It’s incredible how things go by so quickly…like this internship! I have enjoyed so much the opportunity to tell the story of ELCA World Hunger this summer. It has been fun to constantly work to be “in the know” about issues of hunger and poverty. From creating spaces for high school youth to engage in social justice at the ELCA Youth Gathering in New Orleans to site visits for organizations who receive our domestic hunger grants it has been a busy and full summer. I have really enjoyed keeping everyone up-to-date on our Facebook Cause and have been excited each Monday when I record how many more members or donations have come in to support the work of ELCA World Hunger. It’s amazing to learn what just ten dollars can do, and then see someone donate ten dollars and realize that we can now give a family a small flock of chicks or provide a week of meals to a child orphaned by AIDS.

Sometimes the other interns and I will watch a new documentary or read a surprising statistic and claim that we have become “corrupted”…but in a good way. Bottled water all of a sudden looks like landfills in the middle of the ocean or streams drying up in Michigan, and at the grocery store I check to make sure my chicken is organic and not fed antibiotics. Yvon Chouinard, founder of the outdoor clothing company Patagonia once said, “The more you know the less you need,” and as this summer rolls to an end I find myself seeking to know more while doing my best to consume less.

Above all, the most important thing that I have learned from my experience this summer is that we are all just people. Sure, some of my colleagues have doctoral degrees or years of social justice experience. Others have cried with victims of Hurricane Katrina or eaten dinner with their fellow Malawian Lutherans across the world, and still others meet with Congressmen and women on Capitol Hill, but the most common and important thread between the people who work for ELCA World Hunger, and Church in Society as a whole, is love for their neighbor. We are all just people, we are all just trying to do the right thing – make life a little better for those in need. And together, we believe we can.

Micah 6:8 –
He has showed you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

In the Spirit,
Lana Lile