By Colleen Peterson

With the Youth Gathering only one week away, the ELCA World Hunger staff is busy finalizing last minute details to engage thousands of youth in our interactive space. For those of you unfamiliar with the 100 Wells Challenge, we are aiming to raise $250,000 to support ELCA World Hunger water projects that will make clean and safe drinking water a reality for all people. Even though I’ve read numerous accounts about the positive impact of ELCA World Hunger water projects, I continue to be amazed by the incredible accomplishments that can be made when we work with our brothers and sisters around the world. I strongly encourage you to check out the 100 Wells video and resources to see the way water projects can significantly improve one’s life.

In addition to thinking more about people’s access to safe and clean water, I have also been reminded of the call to feed those who are hungry. One Bible verse that has been on my mind lately is Matthew 25:35, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” Having grown up in a small town in Minnesota, I did not encounter people begging for food on the street; however, I encounter this on a daily basis while going to and from work in Chicago. Despite becoming accustomed to this reality of living downtown, I seldom walk past someone who is hungry without a rush of questions filling my mind. What led this person into poverty and hunger? How should I help? Why don’t I sacrifice more to help those who are in need? Is my extra change bringing the necessary change to this systemic problem? What can I do with the resources and life I’ve been given to help those most in need and contribute to sustainable change in the world?

While I do not believe there is a quick fix to eliminate hunger and thirst in the world, there are significant ways we can work together to make access to water and food a reality for all people. One of the actions you can take is to spread awareness about the 100 Wells Challenge and support ELCA World Hunger projects. If you are as compelled by inspirational videos as I am, I also recommend you to watch the ELCA World Hunger video series to see to see the way your gift to ELCA World Hunger is actively at work in the world.

How will you respond to the call to feed the hungry?

Colleen Peterson is an ELCA World Hunger Intern