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    Update on ELCA World Hunger

    Posted on August 19, 2011 by assemblynews

    The Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla, executive director of ELCA Global Mission, said there is a multitude of ways that “we work together to address hunger, so that people living in poverty can provide food, education and health care for their families.”

    “As a church, with churches, we are rolling back malaria and addressing HIV and AIDS,” he said. “We are helping communities deal with climate change, mitigate future disasters through long-term agricultural and water interventions that help them lessen the impact of both floods and droughts.”

    “The work we do together is global. But the results of that engagement is local, and is seen in the lives of individuals and the promise that they claim for themselves,” said Malpica Padilla.

    The Rev. Dan Rift, director of the ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Appeal, said that “almost everything we do as ELCA World Hunger is built upon the presence of the church and its ministries; a presence that already exists in communities around this country and around the world. That speaks to the efficiency of our efforts. Not only the efficiency, but also the effectiveness, because we’re not guessing what is needed or how to work in communities as diverse as those from Des Moines to Dakah – we already have experts with whom we are journeying, those from the local communities.”

    In 2010, 94 percent of the support for ELCA World Hunger came from congregations and individual donors, almost all of whom are members of ELCA congregations. Together these gifts provided $18.3 million to help those who are hungry, address the root causes of hunger and encourage the church to act in the face of hunger.

    “This is work that compliments the work of the church through shared mission support, but stand uniquely as work that is focused exclusively on hunger,” said Dan. “In addition to the good work to address hunger, ELCA World Hunger provides the foundation for additional special work supported by gifts to the ELCA Malaria Campaign and ELCA Disaster Response.”

    This year the goal for ELCA World Hunger is $18.5 million. Dan said that with the stress in the economy and the level of disaster response in synods this year, it will not be easy. “And yet, we see this challenge as well with eyes of faith.” 

    Dan asked participants of the assembly to stand up if they were willing to go home and encourage congregations to support ELCA World Hunger. “We are a people mobilized by action,” he said.

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