A photo of Ann Graber Hershberger sitting near a garden
MCC photo/Brenda Burkholder

Ann Graber-Hershberger, September 2020, MCC U.S., Akron, Pennsylvania.

“The earth is the LORD’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it.”  (Psalm 24:1 NRSV)

As weather patterns change, people around the world are hurting. In this issue, we see how those in Bolivia and Bangladesh, in Kenya and Cambodia, are striving to adapt to climate-related challenges.

As I read their stories, I’m also struck by all the other pain we’re seeing in Ukraine and elsewhere in the world.

But there is hope. MCC supporters like you are offering prayer and financial support; volunteering at MCC Thrift shops and relief sales; advocating to lawmakers; and serving in other ways with MCC.

Mirroring this cloud of witnesses is an equally amazing group of MCC partners and project participants who are addressing the myriad needs in the world.

Images of war in Ukraine take me back to living in war zones in Central America years ago and, more recently, to visiting camps in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where thousands of families displaced by ongoing violence struggle to live.

In both places were greens and pepper plants, repurposed containers of flowering plants around the doors of rudimentary shelters — evidence of our God-given instinct toward beauty and growth.

Recently I met with women and teenage girls at a nearby church who were assembling dignity kits. We wished we could magically hand them directly to those newly displaced in the war in Ukraine. We wondered what the landscape looks like as they flee and how long this suffering of the earth and its people will continue.

Several places in the book of Joshua, we find the phrase, “And the land had rest from war.” We pray fervently that this will soon be reality.

Many of us reading this do not depend on the land we live on for our sustenance. Nor are we in danger of war driving us from our homes. Though we often feel helpless to really make a difference, these stories show us that we can do something. Let examples shared in these pages spark ideas for how you can celebrate and nurture God’s earth and all who live in it! 

Ann Graber Hershberger

MCC U.S. Executive Director

Make a difference