Allow me to introduce myself. My name is David Creech and I am the new Director of Global Hunger Education at the ELCA Churchwide Office. I am just finishing up (hopefully) my PhD in Theology, with an emphasis in New Testament and early Christianity. I am excited to participate in that long stream of Christian tradition that looks out for widows and orphans, or, in our context, the most vulnerable people in our global village.
The Gospels tell us that Jesus came announcing that the kingdom of God had arrived. Its coming meant that the poor would hear the good news, the sick would be healed, and the hungry would be fed. Throughout his ministry Jesus invited his disciples to join him in living out the kingdom. The first followers of Jesus were notorious for their care of the orphan and the widow. Greek and Roman authors mercilessly ridiculed the early Christians for their naïve (and self-sacrificing) attention given to the most vulnerable persons in the Roman Empire. 2,000 years later the Church is still called to live out the kingdom of God by meeting the needs of those who are most desperate.
Today, the most vulnerable in our global village are the chronically hungry. Though the statistics may be familiar, they are worth repeating:
- Over 850 million people wake up and go through their day until they finally go to bed without ever having their hunger assuaged. That’s nearly one in six people. Sadly, one in six people are also over fed.
- Every day, more than 31,000 children die of hunger and other related, and preventable, causes.
- Approximately one-half of the people in the world are malnourished.
- Perhaps most frightening of all, there is enough food for every person in the world—men, women, and children—to have 2,500 calories per day.
The numbers are staggering. They can be paralyzing. They call the Church to be and do what it has historically been and done. I am so thrilled to be a part of that mission and I look forward to conversations with all who want to see God’s kingdom here on earth.