Gifts of Hope


Mleza Gondwe, 10, helps his family care for goats in Chigumba, a village in northern Malawi which has been hit hard by drought and hunger. The ACT Alliance is helping residents of this community discover new ways to grow more food, thus achieving food security for their families, as well as supporting the raising of goats as a source of food and income.


Ascension’s Gifts of Hope is a shining light of hope for our neighbors at home and abroad. For 2016, the focus is on ELCA Disaster Relief, both in its activities to help those suffering after domestic disasters, such as California wildfires and Hurricane Matthew, and its efforts to aid victims of the drought in Southern Africa. Our local focus is Lutheran Social Services, which helps men, women and families in need in the Conejo Valley to reach and sustain a higher quality of life, by providing comprehensive assistance to achieve or sustain independence and become responsible members of the community. Lastly, we lift up God’s Global Barnyard, part of the ELCA World Hunger appeal, in its efforts against world hunger.

Lutheran Disaster Response brings God’s hope, healing and renewal to people whose lives have been disrupted by disasters in the United States and around the world. When the dust settles and the headlines change, they stay to provide ongoing assistance to those in need.

Lutheran Disaster Response recognizes that every disaster is local. Because of this, they believe every response needs to be rooted in the community and they work to accompany that community from immediate relief through long-term recovery. Last year, Southern Africa saw the smallest amount of rainfall since records began more than a century ago. Lutheran Disaster Response is developing the capacity of households to become more disaster-resilient. It is also providing immediate life-saving nutrition, as well as livelihood support and psychosocial care, with an emphasis on reaching pregnant women, vulnerable children, people who are differently abled, and the elderly.

Lutheran Disaster Response collaborates with other disaster response organizations and religious entities in the United States and around the world. These partnerships enable the greatest stewardship of resources and maximum impact of response and recovery actions. In the United States, they work through the ELCA’s extensive network of affiliates and other partners. Lutheran Disaster Response strives to help the church continue to be church in the midst of disaster — following Christ’s call to bring hope and healing to our neighbors in need.

Ascension’s Gifts of Hope lifts up Lutheran Social Services and the important work they do, every day, to help our friends and neighbors in need in the Conejo Valley. LSS operates programs and services such as the Conejo Valley Meal & Winter Shelter and Homeless 2 Home.

Lastly, we’re supporting God’s Global Barnyard, part of the ELCA World Hunger appeal in its efforts against world hunger. Gifts of Barnyard animals provide food and income for families and communities around the globe, each gift a help in breaking the cycle of
poverty for those in need.