Hello from the road! Did you know that we ELCA World Hunger staff travel quite often to be with your communities and congregations? It is an important and life-giving part of the work that we do together as partners on the journey—being with one another.

This past weekend, I was in a town called Winterset, Iowa. Winterset is located in the Southeastern Iowa (SE-IA) Synod, and I was hosted by local hunger leader, Pastor Joel Nau and his congregation, St. Paul in Winterset.

Top four Winterset facts:

  1. Home of the first red delicious apple tree.
  2. Location where George Washington Carver spent three formative years.
  3. Birth home town of John Wayne.
  4. Located in Madison County and home to the famed covered Bridges of Madison County.

While in Iowa, I had the joy of staying with three families, meeting a less than two year old baby, sampling some homemade, Master Gardener jam and worshiping with St. Paul’s. Additionally, there were two other events happening in the area that we attend: the SE-IA Synod “Called Together in Mission” (CTIM) event and the Lutheran Services Iowa “Lutheran Day on the Hill” event.

At the CTIM event, Pastor Scott K. Beebe talked about health and wellness, particularly in relation to vocation. Pastor Beebe asked us to go to our mental file cabinets and find the drawer from “10-11 years of age,” pull it open and open the folder marked, “dreams.” He asked us to remember what our dreams were at that time and encouraged us that it is never too late to dream our biggest and best dreams.

What is that dream for you? For me, health, wholeness and life-giving work and life for all is the dream. Poverty and hunger are all too constant companions, but if we as people of faith don’t dream of a different reality—the one we know we are called to work towards—who will?

Pastor Scott then shared a statistic with us. When ever you try and start something new (a project, a diet, a routine)…

  • Alone: 30% success rate.
  • With just one other person: 60% success rate.
  • With a group: 90% success rate.

At the Lutheran Services Iowa “Lutheran Day on the Hill” event, a group of 200 ELCA Lutherans from throughout Iowa traveled to Des Moines, the capitol, to advocate for important community services for those most vulnerable in communities. A grant from ELCA World Hunger doubled the attendance at the Hill Day—this is our work together.

Friends and fellow workers, we are already a success. Though we live in the Lenten season now, we know the rest of the story. As the body of Christ, we are a group with unlimited potential for success. I was reminded of this in Iowa.

So, open up your mental “dreams” file, and let’s get started! Through our work as the network of ELCA World Hunger—we are on the move.

Mikka serves as program director for constituent engagement and interpretation with ELCA World Hunger. For more information on how to share the story of ELCA World Hunger through the network, write Mikka.McCracken@elca.org.