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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Iowa farmers lift hay and spirits in Texas

'Operation Hay Lift' began as a Churchwide Assembly table topic

The bond between Lutheran farmers/ranchers in Texas and Iowa has gotten even stronger — all the result of a conversation and a generous movement of hay bales from Iowa to Texas.

In August, drought and desperation became the table topic among Iowans and Texans during the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Orlando, Fla. Jesus Escamilla, lay minister of San Gabriel Lutheran Church, Alvarado, Texas, told about the effects of one of the worst droughts in the state's history. What hay the intense summer heat didn't destroy, wildfires did. Many farmers and ranchers were forced to sell their cattle out of desperation — they had nothing to feed them.

But farmers in towns like Garnavillo and Luana, Iowa, had a hay crop that was plentiful. Harold McMillin, pastor of St. John Lutheran Church, Luana, was one who heard Escamilla's plea. "On the Sunday after the assembly, I told my congregation about the need in Texas. By Monday evening, we had four loads of hay committed for donation," he said.


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December issue

DECEMBER issue:

Advent: Waiting together

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