Lenten Stories: A legacy of stewardship

ELCA’s 40 Days of Giving

Thank you for reading stories of the life-saving work made possible by gifts to ELCA World Hunger during Lent. Learn more at elca.org/40days »

A legacy of stewardship



In the village of Chole, Shadrack Tsatautenda has been cultivating trees for two years, and the oldest are nearly ready to sell and transplant. His nursery was made possible by a small business loan from the village savings and loan group established by Evangelical Lutheran Development Services in Malawi (ELDS), supported by your gifts to ELCA World Hunger. In addition to funding small business plans like Shadrack’s, ELDS trains farmers on crop diversification and increasing yields through new planting methods and the use of organic fertilizer.

In Chole, as is common in many rural villages in Malawi, many trees are cleared for farming and firewood. Over time, deforestation leads to air that is less clean and soil that erodes more quickly. Having received training at the ELDS farming school, Shadrack planted the first seedlings in his nursery, which has now grown to 1,200 trees ranging from saplings to almost fully grown.

Caring for the land, coaxing life out of the soil and guiding it to maturity – this work connects Shadrack to the past, plants him firmly in the present and informs his vision for the future. And that vision, guided by his faith, is not only for his personal prosperity, but also for the prospering of his community.

“This land has been in my family for five generations,” he said. “It is meaningful to me to look after the land of my ancestors, and I want to pass this land to future generations.”

The training he received, he will pass on to others. Those who receive that training will use it to heal their own land and use the profits of increased yields to send their children to school. The land that gives Shadrack life and livelihood will one day be inherited by his three children, who will receive it in a better way than it was found.

The world provides enough food for all, but more than 800 million people around the world face chronic hunger. We believe in a God of abundance, so as a church, we live out our call in baptism to strive for a just world where all are fed. ELCA World Hunger is our church’s ministry to end hunger and poverty. We walk alongside our partners and companions in the United States and more than 60 other countries. Your gifts to ELCA World Hunger address hunger and poverty around the world with creative and courageous action.

This Lent, you’re invited to join together with fellow supporters to study, reflect and give during ELCA World Hunger’s 40 Days of Giving. Experience how the grace of Christ moves us to engage in transformative works of love around the world through ELCA World Hunger as God calls us into the ministry of hope, liberation and restoration for our world.

Learn more at ELCA.org/40Days.