Rev. Paul Johnson, Assistant to the Bishop (Ecumenical Relations), and outgoing Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) Executive Director Ruth Jensen provided updates on Global Hunger Development Fund (GHDA) and CLWR and how they have responded to developments and emergencies worldwide on behalf of the national church body.
Johnson praised the church for its 20% increase from June 2004 to now in undesignated gifts (up from $149,000 to $181,388). Special efforts were made to faciliate timely disaster relief response by funneling funds directly to CLWR. Tempted to thank all Canadian Lutherans, Johnson first gave thanks to God, for opening the hearts of Canadians beyond belief through the tsunami disaster-and opening their wallets later!
Jensen is leaving the director's post with CLWR after nine years to move to a new endeavour in New Dehli, India next year. She further informed the assembly that the Canadian government, through Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), would match on par directed offerings to relief organizations in this special situation. Donations received totaled $1.3 million dollars. CIDA's matching grant made significant relief work, especially on southeastern coastal India, possible. "Isn't that awesome," she exclaimed, to a rousing ovation from the convention floor.