Hand in Handhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/In accompaniment in Zambia​Philip Knutsonhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/485http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/485<div class="ExternalClass550F85221F1541AE8A680EC142BB5AF9"><p><em>Philip Knutson is the ELCA regional program assistant for Southern Africa. To support Philip, click </em><a href="https&#58;//community.elca.org/southernafrica"><em>here</em></a><em>. To support the ELCA Global Ministry &quot;Zambia&#58; Constructing New Churches,&quot; click </em><a href="https&#58;//community.elca.org/Zambia"><em>here</em></a><em>. To support another of the ELCA's more than 240 missionaries in the global church, click </em><a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/Our-Work/Global-Church/Global-Church-Sponsorship"><em>here</em></a><em>. </em></p><p>Dear friends,</p><p>During Lent we are reminded of the 40-year journey of the Israelites from Egypt to the promised land and also of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, which lasted 40 days and 40 nights. In his book &quot;Manna and Mercy&quot; (1992), Daniel Erlander speaks of the journey through the desert as &quot;The Wilderness School&quot; where God taught the people how to live by God's gifts of grace as a liberated, reconciled and inclusive partner people in harmony with God, with others and with nature.</p><p>As the ELCA, we are on a similar journey of reflection, conversation and discernment as we walk, converse and work as congregations and with companion churches around the world.&#160; We continue to learn what mission accompaniment means&#58; &quot;Walking together in a solidarity, that practices interdependence and mutuality where gifts, resources and experiences are shared with mutual advice and admonition to deepen and expand our work within God's mission.&quot;</p><p>In February I was privileged to once again visit our companions in Zambia, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia, this time with Dr. Mary Marete, ELCA Global Mission program director for sustainable development.&#160; </p><p>Senior Pastor Alfred Chana and several church members took us to visit a number of sustainable livelihood projects outside of the capital city of Lusaka. These projects have been started with the training and support of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia Malaria Program.&#160; We met with members of two congregations who showed us a pig-rearing project, a grocery store and a health post. Community health care workers reported that through early diagnosis and treatment of malaria symptoms and other health problems the health post, located next to a rural school, has helped reduce the number of days children are absent from class.&#160; </p><p>The members of both congregations have also made sun-baked bricks and constructed new church buildings up to roof level. <em>Always Being Made New&#58; The Campaign for the ELCA</em> has made a commitment to raise funding to assist the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia in the erection of 15 permanent church buildings with corrugated iron roofing. </p><p>Visit <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/globalchurch">www.elca.org/globalchurch</a> for more information. </p><p>Thank you for your prayers and continuing support through the ELCA Global Church Sponsorship program, ELCA World Hunger, the Malaria Program and <em>The Campaign for the ELCA</em>.&#160; </p><p>Thank you for your participation in God's mission locally and globally.</p><p>Yours faithfully,<br>Philip Knutson Rev. Dr.<br>ELCA Global Mission<br>Regional Program Assistant – Southern Africa<br>Johannesburg, South Africa<br>Feb. 20, 2015</p><p><a href="http&#58;//www.southernafricanconnections.wordpress.com/">www.southernafricanconnections.wordpress.com</a> </p></div>03/03/2015Andrew and Barbara Hinderlie: Service in AfricaY. Franklin Ishidahttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/484http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/484<div class="ExternalClassCCB4DBDCA0774C84BB6B1FE112CF0A71"><p>​<img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/Hand%20in%20Hand/Browse/Andrew-Barbara%20Hinderlie_screenshot_2-24-15.jpg" alt="Andrew-Barbara Hinderlie_screenshot_2-24-15.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Recently retired, Andrew and Barbara Hinderlie served as ELCA missionaries in Central African Republic, Kenya, Madagascar and Tanzania. With the concept of accompaniment being central to their service, Andrew says the experience has “given me a better understanding of myself, a better understanding of cultures around me.” To watch a short video and hear more about their experiences as workers in the global church, click <a href="http&#58;//youtu.be/gxiNtT7GDHU">here</a>. To support another of the ELCA’s more than 240 missionaries, go <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/Our-Work/Global-Church/Global-Church-Sponsorship">here</a>. <br></p> <p><br></p></div>02/24/2015The ELCA’s accompaniment in Bangladesh Chandran Paul Martinhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/483http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/483<div class="ExternalClassDC757039B02D47E59E35B3599579CC4D"><p>​<img alt="blood bank-Bangladesh_2-17-15.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/Hand%20in%20Hand/Browse/blood%20bank-Bangladesh_2-17-15.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br>Government officials help open a blood bank in southern Bangladesh. </p><p><em>Chandran Paul Martin is the ELCA regional representative for health care, development and disaster response in Bangladesh and throughout Asia and the Pacific. To support Chandran, click </em><a href="https&#58;//community.elca.org/Bangladesh"><em>here</em></a><em>. To support another of the ELCA's more than 240 missionaries in the global church, click </em><a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/Our-Work/Global-Church/Global-Church-Sponsorship"><em>here</em></a><em>.</em> </p><p>The year 2014 was very eventful. Several companion churches and partners were visited. Toward the last quarter, I visited our partners in Bangladesh. The Rangpur Dinajpur Rural Service had its biannual partners consultation in Rangpur. The ELCA also accompanies the Light for Life Rehabilitation Center for the Visually Disabled. The center currently has 45 students (22 male, 23 female) registered. The project caters to visually disabled students who undergo literacy programs from primary grades to college. Some of the students have received the Bangladesh State Award in recognition of their excellence in studies, and two former students are completing their post-graduate studies in the city of Dhaka.</p><p>The Rangpur Dinajpur Rural Service continues to be engaged in the areas of civil empowerment, quality of life, food, environment and disaster, research communication and advocacy, and micro finance. The ELCA accompanies the service by supporting its core activities in addition to supporting the Light for Life Center.</p><p>I also visited the Lutheran Health Care Bangaladesh's Health and Healing Ministries in Dumki, a village in southern Bangladesh. The health center is a 40-bed hospital providing primarily obstetrics and gynecological services to women predominantly from the Islamic community. It has been providing services for several decades. The hospital also manages three mobile clinics in very remote parts of the districts. A blood bank was inaugurated in the hospital to serve these communities, and this has also been supported by the local district departments. The hospital is looking to improve its services with a 20-point program. The ELCA continues to accompany and support the work of the hospital through Lutheran Health Care Bangladesh – USA.</p><p><strong>Vellipalayam Jubilee project</strong><br>2015 has already begun with a visit in January to the Vellipalayam Jubilee Village, along with the Rev. Y. Franklin Ishida, ELCA area program director for Asia. This visit was also very special because it was the 10th anniversary of the 2004 tsunami. The ELCA has been accompanying the Vellipalayam communities since 2004 and currently has been supporting a micro finance project, working through seven self-help groups. Five of these groups are headed by women, and men's groups have been supported by the women's groups. We also attended the biannual meeting of the United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India, a key partner of the ELCA.</p><p><strong>ELCA joins hands with Madhya Pradesh church</strong><br> ELCA Global Mission has recently signed an agreement with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Madhya Pradesh. The Rev. Ishida and myself met with church's synod. On this occasion, a special ordination service was also conducted. The church's bishop, Emmanuel Panchoo, also announced the good news that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Madhya Pradesh would ordain women in 2015. This information was received with celebration.</p></div>02/17/2015Empowering women for successElizabeth Hendricksonhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/481http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/481<div class="ExternalClassB208DDFB65164055833F4F5938D09ADA"><p>​<img alt="women_Kenya_2-10-15.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/Hand%20in%20Hand/Browse/women_Kenya_2-10-15.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br><span style="font-size&#58;12pt;font-family&#58;&quot;times new roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;;">Women from the Kenya Evangelical Lutheran Church’s adult literacy class in Bandawacho, Naserian Mission.</span></p><p><em>Elizabeth Hendrickson is an ELCA missionary in Kenya working with the Kenya Evangelical Lutheran Church as its communications coordinator. To help support Elizabeth, go </em><em><a href="/Pages/OurWork/Kenya.aspx">here</a></em><em>. To support another of the more than 240 ELCA missionaries in the global church, go </em><a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/Our-Work/Global-Church/Global-Church-Sponsorship"><em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p><p>Empowerment of women and girls is an important ministry of Kenya Evangelical Lutheran Church. Women enrich the congregational life of the church in numerous ways, including congregational women's committees, choir ministries, community outreach groups, elder's councils, and many other church ministries. The church's Women's Department works to&#160; support and encourage women to develop and share their talents in their church and community.</p><p>In November and December 2014, the Women's Department traveled to several congregations to conduct educational seminars addressing important issues facing women in Kenya. The seminars provided information on starting small businesses; women's role in society, church and family; and church member engagement.</p><p>After participating in the seminars many women were inspired to explore opportunities to start small businesses as a way to support their family, develop new skills, and gain financial independence. Additionally, learning about the increased prominence of women leaders in the church helped to empower the female participants to consider how they can engage more fully and seek leadership roles in the congregation and their community.</p><p>Women are a vibrant part of the Kenya Evangelical Lutheran Church. We rejoice in the opportunity to support and empower women to improve their lives and the life of our church.</p><p><br></p></div>02/10/2015 A thank-you and goodbyeLanny Westphalhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/482http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/482<div class="ExternalClass87737FC345CC4E3895A5E222D6C2B2CD"><p>Dear friends,</p><p> <img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/Hand%20in%20Hand/Browse/WestphalLanny_2-8-15.jpg" alt="WestphalLanny_2-8-15.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;float&#58;right;width&#58;200px;height&#58;250px;" />I am immensely grateful for 17 years of service with the ELCA churchwide organization, first as a shared deployed synod staff person in evangelism, stewardship and outreach, and then with our global ministries in development, communication, constituent relationships and the companion synod program. During that time, there was even service as a short-term missionary teacher while on sabbatical in Ethiopia. </p><p>Most recently, it has been a joy to direct the Global Church Sponsorship program through a time of significant transformation and expansion from Missionary Sponsorship to a comprehensive program that more fully reflects our ministries with the global church, which has now been launched as a key priority within the <em>Campaign for the ELCA</em>.&#160;Now more ELCA members have the opportunity to learn about and support the wonderful missionaries and ministries that accompany our companions in Christ throughout the global church. &#160;</p><p>Now I am in transition as I seek the next place that God calls me and where the church can use me. I am excited by this journey of faith. My last day in the office was Friday, and I will be completing some trips and appointments over the next couple weeks.</p><p>Please stay connected! For all matters pertaining to ELCA Global Church Sponsorship, please contact <a href="mailto&#58;globalchurch@elca.org">globalchurch@elca.org</a> or 773-380-2657. Please change my personal contact information to <a href="mailto&#58;westphallanny@gmail.com">westphallanny@gmail.com</a> and 312-608-8551.</p><p>As I complete this joy-filled calling, I feel deep gratitude to all of my colleagues in the churchwide organization and to all our partners and donors across the ELCA. You have my prayers and best wishes. Your support has made a world of difference!</p><p>In Christ,</p><p>Lanny</p></div>02/08/2015Why do I volunteer?Catie Gibbonshttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/480http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/480<div class="ExternalClassE433B01783D242C69E1734C429C47CBC"><p>​<img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/Hand%20in%20Hand/Browse/Gibbons_volunteer_2-2-15.jpg" alt="Gibbons_volunteer_2-2-15.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br><span style="font-size&#58;12pt;line-height&#58;115%;font-family&#58;&quot;calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;">My amazing actors after their Nativity play.</span></p><p><em>Catie Gibbons is spending a year in the United Kingdom as part of the ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission program. To support Catie, click </em><a href="/Pages/OurWork/United-Kingdom.aspx"><em>here</em></a><em>. To support another of the more than 240 ELCA missionaries in the global church, click </em><a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/Our-Work/Global-Church/Global-Church-Sponsorship"><em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p><p>&quot;I missed you while you were away, Catie!&quot; one of my precious kids proclaimed as she walked into Girl's Brigade this evening. I was only gone for a week on a short retreat with other Time for God and Young Adults in Global Mission volunteers, but my little friend missed me and my heart hurt just thinking about how much we would miss one another when I've been gone for weeks, months, and years from my placement in England.</p><p>So many times I get asked here by people in the community, &quot;What are you doing here?&quot; They assume I'm here studying at one of Manchester's nice universities, or sometimes they assume I'm a parent of one of the fellow kids in their child's Sunday school class. I can totally understand the change in their faces when I explain a bit about being a volunteer. Usually it just ends up in me trying to describe this whole experience in a few phrases which is virtually impossible. </p><p>Although I can't put to words the &quot;what&quot; of volunteering, I can certainly pin down a lot of the &quot;whys.&quot; I get reminded of why I volunteer daily when children I work with run up to show me their loose or missing teeth or beg to play a game I've shown them. When kids in the art club I run exclaim, &quot;Cool! I didn't know we could make things like that!&quot; There're so many little reminders of the &quot;why&quot; of volunteering that I see on the surface level, which I hope hold deeper significance on other levels for them.</p><p>When my little friend told me she missed me while I was away, I was reminded of all the others who still miss me currently. Being away from family and close friends for half a year is not easy. However, I can absolutely see the worth of my work, and as the rest of my year of service goes by, I hope I can expect seeds of enrichment to be planted in my work here that continue to shape my community even after I'm gone. </p><p>Because that's why I'm here. And that's why I volunteer. <br></p><p><br><br></p></div>02/03/2015