If you were listening very, very closely on Saturday morning you might know what all those letters mean! The assembly heard reports from Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR), Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA) and Lutheran World Federation (LWF). Each of these Lutheran agencies are avenues for us to help people around the world who are in crisis situations such as war, famine, drought, and natural disaster.
Kathy Magnus of LWF told us that there is a goat somewhere in the world with our name on it. One program of LWF is to give a mother with small children a goat to provide milk and cheese. These goats are very resilient and provide very rich milk. When the first goat has a kid she must give the kid to another family and within a few years a whole village has an ample supply of milk and cheese!
Ruth Jensen of CLWR told us about similar relief projects in India (alternative trade good workshops, formerly known as MESH), Bolivia (Dairy co-op), Ethiopia (soil and water conservation), Jordan (vocational training) and many other projects, too numerous to mention here.
GHDA is the poverty relief program which is most directly connected to the ELCIC. Not only does it link us to the international relief efforts it also addresses poverty in Canada through education and seed-money grants for projects which our churches or our synod might initiate.
Don't worry about all the letters, names, and organizational structures. Just know that we are out there in the world fulfilling Jesus' mandate to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty (people and land) and shelter the homeless. Please support these agencies generously.