The economy was booming! There were years of abundance! And then—whoa, what happened? I’m not talking about 2020. I’m talking about Genesis 41, when Joseph was in Pharaoh’s court in Egypt. Seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine. It was a roller coaster for everyone.
Who could have predicted it? Well, God did, of course. Remember Pharaoh’s dream of seven fat, beautiful cows swallowed up by seven scrawny cows—and seven full heads of grain swallowed up by seven withered heads of grain? By God-given interpretation of those dreams, Joseph was able to advise the ruler of Egypt to store up food during the good years in order to survive the years of famine. When Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt during the famine, they thanked God that there was food.
I can’t tell you what the rest of 2020 will bring. It’s sure been unpredictable so far. But I thank God that during abundant times in their lives, generous Christians have given to the WELS Student Assistance Endowment Fund. Those funds have been stored up so that there will be enough aid for young men and women studying for the ministry of the gospel at our ministerial education schools in the fall of 2020, regardless of how well the economy is doing.
Some gifts for student financial aid are meant to be used right away. Every year these prove very helpful. Other gifts for student financial aid, when given to the endowment fund, are meant to be used year after year. To accomplish this, the endowment distributes only four percent of its value every year, with investment proceeds beyond that remaining in the fund. In this way your gift continues supporting student financial aid indefinitely!
Currently the WELS Student Assistance Endowment fund distributes about $238,000 each year, which helps around 700 students. Your gifts to this fund increase that reliable assistance year after year. It’s one of the most helpful things we can do for the young people studying to be pastors, teachers, staff ministers, and missionaries.
Storing up for the lean years is prudent. We will still have ups and downs in our lives. The famine that we are trying to avoid, however, is the “famine of hearing the words of the LORD” (Amos 8:11). By God’s grace, we still hear the message of repentance and forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus. We still have young people willing to preach and teach God’s Word in its truth and purity. Let’s support them!
Cordially in Christ,
Administrator, WELS Ministerial Education