I am learning more about hunger. In 2017, about 11 percent of the world went hungry every day. Rebecca Duerst, previously of ELCA Global Mission, says severe hunger and famine is typically a slow disaster. “Drought and food insecurity happen over seasons and years,” she said. “It doesn’t pop up all of a sudden.”
But the number one cause for hunger today can pop up all of a sudden: conflict. In recent years this includes South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen (more recently it’s Ukraine). In the battles between armed groups are people who can’t eat due to blockades, checkpoints, confiscated or destroyed aid shipments, and violence.
Our Lutheran response is not isolationist or “America First.” It’s about the neighbor. Lutheran Disaster Response works through local partners to accompany survivors through food distribution, temporary shelter, water and sanitation, and psycho-social support. Lutheran World Relief channels gifts from U.S. Lutheran denominations toward anti-hunger initiatives.
As I learn more, I can see how I’m connected and how to respond: by listening to others, learning about domestic hunger, giving extra backyard produce to the local food bank, and making a gift to ELCA World Hunger.
This message is excerpted from “Famine forgetters” by Anne Basye in the April 2018 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate The Martyrs of Uganda, 1886, and John XXIII, Bishop of Rome, 1963.
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