Friday, August 12, 2011

Donate now, not later

Dear leader,
Last week I wrote inviting you to pray for the ELCA Churchwide Assembly that begins Monday. Today I have been thinking about those who pray with eager longing, "Give us today our daily bread."
In the Horn of Africa, the lives and livelihoods of millions of people have been devastated by the worst drought in 60 years. Crops have failed and water is scarce. Desperate families are abandoning their homes seeking aid. Hundreds of thousands of people have already made their way to refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia. More than twelve million people are in need of help now.
For those who have made their way to the Dadaab camp in Kenya and the Doolo Ado camp in Ethiopia, the ELCA is helping provide safe water and nutritious food. Both camps were established with the support of the ELCA through ELCA World Hunger; the camps are managed by Lutherans through our global church partner The Lutheran World Federation.
This church has been at work for years reducing the effects of drought in communities throughout this arid part of Africa. Thanks to the many water projects and other sustainable agriculture projects funded by ELCA World Hunger, communities are making it through these hard times without the suffering we have seen elsewhere. This long-standing work will continue even as we address this year's crisis.
Thanks to the generosity of ELCA members like you, we have committed $1.25 million for drought relief work in the Horn of Africa through ELCA Disaster Response. In addition, your gifts to ELCA World Hunger provide more than $1 million each year for drought prevention work in Central and East Africa -- and that commitment will continue.
I am asking that you take time in worship and throughout your week to hold our sisters and brothers in prayer. As you are able, please make a renewed commitment to ELCA World Hunger and ELCA Disaster Response. You can find additional information and resources for your congregation's announcements, including an updated bulletin insert, at
Thank you for your prayers and faithful witness to the gospel.
In God's grace,
The Rev. Mark S. Hanson
Presiding Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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