To learn more about how the ELCA fights world hunger, The Lutheran spoke with Kathryn Sime, director of the ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Appeal.
The Lutheran: What's your mission as director?
Sime: To help congregations and members live out our calling to "go and do likewise" in our fight against hunger. We are a generous church, richly blessed .... I'm privileged to help our church respond generously.
When you think of hunger, is there a face you remember?
I met Agathe in a rural mountain village in Haiti. She and her husband have seven children. If their story were typical of a Haitian family, they might have little hope of reaching beyond subsistence living. But through ELCA World Hunger Appeal gifts to Lutheran World Federation partners in Haiti, Agathe received a "mama" pig and now has two piglets she will sell to help pay her children's tuition. With this precious education, her children will break this devastating cycle of poverty. I have a picture of Agathe standing proudly next to her two piglets. She's trying to look serious, but you can see the glint of a smile. It's not a picture of hunger — it's a picture of hope.
How do we move beyond a sense of helplessness at the enormity of this problem?
I find hope in the reminder that God has richly blessed [our world]. We have sufficient food sources today to feed everyone. Once I accept that hunger isn't inevitable, then I have to accept my role in perpetuating the cycle of hunger, and that's hard to take.... We have to take those real feelings and emotions that are stirred up when we learn about hunger and transform them into actions.... We can end hunger, but we have to work together.
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