On December 18, 2014, a long-standing friend of MLHS came in to the office for a visit. When asked how he was, he said, “I am happy, very happy today. I just met with my financial advisor and finalized the papers to make two IRA gifts to MLHS. Soon MLHS will be getting a gift of about $100,000. I would like it to be used for Maintenance and Repairs. I would like it to be used to repair the roof and fix the east windows. There are no stipulations on this gift other than I want it to be used strictly for BUILDING MAINTENANCE & REPAIR. Ownership will be transferred to MLHS to reinvest, but I would like it to remain liquid so that the principal can be used as needed. I would like to keep this school looking good and taken care of.”
Then he went on to explain his desires for an additional gift of about $50,000 to be used for starting a SHOP/AG CLASS. “I realize that this could take about three years to research, organize and get going,” he said. “If, at the end of that time, the administration decides that this isn’t in the best interest of the school, then the money can go to Building Maintenance and Repair.”
He went on to say, “When I was a child my parents had a prayer book written by Joseph Stark. It has wonderful prayers in it with “meat” in them—not like the fluff you have today. When my wife and I got married, her parents gave us one also. It talks about how according to 1 Samuel, God said that negligent parents and their children will go to hell. You think about farmers and how they plan for the next year’s crop all winter long, planning what fertilizer they will use, planning what seed they will use. Children should be planned for before they are conceived. Parents should be praying for their children long before they are born. How many children these days are born without prayer and without planning? They are viewed as cute little toys for a few years then cast aside by their parents. That is why Lutheran schools are so important.”
He concluded, “That is why I feel first impressions make a big difference. I know that they don’t save souls. A good first impression might not make people enroll (at MLHS), but a bad first impression will definitely turn people away.”
In accordance with the donors wishes, the Board of Directors and Administration prayerfully examined how to best use this wonderful gift and honor the donor’s wishes. Since that time, the roof was repaired, the east lobby windows had the glass and seals replaced, other windows were repaired, new entry mats were purchased, new carpet was installed in the office, and window shades were installed in classrooms. Four years ago the circuit board for our phone system shorted out. It was repaired, but we knew that parts would not be available in the future, so this gift was also used to purchase a new phone system that provides intercom capabilities and individualized voice mail service. Money was also set aside for future furnace upgrades.
There was still a good portion of the gift left. What makes a bigger “first impression” than our driveway? After much consideration it was decided to get rid of as many of the potholes, speed bumps and water puddles as possible by installing a concrete driveway. Thank you, also, to Rosburg Construction, K&G Construction, and Fieldstone Services for their generous contributions of in-kind services and price reductions to bring this big project to completion.
Throughout the summer, the donor stopped in to see the progress of the projects that his gift funded. Right before school started, he came and stood on the concrete and looked down the driveway and said, “This makes me so happy! This is really nice. I am so glad that you did this.”
Information is being gathered for the addition of classroom space to house an ag/shop program.
While the donor was still living a gift was given to MLHS for Building and Repair to improve the school. The donor wanted to see things happen at this Ministry--while still living. Seeing the gift used brought great joy to the donor and is a tremendous blessing to the MLHS Ministry.