ELCA World Hunger staff and associates write about root causes of hunger, current events, and anything else they find pertinent.
By Kristyn Zollos
I have been interning with ELCA World Hunger for less than a week, and already my eyes have been opened to different things taking place within the world, as well as within myself. During a meeting with the Reverend Daniel Rift, he made the comment, “God has blessed us with enough food in this world to feed everyone, yet everyone is not fed.” It’s a simple concept, and one that I understand to be true, yet I had never really thought of it in that particular way. I know there is plenty of food in the world. I see it every time that I walk into my local grocery store or look at the food wasted in restaurants, homes, and often on my own plate. I also know that there is hunger. I have seen it thousands of miles away, as well as down the street. I’ve always known these two concepts, yet when I bring them together into one thought, it really hits me. There is plenty of food, but everyone is not fed. I have to ask myself, where is the disconnect? What am I doing about that disconnect? What are we as a church doing about that disconnect?
There are certainly steps being taken and goals being set. I have viewed that firsthand here with ELCA World Hunger. I have been so impressed by the passion of those around me to aid those in need and to be resources to those individuals or congregations wanting to support the cause. But being in this office, I have also seen that in the past I have not done enough. Sure, I’ve given financially and will volunteer when I have the time, but I don’t think I’ve necessarily been living in a way that is in support of the ideals I claim to hold. I so often set my sights on things of this world and forget the real reason I am here.
An individual action that ELCA World Hunger supports is living more simply as well as more sustainably. I’ve recently realized the amount of clutter I let build up in my life. This clutter is both the literal “stuff” that seems to fill my room, as well as the obligations and commitments I take on too often. I would not consider myself a frivolous spender, but packing up my college home this past semester, I was constantly asking myself, “Why do I have this? Why did I ever buy this? What did I ever use this for?” I need to take a better look at where my time and money are going and where they might be better spent. Am I using them to the glory of the Lord? The more I seem to take on or collect into my life, the less I seem to use to the glory of God who blessed me with those gifts.
I am not saying the more you are in need, the stronger your faith in the Lord, but I do know that I personally get so caught up in what I have and the abundance of “stuff” I’ve accumulated, that I forget their source. I’ve watched on different occasions and on different parts of the globe as a church full of people with so little, glorify the Lord with all their hearts and praise God so deeply for what has been provided. Looking through this blog and some of the posts about simplifying your life really hit home for me. I get caught up in and distracted by all the things in my life and then use them to glorify myself.
I am excited by the insights I’ve gained within the little amount of time I’ve been here. I feel as if there is so much more I could go on to write concerning what has taken place within this week, but we’ll save that for another post on another day. For now, I’ll just say that I look forward to where the Lord is taking me with this journey and what I will learn throughout my internship, in relation to work, faith, the world, and my individual self.
ELCA World Hunger Intern