Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person there is no cause for stumbling.
1 John 2:10
A young girl whose family attends a Lutheran Church in the Okanagan was watching golf on television with her dad one day. He dozed off and she began flipping through the channels, stopping when she saw a group of poor children on screen.
"The speaker said they [the children] had to work hard and didn’t have any food and stuff," recalls the young girl. Wanting to respond in some way, she asked her grandmother what they could do. They decided to make some chocolate chip cookies together and sell them in their church. The proceeds were sent to help the poor and powerless in the developing world.
Halfway across the world in an impoverished community outside Maputo, Mozambique, a young man with AIDS sits and eagerly awaits a visit from volunteers on a local HIV/AIDS team. Supported in part by CLWR through The Lutheran World Federation, the team members visit AIDS victims in the community, offering food, conversation and comfort. People suffering from AIDS are often abandoned by their friends and family who have few resources to share. For AIDS victims, the care and compassion of the teams are gifts beyond measure.
Both stories are examples of how a relatively small kindness can help change the lives of others. We are always grateful that people choose the GHDA/CLWR partnership as the conduit through which they connect to each other in such an uplifting way. Through God’s grace and your support, this work will continue.
- It was a year of humanitarian disasters. There was the earthquake in Bam, Iran; hurricanes and flooding in Haiti; hunger and violence in Sudan, and the tsunami in Asia. The last of these led to an unprecedented outpouring of support from donors to the GHDA/CLWR appeal. A total of more than $920,000 was donated by individuals and partners. These contributions are supporting relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation projects along the southeast coast of India where CLWR has worked for many years with partner agencies like the United Evangelical Lutheran Church in India and Lutheran World Service.
- The number of refugees in the world has declined the last two years as Afghans, Iraqis and Liberians return home. However, the need for refugee resettlement services in Canada continues. CLWR refugee staff, working with Lutheran congregations, helped 199 refugees resettle in Canada.
- CLWR’s alternative trade program continues to grow. Sales are up approximately 50 percent from the year before thanks to the support of volunteers, congregations and other community groups. The program pays artisans in the developing world a fair wage for their handcrafted goods.
This will be my final report to you in my capacity as executive director of CLWR. By the end of this year I will be leaving the agency for new responsibilities. I have appreciated the cooperation, collegiality and friendship I have experienced in our journey together on behalf of the world’s poor and dispossessed. May our gracious and loving God bless each of you as you continue to respond to the call of God in your life as a church and as individuals.
Ruth E. Jensen DD
Executive Director, CLWR