So why do I bring up the subject of bad news? I will just say that I have written a lot of fund-raising letters during my days as a social worker and I receive them in spades via email and standard mail. There are so many I don’t usually stop to read them. Bur I read this one and I found it moving and inspirational. It spoke of commitment, hope, persistence, endurance, and the beauty that comes with taking on a little of God’s work.
Here I have been staying at home (mostly) for 105 days now reading news about an encroaching deadly disease, watching the markets crash, businesses going under, unemployment rising, extraordinary displays of police violence, cities on fire, voting systems in disarray, our theater season cancelled, and national and state leadership I wouldn’t trust with the family car on a Saturday night. Woe is me. One could find it all a little depressing.
But allow me to quote a few things from Dr. de Anda’s letter.
After laying out the steps they have taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the difficulties they present in trying to meet the educational and character development mission of the school, she spelled out their predicament in more detail.
The challenges to achieve our purpose are of grave magnitude. The border is closed to non-US citizens without essential business in El Paso. We have worked with immigration to consider tuition an essential. Collecting tuition has been a serious problem. Tuition is a big part of our operation. Then there is the number of parents who are presently out of work. They are struggling to put food on the table. Tuition is not a priority, yet their children must still go to school. The next school year will be one that parents and students will need our financial help through scholarships more than ever.
The uncertainties of the church are known to all of us. The postponement of General Conference, Annual Conferences, and Jurisdictional Conference weighs heavily in our daily lives. Lydia Patterson is a ministry of the church, and regardless of the challenges within the church, the needs of our students are real and ongoing. Our students continue to need us; perhaps now more than ever. My faith tells me that we are in this together, and together we will endure.
Lydia Patterson has gone through many crises in its one hundred plus years in ministry. It opened during one of the bloodiest times, the Mexican Revolution. It survived two world wars, a great depression, numerous peso devaluations, drug wars and violence, many other pandemics, and the endless and controversial immigration issues of the border. Yet, La Lydia has stood steadfast and remained true to God’s calling to maintain a bridge between the two countries, the two cultures, and to lead God’s children to be the ones to transform the world. It is this young generation that will be our future leaders. It is they who will make for a better tomorrow, and it is they whom we must look after today.Letter from Dr. Socorro de Anda, Lydia Patterson Institute, May 22, 2020
After I read her letter I could see that there really can be hope even when you feel like you are in the concentric eyes of multiple “perfect storms.” La Lydia has been there for over 100 years and the institution has continued to serve through it all.
Certainly we can do no less.
And you, dear reader, please help if you can. Learn more about La Lydia and the capital campaign here: LPI Donation Site
It’s not as slick as the site run by TAMU, Rice, Harvard or Princeton. But La Lydia’s mission is just as important and, in my experience at least, their graduates just as impressive.