If the answer is “Augusta Victoria Hospital, water project in Zimbabwe, new homes for cell phones,” can you guess the question? Find clues by scanning the excerpts from the ELCA News Service July 14, 2008 posting, found below. Blessings! Sue

SALT LAKE CITY (ELCA) — Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) celebrated the close of its second decade July 12 with the distribution of its 20th anniversary offering, updates on current programs and the introduction of a new program.

Women of the ELCA gave a financial gift of $25,000 to two international Lutheran projects — Augusta Victoria Hospital, operated by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Jerusalem, and a Stand With Africa/LWF water project in Zimbabwe.

The Rev. Twila Schock, director for global mission support, ELCA Global Mission, Chicago, introduced the Rev. Mark B. Brown, LWF regional representative, Jerusalem, who thanked Women of the ELCA for the gift via video. “Your financial support, advocacy and prayers strengthen our ability to serve those most in need in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza,” he said. “Your encouragement helps us to remain firm in our resolve to offer healing and hope in a land exhausted by violence and injustice.”

Kathryn Sime, ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Appeal, ELCA Development Services, Chicago, thanked the women’s organization for its “generous and faithful support of ELCA World Hunger and Stand With Africa.” She noted the organization supported such projects through “a lifetime of giving through this ministry.”
The water project in Zimbabwe is especially significant, she said. “We could hardly have imagined the great needs in Zimbabwe today,” she said. “Following months of political unrest, social upheaval, staggering unemployment of 85 percent last year and devastating inflation … through all of this, this country is now gripped in disaster, leaving many in dire poverty, hungry and homeless.”
Lutheran Development Service in Zimbabwe, an independent program of the LWF, will receive the funds for safe water development projects, she said. The organization is focused on sustainable community development in Zimbabwe, including providing access to safe, drinkable water supplies, Sime said. By the end of 2009 Lutheran Development Service is planning to provide all households in its targeted area with nearby access to safe, drinkable water. “Your gifts change lives, and it all begins with water,” Sime said.

The Women’s Funding Network, in association with the Good Deed Foundation, is holding a cell phone recycling drive in which two-thirds of revenue received will be invested in programs that build women’s financial assets, job opportunities, skills and entrepreneurship. Women of the ELCA is one of 128 organizations that are a part of the Women’s Funding Network. According to the Good Deed Foundation Web site, recycling 1 million cell phones reduces greenhouse gas emissions equal to taking 1,368 cars off the road for one year and recycling 100 million cell phones would save enough energy to power more than 194,000 U.S. households with electricity for one year. Chris Grumm, president and CEO of the Women’s Funding Network and former vice president of the ELCA, San Francisco, said the network hopes Women of the ELCA can recycle up to 250,000 phones through the drive.

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