Hal Donaldson, the co-founder and CEO of the Springfield-based humanitarian aid organization Convoy of Hope Inc., will be the featured speaker at the Missouri Governor's Prayer Breakfast, on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Capitol Plaza Hotel and Convention Center in Jefferson City. The Prayer Breakfast is an annual inter-faith event for all leaders and citizens of Missouri; its purpose is to seek God's guidance for the state's governmental leaders at the beginning of the legislative session.
Through the non-profit Convoy of Hope, millions of families in need have received groceries, medical and dental screenings, job opportunities and more. Since 1994, Convoy of Hope has responded to hundreds of disasters in the United States and around the world - including the 2011 tornado in Joplin - and more than $400 million worth of food and supplies has been distributed to over 63 million people. Last month, Donaldson led ongoing relief efforts that included volunteers and supplies in response to widespread damage and destruction in the Philippines caused by Typhoon Haiyan. More than 126,000 children in 11 countries are enrolled in Convoy of Hope's feeding initiatives.
An award-winning journalist and popular speaker, Donaldson is the author of more than 30 books, including Midnight in the City, which chronicles his journey to eight American cities, where he traveled with police on the midnight shift and walked the streets interviewing drug addicts, gang members, prostitutes, runaways and the homeless. For his work with Convoy of Hope, Donaldson received the National Distinguished Service in Social Welfare Award in 2009. He received bachelor's degrees in journalism from San Jose State University and in Biblical theology from Bethany University.
Donaldson is a member of the Board of Trustees of Oral Roberts University and of the board of the National Association of Evangelicals. His wife, Doree, is an accomplished pianist, and received her master's degree from the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. The couple has four daughters.
In addition to the keynote speaker, the breakfast will also feature prayers, scripture verses and special music. The theme of the annual breakfast is from Philippians 4:6: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
Tickets for the Governor's Prayer Breakfast are $30 per seat or $300 per table, and may be purchased online at www.missourigpb.com. Questions about the breakfast or about ordering by mail may be sent to [email protected]; the event also has a Facebook page. Seating of guests the morning of the event will start at 7:10 a.m., with the breakfast beginning at 7:30 a.m. and ending at 9 a.m.
Proceeds from the Governor's Prayer Breakfast support the Governor's Student Leadership Forum on Faith and Values. The forum brings together select Missouri college students for a three-day study of faith and leadership. Participants explore the role faith has played in the lives of business executives, sports figures and government officials.
The Missouri Governor's Prayer Breakfast, established in the 1950s, is an annual observance welcoming participants from around Missouri at the beginning of the General Assembly's legislative session. It was established as an extension of the National Prayer Breakfast, which was first held in 1953.