little over that one given how I feel about reverence!!). // There was every time I tried to knot the rope myself and had to get help. Hopefully the outtakes are only a small portion of my acolyte CV.

Tenley and Wayne, when they were little, loved having the “job” of blowing out the torches at the end of the service. I guess I’m blowing out the torch on my career as an acolyte, at least temporarily. However, whether I am in the pew or serving as part of the altar party:

I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.

Acolyte Collage with Verse

 

 

 

A Place at the Table (A Food Bloggers Against Hunger Post)

“So hungry”………raise your hand if your child (or you) has ever, in a moment of frustration because work obligations pressed too hard or service was slow or the milk in the fridge had gone sour……….said “I’m so hungry!”

For most of us, we aren’t technically that hungry. Our stomachs are grumbling, our blood sugar is plummeting, our patience is hitting bottom. But we are a few minutes, dollars, or miles away from a decent meal.

For millions of Americans participating in our nation’s food stamp program (SNAP), $3 to $4 per person per day is what they have to supplement their food budget.  In addition, the most affordable food is often the unhealthiest (some articles describing why this is the case can be found here and here.)

A few facts:

  • 16.2 million kids in America struggle with hunger. (Source: USDA Household Food Security in the United States)

  • 10.5 million kids eligible for free or reduced-price school breakfast do not get it. (Source: Food Research and Action Center, School Breakfast Scorecard)

  • Six out of 7 eligible kids do not get free summer meals. (Source: Food Research and Action Center “Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation: Summer Nutrition Status Report)

We bloggers* are banding together to post recipes today as part of a recipe roundup of budget-friendly recipes. I have scoured the interwebz today, thinking of the cans of tuna and chicken (and the jars of peanut butter) that I have deposited in our baskets at Holy Comforter each week, to be distributed each Saturday by our food pantry. My basic thought process when I am at the store is usually, “protein is good so I’ll do tuna (or chicken….or peanut butter).” But if I were the recipient, what could I do with the protein to make it last as long as possible and to have the best chance that my kids would like it?

A friend who delivers food as part of a service project every week said some of the considerations she faces are: a) the fact that she drops the bag at 8 a.m. and it often has to sit until the adult gets home from work, and b) in her experience kids are pretty averse to beans. As she and I (and a few other people on Twitter) were discussing options for “budget-friendly” recipes, tuna noodle casserole and other variations on “put the meat with pasta and throw in cream-of-something-soup” seemed to be the most common suggestion. For that reason, I will suggest something completely different, that is still budget-friendly and may be novel enough to appeal to kids: Baked-Potato Eggs!

Baked-Potato Eggs From Real Simple

Baked-Potato Eggs
From Real Simple

Here’s the recipe for Baked-Potato Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 2  baking potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2  precooked turkey sausages, diced
  • 4  large eggs

Preparation:

Heat oven to 400° F. Scrub the potatoes and pierce each with the tines of a fork. Bake until fork-tender, about 45 minutes. Carefully cut each potato in half. Scoop out the insides and stir in the butter and cheese. Fold in the sausages. Spoon the mixture back into the potato halves, creating a hollow in each center. Break 1 egg into each hollow. Arrange on a baking sheet and cook 10 to 15 minutes or until set.

Serves 4

(This recipe is from Real Simple via Recipes.com)

Source: MorgueFile

An American School Lunch
(Source: Morguefile)

Now, where were we before we started salivating over the cheesy eggs over succulent baked potatoes? Oh yeah — we were at the fact that for some families, hunger is an ever-present fact of life. What can we do, together?

1. We can send a letter to congress asking them to support anti-hunger legislation. I   sent mine earlier today; it literally took less than a minute. Here’s the link.

2. We can watch A Place at the Table, which follow three American families affected by food insecurity. Here’s the trailer:

Dates for showings of A Place at the Table can be found via this link. It is also available via iTunes and Amazon.

I am hungry to give every American a place at a plentiful table. If you are too, please join me in taking action.

no kid hungry

*Ginormous caveat here – I can’t really claim to be a “food blogger,” even though I have done the occasional post about food. More like I’m a blogger who cares, who invited herself to be a “food blogger for a day”!

One Year Later, A Family Walks in the Rain

Between nightfall on June 2, 2011 and dawn on June 3, 2011, Robert, Charlene, and Rebecca Spierer’s lives changed forever, along with those of countless relatives and friends.

Lauren Spierer, daughter, sister, and friend, disappeared (this Indianapolis Monthly article provides a detailed timeline of events between the disappearance and now).

Prior to June 3, 2011, Robert, Charlene, Rebecca, and Lauren shared a figurative umbrella of family togetherness. Even though they may have been distant physically, there was always the phone, email, texting, all of the ways most of us remain connected these days.

Lauren Spierer
Photo credit:  Free Digital Photos
After Lauren disappeared, I joined the social media community in blogging, vlogging, and tweeting in support of her family.
Lauren’s story stood out to me because (among other things), she is the same age as my nieces and shares the same heart arrhythmia (Long QT Syndrome) that caused the death of my sister in law (and a condition that several of my family members have).
Why support this stranger? Why her when there are so many people missing? Of course I hope for all missing persons cases to be resolved. From the beginning, though, I have felt an uncommon connection to Lauren and her family. I am pretty sure if things were reversed, they would encourage me to keep hope alive and would pray for a resolution to this nightmare. If they wouldn’t, I have seen over the past year that so many people, from every faith tradition and all walks of life, would.
When I was wracking my brain to figure out what to write about “One Year Later,” our priests at Holy Comforter Episcopal church sang the song “Take All The Lost Home” at a gathering last night. Some of the lyrics spoke to me about Lauren, especially these:
“Talk all the lost home
remember their names
Their journey is yours friend…”
“Walk close by the children
and learn their refrains
and leave your umbrellas
while you learn to walk in the rain.”
One year later, I still pray daily that the Spierer family will no longer have to walk in the rain, deprived of the comforting umbrella of closure, knowledge, and the Lauren-ness of Lauren.
 “Looking back is incredibly sad, but going forward without answers is impossible.”
                                                                                                            -Charlene Spierer

What Tallahassee Needed! (A Jason’s Deli Giveaway)


I was excited when I saw that Jason’s Deli would be opening here in Tallahassee, at a location that had seen a parade of short-lived establishments. I was even more excited when I started hearing my friends who had previously eaten at a Jason’s Deli singing its praises:

“healthy and fresh”

“great organic salad bar with many options at a good price”

I am glad my cashier suggested the Manager’s Special, which gave me a trip to the
delectable salad bar for a side!

“sandwiches with healthier options”

“great homemade soups”

“friendly staff”

“FREE soft serve ice cream”

Self Explanatory – yum!

Being me, I started poking around on the Internet to see if Jason’s becomes involved with the communities where it does business – that’s a critical point to win me as a loyal customer. I learned that, among other causes, Jason’s Deli supports The Miracle League, which helps children have opportunities to play baseball, regardless of ability.

As I was visiting Jason’s Deli for my first time ever, during a sneak peek last Friday, I overheard a customer say, “this is what Tallahassee needed.”

The “sneak peek” crowd was numerous and enthusiastic.

It occurred to me that there are some “do’s” and “don’ts” about Jason’s Deli that will help us Tallahasseeans make up our minds regarding how much we need this new restaurant:

What they don’t have:

High fructose corn syrup. (Read more about that here.)

Artificial trans fats. (Read more about that here.)

MSG.

What they do have:

The honor of being named “Best Restaurant in America” by Parents Magazine (March 2011)

A corporate mission statement that emphasizes people as well as product (The mission statement is included here.)

A gluten free menu

Jason’s offers a couple of conveniences that are new to me, such as paying for your soup and salad at a self-serve kiosk and the Jason’s Deli App for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches (guess I’ll have to get my teenager with the iPhone to help me with that one!).

 

Jason’s Deli has given me a $25 gift card to share with one of you so you can find out for yourself if “this is what Tallahassee needed.”*

To enter, please leave a comment on my blog letting me know what aspect of Jason’s Deli you are most excited about!

To get an additional chance, please post the following to Twitter and let me know (via a comment) that you did.

I am joining @biggreenpen in welcoming @jasonsdeli to #Tallahassee! Fresh, healthy food served by friendly people. http://bit.ly/JasonsDeliTLH

I will choose the winner on Tuesday, January 19, at 10 p.m. Eastern. Please make sure to leave me an email address so that I can reach you if you’re the winner

The food is prepared right in front of your eyes!
Find out more about Jason’s Deli on social media at their Facebook site or on Twitter!

ps – special shout out to my cashier Shelby and my server Theodore – great job on the first day!

*The gift card can be used at any Jason’s Deli in the US.

Author’s Note: A commenter questioned my phrase “a parade of short-lived establishments” to describe the businesses that had occupied this building prior to Jason’s. The commenter pointed out that after Banjo’s (which was there a long time) vacated, the only other business was Helen’s Silver Bullet Diner. I am unable to document any other restaurants in that location, so will concede that the “parade” was a very short one! I apologize for any misstatement. I know I hated driving by that location and seeing so little activity between Banjo’s closing and Jason’s opening – a vacant restaurant isn’t helping our economy or filling our stomachs! Paula Kiger (2/29/12)

Christmas Beyond Red and Green (An Advent Devotional)

I wrote this devotional as my contribution to the Holy Comforter Episcopal Church “Advent Reflections 2011.” It was written for December 16 (Advent 3). The verses for that day included:

Let all the ends of the earth revere him. Psalm 67:7
…my house shall be called a house of prayer. Isaiah 56:7
…you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. John 5:35
When Tenley and I visited Guatemala in July 2011 as part of a Christian Foundation for Children and Aging Mission Awareness Trip, we had a booklet that outlined “the plan” for each day. For example, we knew that on Monday we would start the day with a reflection, spend the majority of the day visiting with our “sponsored friends” (the children that we had been supporting through financial contributions, correspondence, and small gifts), and end the day with dinner and a video presentation.



The “plan” for Wednesday stated that we would start the day at 7:00 a.m. with the “Mayan Prayer” led by the project team. I had no idea what to expect, except that some of our fellow travelers seemed very excited about the Mayan Prayer.


When Tenley and I arrived downstairs on Wednesday morning, we could see what all the excitement had been about. I don’t know what time the team had woken up to prepare the elaborate presentation, but it was beautiful. A carpet of pine needles surrounded beautiful floral presentations – a floral rosary – the CFCA logo in flowers – representations of earth’s gifts such as corn, wheat, fruit, and beans – and in the very center, a cross of five colors.


In the cross, small green candles represented the center of the earth; red candles represented the east; black candles represented the west; white candles represented the north; yellow candles represented the south.


Many of the team members had dressed in their indigenous clothing; beautifully woven textiles that told stories in themselves. The history of the textiles goes back thousands of years, grounded in a land whose volcanoes and mountains have sustained generations of people who have a deep reverence for the earth and its products.


Each of us was instructed to choose a candle to light. For example, the people who had chosen green approached the center together to light their candles. These candles represented the “green fields, where the beatitudes become a total reality when we are conscious of our daily deeds.” The number of people wanting red (east) was pretty high, so I held back and lit a black candle. Black represented the west, “symbols of our death, the end of our earthly life, but the beginning of a new era.”


The Mayan people may have never worshipped in ornate cathedrals; they may have never had hymnals inscribed, “In Honor of So-and-So.” They may not have had many material worship trappings that most of us have become accustomed to.


But there, in the shadow of Lake Atitlan, the sky was as beautiful a ceiling as the most complicated fresco. My new friends, both the Americans with whom we were traveling and the Guatemalans who embraced us as their Christian “familia,” helped us extend our spiritual reach a bit farther, to more distant “ends of the earth.”


And it was in His light that we all rejoiced.


As you prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth, consider opening your heart to another part of God’s creation that you have not experienced. You may find that reaching farther out brings you closer to the center, where everything is illumined by “the light of mutual love.”

Sources:

Christian Foundation for Children and Aging Mission Awareness Trip Booklet
Mayan Prayer, Internet

Wordless Wednesday (Shades of Autumn Finale Edition)

This is Week Eight of the Shades of Autumn Photo Challenge. It’s finale week!
For finale week, I am sharing images from the labyrinth garden at my church (Holy Comforter Episcopal). Last Saturday, I spent time in the labyrinth reflecting on the experiences I had and the images I captured during the Shades of Autumn Photo Challenge. As I walked the labyrinth, the main thing that came to mind is that although the focus was on images, there were also many special people involved in helping make those images happen, such as the rare opportunity to be with my friends Audrey and Kimmi that resulted in my green week post or the kind employee at Esposito’s who helped me pick out the perfect milkweed plant to attract monarch butterflies for orange week.

The Labyrinth, Autumn 2011:

If you are interested in learning more about labyrinths as spirtual tools, here is one resource.

Finally, thank you to Kristi of Live and Love Out Loud, Alicia of Project Alicia, and Rebecca of Bumbles and Light for coordinating this challenge. I can’t think of a week during the challenge when one of the organizers did not comment on my post. Thank you for your encouragement and the work each of you put into coordinating this challenge.

Famished

How many times have we uttered “I am so famished” in our lifetimes? For 8,000 children a day, hunger leads to death. We really have no idea …

…which is why I am so proud to be a member of Holy Comforter Episcopal Church in Tallahassee. Holy Comforter’s youth group participates in the 30 Hour Famine each year. The Famine is a 30-hour fast (only juice is consumed) sponsored by World Vision. Through their participation in the Famine, the youth raise funds for World Vision with the purpose of funding projects in developing countries that will aid sustainable development of agricultural and hydrating systems. 

Each year, World Vision selects one country to focus on for the creation of games, studies, and other activities to help the youth better understand the dire food shortages in other countries. This year, World Vision chose Haiti.

The Famine is observed through a 30 Hour Famine Lock-in; the youth started at noon on Friday, February 25 and broke their fast with communion at 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 26. During the event, the youth participated in a service project that raised awareness of the needs in Tallahassee while recognizing the growing needs in other communities.

I met with the youth group briefly Wednesday night to learn a bit about their expectations (as well as the experiences of “veterans”).  Our youth shared these comments:

“We raise money to give to a country that World Vision picks out.” (Chris)

“We do a service project.” (Youth Group Member)

“Food never tasted so good as when the Famine ends.” (Matthew)

“We helped at the food closet last year.” (Christina)

“My family plans to help Honduras in addition to participating in the Famine through Living Water for Roatan.” (Bailey)

“My parents were astonished.” (Youth Group Member)

“One of our goals is to raise $360.” (Logan) (Note: if the group raises $360 they have raised enough to help feed and care for a child for a year.)

It’s not just youth who invest emotionally and physically in the Famine. Our Assistant Priest, Mother Teri, shared her nervous excitement about participating in the Famine for the first time. She said she had never gone without food for that long and admitted her apprehensions. She also said that our Priest, Father Ted, had shared that facing those anxieties is probably something that the Famine will help her do – this will be a needed step in her spiritual journey. I caught up with Mother Teri after the Famine ended, and she had this to say:

This time together helped us to bond more as a group, but the bonding was just the beginning. Because we didn’t have anything in our stomachs for 30 hours, it helped us spiritually to got more in touch with ourselves, our goals, values, and most importantly, our brothers and sisters in Christ across the world. We watched videos on the devastation in Haiti, participated in activities that helped us to understand lack of food, water, and education, and helped each other understand our desires for the future. We walked away from this experience knowing that we were different and that we would make a difference in our world from now on.

Other churches in Tallahassee participated in the Famine also, such as St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. My daughter’s friend, Genna, participated at St. Paul’s and had this to say: 
  “it was amazing, we did sooo many activities that it was impossible to think about eating. i loved it so much.”
To quote from the 30 Hour Famine materials: 
Like all things, progress begins with a first step.
History begins with a single word.
And sometimes that word is “NO.”

(special thanks to Bailey Spitzner for significant contributions to the text of this post)

Wordless Wednesday (30 Hour Famine Edition)

This weekend, the Youth Group at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church in Tallahassee will go 30 hours without food.

The 30 Hour Famine is a fundraiser for World Vision, which wants to create a world without hunger.
They humble me.
(The youth do drink juice for basic nutrition during the 30 hours.)