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Ambassador Daniel V. Speckhard Named President and CEO of Lutheran World Relief

Ambassador Daniel V. Speckhard will be the next president and CEO of LWR. Learn more about our sixth president and his journey to LWR.

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Being Transformed

We’ve been reflecting on transformation here at LWR as we wrap up the 2013 Quilt Campaign. Through this project, we’ve been reminded that when God calls us to something, it not only transforms the world but transforms us, too. And the challenge of 500,000 Quilts gave us a lot of energy last year! So how did we do?

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Not all Palms are Created Equal

As you might guess, the hot commodity on Palm Sunday is, of course, palms. Like anything bought and sold, palms have a supply chain that traces back to real people whose real lives are affected by how those palms are grown, harvested and sold.

So where do they come from? Who grows them? And in a world where everything has some monetary value, who benefits from the countless number of palms waved each Palm Sunday in the United States?

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Putting Down Roots

Lutheran World Relief has officially opened our own office in Nepal. Read on to learn more about our work in Nepal and how we’ll be able to reach even more people with long-term, sustainable development projects.

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Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday?

Learn about what Giving Tuesday is, and how you can take advantage of this single day to give a gift of sustainable solutions to poverty with Lutheran World Relief.

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From Relief to Recovery

Long after an emergency fades from the headlines, your support continues to help. Read how your generosity continues to touch people affected by both the 2010 Haiti earthquake and 2011’s Horn of Africa drought. Your support helps us continue to walk with communities in need from relief to recovery. Thank you for your support!

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Hug a Quilter, Change a Life

Love is at the center of the process of making, donating, shipping and distributing LWR Mission Quilts. In his parting eNews message, outgoing LWR President John Nunes shares why he’s so thankful for LWR’s quilting ministry and how you can help continue to reach out to people in need around the world with these tangible symbols of God’s love.

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LWR Quilts and Kits Comfort Syrian Refugees

LWR Quilts and Kits reach out to people in life’s most difficult situations. And Lutheran World Relief needs your gifts of love now more than ever! Read on to find out how Quilts and Kits are bringing comfort to refugees from Syria — and you can ensure that they continue to reach people in need around the world!

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Not Forgotten

Not every emergency makes the headline news. But any time a disaster strikes in struggling communities around the world, people still need our help! Your generous support of Lutheran World Relief allows us to respond, even in places where we don’t have offices. Read on to learn how your support is helping people in Indonesia, Myanmar, India and Uganda.

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Safe and Sustainable: LWR works with Lutheran church in the Philippines to provide clean water

For people in the communities of Kaputian and Binugawan, in the Philippines, clean water was literally a far-off dream. But thanks to a partnership between Lutheran World Relief and Christ Our Savior Lutheran of the Philippines, a sustainable water system — that delivers clean drinking water — is now within their reach.

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A Farewell Message from LWR President John Nunes

On September 1, John Nunes will step down as president and CEO of LWR. In this open letter to LWR supporters, he reflects on his next steps, his time at LWR and his hopes for the organization's future.

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Pathway to Prosperity

If you’re a gardener you may have heard of grafting. It’s the process of splicing together the branch of a plant with favorable characteristics to the branch of another plant. Compared to planting with seeds, grafting more reliably reproduces the favorable characteristics of the source plant.

It also holds the potential to fight poverty for people like Bessy. With the help of people like you, LWR has been training her to graft cocoa plants so that they will produce good, quality products like chocolate. Learn how this method of growing cocoa has changed her life for the better.

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Salamat

“Salamat” means thank you in the Philippines. It is a phrase LWR staff member Lauren Bauer heard again and again as she participated in an LWR Quilt and Kit distribution. Read on to hear about how your gifts of love touch their lives — and accept their thanks!

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Lutherans Are Fighting Malaria! (But is it Working?)

April 25 is World Malaria Day, a day to recognize the work to end deaths from this preventable and treatable disease, celebrate our accomplishments and encourage each other to keep up the fight!

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Sustainable Success: LWR Completes Post-Tsunami Work in Sri Lanka

In 2004, Sri Lanka’s eastern coast was devastated by the Indian Ocean tsunami. Now, thanks to the support of people like you, its people are well on the road to recovery. As we end our operations in Sri Lanka, read how your support has rebuilt homes, livelihoods and hope for the future.

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A Woman's Work

Friday, March 8, is International Women’s Day. Through your support of Lutheran World Relief, you reach out to women around the world and help them address their unique challenges to overcoming poverty.

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Beloved Community

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of a world where people of all races and walks of life could come together in beloved community. Read how a Lutheran church is partnering with the Dartmouth College community to realize that vision through the making of LWR Quilts.

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Typhoon Bopha Victims Face Long Road to Recovery

On December 4, Typhoon Bopha struck the island of Mindanao, in the Philppines, causing widespread flooding, destruction and loss of life to families still working to recover from 2011’s Tropical Storm Washi.

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Brothers and Sisters in Christ and Quilts

“The Quilts that you provided show how loving and empathetic you are,” says the officer in charge of the Nunge home for the disabled, near Dar Es Salaam. “The residents have been so comforted by the materials you provided. Thank you very much and may God bless you.” Tanzania is one of the countries to which LWR hopes to increase LWR Quilt distributions through the LWR Quilt Campaign, LWR’s effort to collect 500,000 Quilts to send to people in need around the world!

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Fields So Full of Greenery

“For the last whole decade I have never seen these fields so full of greenery. I hope in the future every land in my village is so evergreen,” says Teresa, a farmer in Bihar, India. Where poverty once drove Teresa’s family apart, sustainable agriculture has brought them back together ― and looking toward a better future.

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You've Helped Her Unwrap a Better Life

Did you know that you helped change the world this year? In 2012, people like you have given over $450,000 to LWR Gifts, resulting in more than 2,100 Gifts given worldwide. Read on to see how the LWR Gift of a Community Water System provided clean water to 110 families in Nicaragua.

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Taste the Difference

“Farming is in my blood.”

That’s what Oliva Kishen will tell you if you visit her farm in Uganda. She grew up on a coffee farm and now grows coffee to support herself and her family.

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The Power of Partnership

From the pews to Sunday school classrooms to community celebrations to health care centers, our brothers and sisters in Africa are singing the messages of the Lutheran Malaria Initiative

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Baking Up New Opportunities

For teens in El Salvador, options for building a future locally can be difficult to find. Learn how two young men are baking up new opportunities with LWR. Hope you’re hungry!

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A Cool Glass of Water

For rural families in Nicaragua, refreshment comes in the form of cocoa, a lucrative crop that brings new possibilities. Read on to meet one of the farmers who ― with your gifts to LWR ― is now producing first-class cocoa for the export market and earning enough to support his family.

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Nothing Short of Amazing

Five U.S. college students recently had the opportunity to visit Tanzania and experience first-hand the amazing work of the Lutheran Malaria Initiative. Their charge is to share what they've learned with their peers so together we can help end malaria deaths in Africa. Read on to learn about one of the families they met during their trip ― a family who is healthy thanks to LMI.

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Just Add Water

LWR partnered with the Fundación Arado to teach Dionisia and Plácido about sprinkler systems that would allow them to better irrigate their crops.

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From Amish to Africa

In Africa, Lutheran World Relief spends a lot of time working with farmers ― more than 95,000 in 2011! In most African countries, where the majority of people still make at least part of their living from agriculture, farming has to be part of the equation of fighting poverty.

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Mission: Possible!

Each spring the sixth grade Sunday school class at Messiah Lutheran Church, in Auburn, Wa., gets to choose a theme for the annual spring Mission Sunday ― a special Sunday when the congregation comes together to support a common cause. The class is in charge of hosting a breakfast and planning an auction to raise money for that theme.

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World Refugee Day

Your gifts provide help and hope to refugees around the world. Read how your support is making a difference.

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Running 155 Miles for Water

Follow LWR staff member Paul Drossou as he runs 155 across the Gobi Desert and raises funds for LWR’s water projects around the world.

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Sweet Victory

Could chocolate get any better? Apparently, yes! And LWR is helping make that possible with our partners in Nicaragua.

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A Quilt of Many Blessings

LWR recently honored the hundreds of generous congregations, groups and individuals who have contributed to LWR’s Quilt and Kit Ministry through the sponsorship of a brick. Read more about our first-ever Brick Blessing.

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Small Investments Yield Large Returns

Improving the lives of small-scale farmers does not always require complicated initiatives. Read about Maimouna Bore’s success in Mali — proof that simple investments can be effective.

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Fair Trade on Campus

World Fair Trade Day is May 12! See how Lutheran campus ministries are promoting economic justice and inviting students to serve their global neighbors through Fair Trade.

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Malaria Champions

As we keep pushing to end malaria deaths in Africa once and for all, LWR celebrates the tireless work of a few malaria champions.

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Dread-ful Fundraiser for Clean Water

To cut, or not to cut? Learn how an Iowa teen turned his funky hairstyle into a fundraiser for LWR!

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A Path to Recovery

In the Philippines, cash transfer programs are helping families on their path to recovery.

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Essential to Life and Dignity

Most of us don’t think much about what it takes to get water from its source to our taps. But Rosalba Canabales, of Gambote, Colombia, is keenly aware of the effort involved in getting water. For her, daily water collection was not simply a hassle — it was maddening.

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Japan Earthquake and Tsunami: One Year Later

Families and communities in Japan continue to rebuild after last year’s devastating earthquake. Because of compassionate people just like you, they have a good start on recovery.

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Gardens Sprung Forth From Rocks

March 8 is International Women’s Day. Read how LWR, and you, work to support rural women in Mali — and around the world!

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Celebrating Women of the ELCA on Bold Women's Day

When it comes to bold acts of faith, Lutheran World Relief is blessed to be in partnership with Women of the ELCA. Read on to see how Lutheran women act boldly on their faith in Jesus Christ.

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The Little Things

When Woodrow and Margie Arp bought their eleven year-old granddaughter, Alyssa, the book Little Things Make Big Differences: A Story About Malaria, they didn’t realize what inspiring acts the gift would set in motion.

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Beautiful Work: Serving Christ in One Another

More than 700 LWR Mission Quilts were distributed to impoverished women and men in Kolkata, India by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. Learn more about how Quilts bring joy and warmth to so many in need.

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LWR Emergency Report: Flooding in the Philippines

Tropical Storm Washi caused massive flooding and destruction in the Philippines. Learn how LWR is responding and what you can do to help.

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Haiti Earthquake: Two Years Later

Families and communities in Haiti are still working to recover from 2010’s devastating earthquake. Thanks to your compassion and generosity, Lutheran World Relief is working right alongside them to rebuild and improve.

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The Business of Doing Good

Gregory Rawn didn't start out trying to build a business or earn any great fortune. He simply wanted to help his oldest son, Elijah, understand church services and learn about God.

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Making Waves, Breaking Boundaries

Zenaida and her community in Mindanao, Philippines, once had to rely on hand-dug wells and contaminated river water. But a new gravity-fed water system has brought clean water to the community.

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LWR Special Report: Flooding in Central America

Like many of the victims of the recent floods that struck Central America, Anselmo Antonio Gonzalez is thankful to be alive.

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Gridiron Heroes

Football on a snow-covered field is usually a tradition reserved for later in the winter in places like Green Bay, not Gettysburg, Pa., in October.

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Building God's Menagerie

This year members of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Torrington, Wyo., decided to take on a bold mission — to fill Noah’s Ark with animals from the LWR Gifts catalog.

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Back from the Brink in Kenya

Where drought once tore households apart, LWR is helping to bring communities in Kenya together to cope and move forward.

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The Gift of Writing

Elise Seyfried of Oreland, Pa. leads a busy, yet accomplished life as a wife, mother of five, church worker, actress. And she’s also a writer — she recently published a book and decided to donate a portion of the proceeds to Lutheran World Relief.

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East Africa Special Report: A Place to Call Home

Ahmed and his family lost everything as a result of Somalia’s devastating drought and famine. Now living in a refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya, they wonder what the future holds for them. Learn how LWR is helping.

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Still Standing: Unpredictable Weather Threatens Gumutindo's Coffee Farmers

Shifts in weather have also caused big problems for the farmers of the Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative in Uganda. Read how LWR’s sustainable development approach is helping farmers protect their livelihoods — and the Fair Trade coffee you love to drink.

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Missionary At Large

Rev. A. Karl Boehmke has supported Lutheran World Relief since its beginnings in 1945. Learn why he’s supported this work for so long – and what he envisions for the future with your support.

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LWR Special Report - Drought and Hunger in East Africa

More than eleven million people in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti are at risk of starvation in the midst of the region’s worst drought 60 years. Famine has been declared in parts of southern Somalia. By acting quickly and compassionately to help, we can save lives in East Africa.

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Of Great Faith

Dr. Teizazu Sukessa speaks four languages fluently — English, German, Oromo and Amharic. Yet, the more you learn about this new member of the Lutheran World Relief board of directors, the more you realize that’s just one of many impressive things about him.

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A Partnership of Equals

Not long after beginning her career as an electrical engineer, Kristin Yakimow discovered something important about herself. “I like working with people, and helping them solve their problems, much better than I like working with computers.”

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A Friend For Life

To express themselves, some people draw, some sing, others write. Eighty-three year old Mildred (“Mickey”) Monsen organizes. To her, the ability to bring people together under a common cause is both a passion and a vocation. “It’s my way of following Jesus,” Mickey says. “And it’s what I love to do.”

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An LWR School Kit for Every Child

A shipment of 22,000 Lutheran World Relief school kits was sent to Sao Tome and Principe &m one of Africa's poorest countries &m in late 2003 as part of a national initiative to improve conditions in elementary schools and revitalize the country’s education system.

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Helping Haiti from Summer Camp

Most camp-bound children aspire to fill their summer days with outdoor activities like swimming, hiking and playing games. 1,500 campers in Nebraska and Kansas put a different spin on their summer fun by filling an ocean freight container with Personal Care Kits.

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Perseverance and Promise

When Esther and Isaac bought their land to build a farm, they knew it would be difficult to grow crops there. But both were committed to making the land arable. Knowing the LWR project would help them access water, conserve soil and teach them how to preserve their land made the task a bit less daunting.

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Water at the Mountaintop - A Fill the Well Success Story

...In fact, the mountain is a principal source of fresh water for the populated areas in central and southern Mindanao. Its status as a national park helps to protect some of the natural resources found there, but unfortunately, it does not provide services or protection for the people whose livelihoods and culture are embedded in its volcanic soil and forests.

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More than Clean Water

Delfina is a young woman who knows the importance of clean water. She’s the oldest of eight children and lives in the Tinguipaya region of Bolivia, home to some of the highest mountains in the world. Her father works for the mayor of their town and her mother is a veterinary promoter who helps people care for their livestock.

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"Water is Health and Life!"

“Water is important because water is health and life. Without water, there is no life.” With these words, Ernesto Choque Ayarachi tells how water has renewed life in his community.

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Small Stewards Making a Big Impact

Vacation Bible School programs provide a nurturing environment for children of all ages to learn about God’s love. Last August, Bethany Lutheran Church in Lompoc, Calif., added an element of service to VBS by making Personal Care Kits for Lutheran World Relief.

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Notes from Niamy, Niger

Kirk Betts, formerly the Lutheran World Relief board chair, traveled to Niger in West Africa in 2009 to witness the distribution of LWR quilts and kits. His experience moved him to offer these words of thanks to Lutheran quilters and kit-makers who support LWR’s ministry of comfort and care. A condensed version of this article appeared in the September 2009 edition of Faith in Action.

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Storing Hope, Restoring Lives

Trevor Knoblich, LWR's Program Coordinator for Emergency Response, reflects on a quilt and kit distribution in the Philippines.

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LWR School Kits Encourage School Attendance

According to the international assistance community, Afghanistan is currently in the "relief, recovery and reconstruction phase" amid a fragile peace. While the challenges that lie ahead are very real, Hungarian Interchurch Aid (HIA), LWR's partner in Northern Afghanistan, cites reasons for Afghanis to have hope in spite of the odds against them.

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Expectant Mothers Receive Prenatal Care and Baby Care Kits

In Mali, many women receive no medical care during their pregnancies or deliveries. Oftentimes, this leads to health problems for the baby or mother, and sometimes even death.

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