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“Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.” —Song 2:13

Saturday, April 18

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Washington Presbytery

Pennsylvania

Nicaraguan fair-trade coffee farmer Courtesy of C. Jeanne Clapp

 

Nicaraguan fair-trade coffee farmer

 

Courtesy of C. Jeanne Clapp

 

In January 2014, Jeanne Clapp traveled to rural Nicaragua to visit with farmers whose lives are being improved through the Presbyterian Coffee Project. She stayed in their homes and trekked a mountainside to see where the coffee beans are grown.

“If it were up to me, I would be charging $100 for a cup of coffee,” says Clapp, hunger action enabler for Washington Presbytery. “It took us an hour to get up to this coffee patch in the jungle. These farmers work so hard in very difficult conditions!”

In the past, middlemen set a paltry price for the crops, leaving the farmers little money to support their families. But thanks to the fair-trade organization Equal Exchange, the farmers now get a fair profit for their crops.

The presbytery designates 25 percent of its coffee sales to a different mission project every year. Several congregations also sell the coffee and fund other missions. In addition, 15 cents from each pound of coffee goes to the PC(USA)’s Small Farmer Fund, which supports an integrated sustainable-agriculture development program in Haiti. Now the Nicaraguan farmers can provide their children a better education and medical care.

“Just by buying a bag of coffee, Presbyterians are affecting so many farmers in so many ways,” Clapp says. “It is the easiest mission that you can be a part of.” The organic coffee is superior in flavor and quality, and although it costs more than the average coffee you find at the store, it’s worth it. “There’s a reason it does,” Clapp says. “It’s a reason that I think faithful people will believe in and want to support.”

Washington Presbytery has 54 congregations.

—Don Herschel

Let us join in prayer for:

Presbytery Staff

Craig Kephart, executive presbyter
John Rodgers, stated clerk
Wil White, transition consultant
Patricia Lutz, resource center
C. Jeanne Clapp, administrative assistant and hunger action enabler
Rebecca Washabaugh, administrative assistant
Susan Halulko, financial secretary

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Eric Garretson, PMA
Linda D. Garrett, PMA

Let us pray

Almighty Creator, we pray that the simple choices we make—what coffee or tea we drink—will always honor your name and benefit all the members of your family. We ask you to help us give our lives generously in service to you. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 92; 149
First Reading Daniel 3:19-30
Second Reading 1 John 3:11-18
Gospel Reading Luke 4:1-13
Evening Psalms 23; 114

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