Tuesday, September 23, 2014

There's a humility that comes from others having faith in you.

Ann Sponberg Peterson writes:

Over coffee recently some friends asked me, “So much good has happened in recent days with Empowering Learners.  What comes next?” 

I had to laugh and think … how very typical of good friends at Luther College to not just celebrate the happy news and updates, but also to raise the expectations and to keep pushing forward.  Since I am cut from that same restless cloth, I know that sentiment well – and I must admit I am grateful for their steadfast encouragement and support of this project.

So indeed … what comes next?  Good news has been all around us this summer into fall and just a few days ago the news got even better.     

Enthused about the work of this project and the way in which we reach our goals, Arne and Ruth Sorenson – wonderful friends of the church and of education – have pledged an amazingly generous $5,000 match for gifts given this fall to Empowering Learners.   Thank you, Arne and Ruth!

Now … if you wish to move your mouse on over to the DONATE button right this very moment – you’re entirely excused! – I’ll completely understand and I encourage you to do so as this match is quite simply fabulous news for our efforts!  Please also know, news of this match will also be included in our fall appeal soon to be in the mail.

This matching gift has raised and renewed my spirit of outreach.  I was speaking last weekend at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.  Friends at this congregation have been interested in Empowering Learners for some time and have wanted a presentation given to their adult forum and coffee hour gathering.  Goodness!  It was a record-setting Sunday morning attendance for our project and I was pleased as punch to see a number of brochures and the all-important courtesy reply envelopes leave with all those guests.

During this Sunday conversation, as I was sharing my commitment to this project and to the friends and family I hold so dear in the North of Namibia, I got a little caught up emotionally.  I found I was vividly remembering the quote by Lilla Watson I have mentioned on previous occasions:  “If you have come here to help us, you are wasting your time.  If you have come here because your liberation is bound up with ours, then let us work together.” 

These words were swirling in my mind and I realized just how personally bound up I am in this work.   In many ways, in these 50-something years I’m living through, I am profoundly consumed by this work.  As such, I am entirely grateful for every wonderful donor who decides that they can live into this project as well through their personal giving.  And I am deeply moved by Arne and Ruth Sorenson who have provided a catalyst for us to achieve even more.

To all of you who agree that this is worthy and important work, your support is an amazing blessing.  You are the good friends who push all of us forward and we are humbled by your kind generosity and good words.

We have pledged to the ELCIN that we would provide the funding needed to construct one new kindergarten every year.  This takes $5,000 USD.  Our stretch hope – in addition to maintaining all our current initiatives – is to underwrite the building of TWO such schools every year.   Through the generosity of the Sorensons, as we meet this matching gift challenge in the days ahead, we can now be assured that we will meet this expanded two-new-schools-a-year goal! 

Interested in helping us meet the match?  Just move your mouse right on over to the right.  Thanks friends!

Empowering Learners

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