Mikka from ELCA World Hunger in Chicago, Illinois
This year’s United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) was my seventh experience in that space. Each time, I am reminded that the Spirit works in mysterious ways…
During our time together, the ELCA Young Adult Cohort focuses on leadership development at the intersection between faith and justice. Lately, that conversation has been leading me back to the promise of baptism – through water and the word, we are claimed, gathered, and sent for the sake of the world.
This past summer, ELCA World Hunger engaged tens of thousands of youth and their congregations in the conversation about clean water through ELCA World Hunger’s Walk for Water. According to the United Nations, women in Sub-Saharan Africa walk, on average, 3.7 miles for water each day. This often conjures images of drinking glasses, water jugs, and water wells, but there is so much more to the story.
In June 2014, I had the opportunity to visit and learn more about the 13 Lutheran churches in the island nation of Indonesia. One of the ministries we visited was a women’s crisis shelter of the GKPS (Gereja Kristen Protestan Simalungun – Simalungun Protestant Christina Church). During that visit, we met a woman named Rusti.
As we were settling down in a circle for conversation, I thought to myself, “ELCA World Hunger certainly partners with and supports many health ministries, but the focus is on women’s empowerment – how am I going to tie this back to the program directly?” And as the Holy Spirit does hear our wonderings, the first words out of Rusti’s mouth were:
“I don’t have indoor plumbing in my home, so I have to walk to an area away from home.”