www.elca.org/goodgiftsFirst, things first, Blog Colleagues—what “quack” wrote that title? (Apologies, I couldn’t resist!) Now that I have that out of my system, have you seen the new ELCA Good Gifts YouTube video yet? Check it out.

A group of animals are collected in a barn with a duck giving the orders:

“Stop looking at your feet…I’ve got an important mission for you guys. You [pig], you’re going to make sure kids have enough to eat. You’re [alpaca] going to help a family pay their medical bills. You’re [goat] going to help a mother start her own small business. You [cow], you will help a community escape poverty.”

This very cute, simple video paints a very real picture of the realities present in the world today. This video also highlights how ELCA World Hunger, through programs like ELCA Good Gifts, serves and works in the world.

Yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugee’s ministerial conference in Geneva. In her comments, as highlighted by yesterday’s ELCA new service new release, Secretary Clinton shared the story of Fatuma Elmi, a Somali refugee who was resettled in Minneapolis and now works with Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota, an affiliated ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and a partner in this church’s efforts to reduce poverty and hunger in communities.

In this highlight video from yesterday’s address, Secretary Clinton goes on to state, “Millions continue to be uprooted by wars or victims of persecution because of race, tribe, religion, political opinion or sexual identity. […] Because of these discriminatory laws, women often can’t register their marriages, the births of their children, or deaths in their families. So, these laws generate generations of stateless people who are often unable to work legally or travel freely. They cannot vote, open a bank account or own property.”

As people of faith, we are journeying through the Advent season. We are reminded fact that once, two people name Mary and Joseph were traveling to register in the town of Joseph’s birth as was decreed by the government. During their travels, a child, who we know as Jesus, was born in a barn to these parents. That child, at the time a refugee as he was in Bethlehem not his home town of Nazareth, was registered to receive his full rights in the community.

Today, we are reminded that everyday, throughout the world, women and children may not be allowed to register, remain stateless people, are unable to feed their families, pay their medical bills or start their own businesses to break the cycle of hunger and poverty that hold them bound.

Through the work of ELCA World Hunger, as highlighted by the ELCA Good Gifts animals, we are part of helping communities escape poverty and helping women, children and families find health and wholeness.

So, in the Advent spirit of hope and the words of our new found friend, the ELCA Good Gifts duck, “Now, go out there and change the world!”