While thinking about my third month anniversary of entering the ELCA universe of World Hunger & Disaster Appeal, I am both excited and humbled by my assignment. Never during my entire professional life have I been in such a supportive environment of colleagues. The learning curve is high and the mission of helping people both at home and across the borders is taken seriously and done with great passion and hard work. Fortunately, I have never lived through a natural disaster and I promise you, I have never experienced true hunger. I have been very blessed. So, in order to evolve my understanding and identification to others less fortunate in these experiences and consider the great importance of our efforts, I recently visited the Field Museum’s “Nature Unleashed – Inside Natural Disasters.” I walked through the Earth’s history of natural disasters in the formats of visual and audio recordings, pictures, interactive exercises and explanations of Hurricanes, Tornados, Earthquakes, and Volcanoes. I came across the following quote in seeking an answer for why these disasters happen:
“Hurricanes, Tornados, Earthquakes and Volcanoes can be disastrous for people. But on a planet fueled by heat, these vents are simply signs that the engine is running. Life on this dynamic Earth will not always be easy. Our challenge – to live here as safely as possible.” Unknown Author
I learned that heat in the Earth’s core and from the Sun cause such events to occur. My next question was, “what kind of good things can come from such unfortunate experiences, both here and abroad?” I later read these words:
“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin”. By William Shakespeare
Out of something as horrible as suffering from natural disasters, arise partnerships fueled by compassion. Walls of division that normally keep us captive in our own section of the world are torn down. As a result, we create new relationships and provide shelter, food, funding and most of all hope to families for a better tomorrow. This is my new place. A team of hope carriers that help make this volatile Earth we share connect and become a family.