Mennonites are supporting Lutheran relief efforts in the Horn of Africa, with a pledge of $369,500 from the New York-based Mennonite Central Committee, a relief and development agency.
The gift includes mosquito nets and educational assistance, said Eberhard Hitzler, director of the Lutheran World Federation Department for World Service.
The LWF runs a U.N. refugee complex in Dadaab, Kenya, that houses about 480,000 people, mostly refugees fleeing war and famine in Somalia.
MCC Kenya representative Ron Ratzlaff said: "The LWF is doing a good job as the lead agency in Dadaab."
"[It means] much more than just financial assistance," Hitzler said. "It is a symbol and an expression of the beauty that grows out of reconciliation between Lutherans and Mennonites."
That reconciliation was celebrated in July 2010 at the LWF Assembly in Stuttgart, Germany, where Lutherans asked for forgiveness for past wrongs toward the Mennonites' Anabaptist predecessors. Anabaptists were persecuted in 16th and 17th century Europe.
To help: Pray, give at www.elca.org/disaster, call 800-638-3522, or send checks (write "Horn of Africa drought" on the memo line) to ELCA Disaster Response, 39330 Treasury Center, Chicago, IL 60694-9300.
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