Chris Herlinger | December 9, 2013
Church World Service is rooted in the Christian traditions of our member communions. But we are also proudly part of an ecumenical and interfaith tradition that works across lines of religious difference.
In our midst are colleagues, supporters and friends of different Christian traditions (mainline and evangelical Protestant, Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, predominately black church, the so-called “peace church”) as well as Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, “spiritual but not religious,” non-believers and others.
What unites us is a belief that the world can become a better place, and that, ultimately, we are capable of solving problems like global hunger.
In this, we have a most-admired ally.
Maurice A. Bloem | December 6, 2013
Just getting to the CWS Therapeutic Feeding Center in West Timor is a challenge for many. When I visited our programs in Indonesia a couple of weeks ago with a group of CWS supporters (including CWS board member, Patricia de Jong) from the U.S., it took around 20 hours of air travel, followed by several bumpy car rides across the lush Indonesian countryside.
But logistical challenges fail to compare with what my colleagues at the CWS Therapeutic Feeding Center face every day: treating severely malnourished children with food that saves their lives, and training (at health posts in remote villages) for mothers on how to prevent malnutrition.
Treating malnutrition, in combination with ensuring that children get the right food in the first 1,000 days, is crucial to ensure that children will develop fully. That’s why it’s a key component of the UN’s Zero Hunger Challenge, of which I’m proud to say CWS is a new member and a challenge we gladly accept. The Zero Hunger Challenge singles out comprehensive efforts that aim to help every man, woman and child enjoy their right to adequate nutritious food.
Fionuala Cregan | December 5, 2013
I am surrounded by “palo borrachos” in the heart of the Argentinean Chaco. Known in English as Cieba Chodatii, their name in Spanish translates as “drunken stick,” humorously describing their swollen pot belly trunks. They are characteristic of dry regions due to their ability to retain water and are an endearing feature of the world´s largest dry forest – the South American Chaco.
CWS Chaco Program member Fundapaz has worked in the Chaco for over 40 years and one of its offices is set in a clearing of palo borracho trees in a village called Los Blancos. With some 5,000 inhabitants, a school that serves as primary by day and secondary by night, a small health centre, one restaurant with a set menu of either pizza or fried chicken, a village square with a playground for children and, most recently, a mobile phone antenna enabling phone signal for the first time ever, it is a veritable urban hub in this part of the Argentinean Chaco. “Los Blancos is like New York for some people,” says Gabriel Seghezzo of Fundapaz.
Chris Herlinger | December 2, 2013
A friend and colleague of mine recently painted the following scenario:
"Your neighbor's house is on fire. The fire department is there. All the hydrants are pumping water. Would you run across the street with another fire truck and more water?"
Of course you wouldn't. But if you saw images on television of a huge disaster, like the one right now in the Philippines, you might conclude, "More is better."
That would be an understandable reaction. But it wouldn't necessarily be wise.
It is hard to convey how chaotic disaster scenes can be. But they are horrible, miserable things, and I wouldn't recommend visiting any if you can help it.
Rev. Dr. Ken Brooker Langston | November 27, 2013
As originally published on the Fast for Families blog. (http://fast4families.org/blog/rev-ken-langston-blessed-to-be-a-faster/)
As Eliseo Medina, Dae Joong Yoon, and Christian Avila enter their seventeenth day of fasting on Thanksgiving, I am humbled by their sacrifice. I ended my second day of fasting early this morning. I wanted to fast for a third day, but unfortunately I was too sick because my medications would not stay down on an empty stomach. But my spirit soars with gratitude to God and to these core fasters for allowing me to participate with them for even a little while in the mighty work of God that is taking place in that tent, which is now, without a doubt, a holy tabernacle.
Susanne Gilmore | November 26, 2013
Thankfully, the United States didn’t suffer a Katrina- or Sandy-scale disaster in 2013. Or did it? An incessant string of regional disasters has affected thousands of households.
There was not a neat “spring storms” or “fall tornadoes” season this year. Instead, since the spring, the disasters have just kept on coming and the toll has mounted in deaths, injuries and homes damaged or destroyed.
The cumulative impact amounts to a major disaster. Destructive water, wind and/or fire events have affected almost every U.S. state this year. On Nov. 17, a mind-boggling 91 tornadoes, 565 high wind events and 42 hail events took lives and homes in 14 Midwestern states.
Rev. John L. McCullough | November 25, 2013
As originally published by Huffington Post, 11/22/2013, 12:50 p.m.
The Judeo-Christian heritage provides a lens through which we view and treat immigrants not as outcasts but as our neighbors. We have an historic, spiritual and biblical tie to migration. From Genesis onward, the journey of migration is critical in shaping the paths of Abraham, Moses, Joseph and Ruth, who fled due to persecution, famine, death of loved ones, slavery, economic need and family.
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