The CWS Blog

The Youngest First Grader

Joel Cooper  |  April 14, 2014

After nine months relaxing in the cushioned comfort of his mother’s womb, baby Namoki now spends his days quietly sleeping on the divoted concrete floor in the back of his older brother’s classroom at Lokiding Primary School.

Karamojongs like Namoki have it rough from day one.

What would be considered neglect in the West is necessary for survival in Africa. In this area of Northeast Uganda, progressing though school is not a typical right of passage. CWS staff speculates that only around 20 percent of children here attend. Nomoki’s older brother, Kapel Namuya, has to take his little brother with him to attend school. Fathers are occupied herding livestock, and mothers are busy crop farming, getting water, cooking and doing everything else, so traditionally much of the responsibility of child rearing falls on older siblings.

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Life Lessons Learned

Catherine Powers  |  April 9, 2014

“For I know the plans I have for you…”

After more than 32 years of employment with Church World Service, I’ve “graduated” to another life-stage known as “retirement.” Milestones such as this often present themselves as times to reflect upon one’s life journeys, achievements, discoveries - of which I have many during my tenure with CWS.

Reflecting back to 1981, when I was offered an administrative support position in the Church World Service Minn-Kota Region, then located in Fargo, N.D., I knew this was the call to ministry I had been praying and waiting for. Little did I know this call to an organization I had never even heard of would become my life-long ministry setting!

More than ever, I am so very proud of the work CWS does globally through our staff and partners. Having witnessed a bit of our global international work first-hand — Southeast Asia in 1990 and Kenya/Uganda in 2005 — I’ve seen how we are making a difference one-by-one-by-one with those most vulnerable in places where others do not venture.

Recalling those travel experiences and the people I met, life lessons learned were of such profound significance they remain with me today.

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Superstorm Sandy Recovery Effort Reaches Critical Phase

Barry Shade  |  April 5, 2014

The bigger the disaster, the longer the recovery.

That is certainly true following Superstorm Sandy. The storm hit in October 2012, but a big push to expedite repairs and rebuilding is just beginning – especially in hard-hit New York City and New Jersey.

That takes organization, and local community-based long-term recovery groups are key to helping each survivor access the resources needed to get back into safe, healthy homes and to get on with life. Church World Service plays an important role in strengthening these groups through small start-up grants - usually $5,000 - workshops and ongoing mentoring.

With funding support from member communions, the public and the American Red Cross, CWS already has conducted many long-term recovery workshops since the storm, and will be conducting many more during the next several months.

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Boehner is Distorting Our Democracy

Rev. John L. McCullough  |  March 31, 2014

As originally published by The Hill, March 28, 2014, 3 p.m.

By refusing to bring immigration reform up for a vote, Speaker Boehner (R-Ohio) perpetuates an immigration system that is broken, immoral, and hurting this country. As a Christian and as an American, I am outraged that House Republicans value delay tactics and partisan fears over family unity and community wholeness. This is why I applaud Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi's (Calif.) introduction of a discharge petition to bring immigration reform to a vote in the House of Representatives. H.R. 15, the House counterpart to the Senate's bipartisan immigration reform bill, deserves a vote. Anything less is a distortion of our democracy.

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What Are You Called to Do?

Krista Connelly  |  March 27, 2014

Around the age of 10 I told my mother I wanted to work for CWS. Seriously, I stared at her and said, “I want to do that when I grow up.” Surely she looked at me and thought “yeah, okay” but little did she know I was called to this work. Was it fate, destiny or pure determination? I honestly don’t know but here I am at 27 years old working for CWS. I was CALLED to do this work.

Every step of the way I strategically made choices so that I could fight hunger with CWS. The college I chose, the degrees I obtained and the volunteering I took part it. Each decision was an integral part in my current career. This path wasn’t easy but it was worth it. When you are called, you know it. It is ingrained in your system. No matter what you do or how much you may fight it, your path is going to take you there. I count my blessings mine took me to CWS.

In 2008 while attending Greensboro College in N.C., I organized my sorority to take part in the Chapel Hill CROP Hunger Walk. I remember it being a VERY long walk. I also remember us getting VERY lost. Weirdly enough we also came in first.

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A Long Way to St. Albans, Vermont

Bert Marshall  |  March 26, 2014

“I’m sorry.  I get emotional talking about it.”

Edith Steinhorst, 85, paused several times while telling her story, gathering her composure.  I wondered what images were swirling through her memory in those moments.

We were sitting in the church parlor with her pastor. It was a cold winter’s day in northern Vermont, and she had baked some cookies for the occasion.

Edith, her husband Wolfgang, and their three children (aged 6, 3, and a newborn) were resettled in the US by CWS in 1952.  They had been expelled by Poland from the eastern regions of Germany after the war, and were languishing in western Germany when a Lutheran minister told them about Church World Service, obtained an application for them, and assisted them in the emigration process.  After a long waiting period, their application was approved and they set sail from Bremerhaven, Germany.

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World Water Day and You

Holli Carey Long  |  March 21, 2014

As originally published by Joy is the Grace, March 20, 2014

Oh, you know, this Saturday I think I’ll “Hang Out” with Glennon Doyle Melton. 

Wanna join me?

No really, I’m completely serious.  I’m going to hang out with Glennon (yes, the Glennon of Momastery) and the really awesome folks over at Church World Service (yes, the CROP Hunger Walk folks working to fight poverty around the globe) on Google +.  How cool is that?

Also, you are invited!

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