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Sharing God's Testimonies
of Faithfulness


by Terry Zeitlow, Ph.D.

 

Anyone who knows me, knows I bleed blue and gold!  I love LeTourneau University! But I know when I say that, I am not alone. So many others share that same love, appreciation and passion for this institution. 

I have the great privilege in my work of meeting with many people. It is an unbelievable joy and incredible honor. Some of these people are alumni; some are friends of the university from our local community, some are past parents and current parents.  You get the picture!  But when I meet with these folks, I am always struck by the impact the university has had on them personally.

No two stories are the same.  I’ve heard from alumni who struggled at LeTourneau as students for various reasons but look back now and are grateful for their experiences.  There are parents who are pinching themselves over the fact there is a Christian university like this for their child to attend.  There is the gentleman from West Texas who started giving to LeTourneau in 1980 because his grandfather and father supported the work of R.G. LeTourneau. His only personal “touch” with the school came one fall afternoon in the 1990’s when he got off interstate 20, drove to campus, sat on a bench in the middle of campus and visited with students for about an hour. Tears came to his eyes as he shared his experience.

Testimonies!  Stories!  They are powerful!  We have all heard them and felt their impact.  In fact, we all live them! It is important that we pass them along.  Scripture encourages us to do so.

Throughout the early chapters of the book of Deuteronomy, we see the Lord repeatedly reminding the children of Israel of the importance of passing on God’s testimony of faithfulness in their lives.  God’s instruction was to those “whose eyes had seen firsthand all that the Lord had done” (Deut. 11:2-7).

The stories that take place here at LeTourneau are really a part of God’s greater story.  We know that because LeTourneau University is His University.  Always has been; always will be!

We are placing an emphasis in our Alumni and Development work on doing a better job of sharing stories.  Our stories, past and present, are too important.  Sharing stories of our current students helps affirm to our faithful donors that the gifts they provide are making a difference and having an impact.

Another critical way we are creating opportunities for people to share their stories is with the start of The LeTourneau University Foundation. To better serve the long-term endowment needs of the university, the investment strategy of those endowment funds, and better serve those exploring estate and legacy gifts, this Foundation is being launched.

Legacy planning is really story telling. It is individuals and couples sharing their story of God’s faithfulness and allowing that story to create a legacy so others can benefit.  A very gifted Tom Bevan serves as the Executive Director.  I encourage you to attend an upcoming seminar or contact Tom to explore possibilities of building your legacy story.

Of course, I close with a story. I recently met with a young couple who had given what I considered a very generous gift for 22-year-olds. We had a wonderful visit together, and then the conversation turned to their donation. I asked them, “What prompted you to make such a gift at such a young age?”

Their response was inspiring. “We know our education was expensive, but we also know we didn’t pay the full amount ourselves. We had scholarships awarded that people had left to the university.  Our parents helped us some and we also borrowed to make the difference possible.  But we felt a need to give back because others had helped us, and we would not have the nice jobs we have today without the education we received!”

I think their story of gratitude is beautiful.  I thank you who contribute to LeTourneau. Know you are making a difference in the lives of those who attend here.

You can be looking for the story of Spencer Nelson, 1993 graduate of LeTourneau, coming soon with year-end giving information.  Spencer’s story came to us through one of our Development Prayer partners, who are a team of people committed to pray for those who financially support LeTourneau University.

What’s your story?  As always, if you haven’t been back to LETU in a while, I encourage you to come back.  My invitation to personally give you a tour of this beautiful campus and treat you to either our Corner Café or Bodacious for lunch or dinner is an open invitation.  Call me at 903.736.6910 or email me at TerryZeitlow@letu.edu; I look forward to hearing your LeTourneau story!  And thank you for making current LeTourneau University student’s stories possible by giving back to your alma mater!