We Need Your Help!
Updated: Mar 26, 2020
During my recent devotional time I read about Moses and his leading of the Israelites out of Egypt. This was no small undertaking. He had to lead an entire nation out of the only home any of them had ever known. Shortly after leaving Egypt the nation of Israel came to the Red Sea. The Egyptians were chasing after them and they were trapped with nowhere to go. But our God was bigger than that circumstance. Today, as then, He has a plan and can lead us out of any situation.
This article will take a much different tone than many I write in my Koehne's Corner. The reality is, we are coming to you for help. I feel a little like Moses with the Red Sea in front of me and the Egyptians closing in behind. Valley Lutheran is currently in a very difficult financial position. Between now and the end of May we need to raise $200,000. We need to raise this money in order to keep our school going in a positive direction and provide teachers with all they need to do their jobs most effectively.
During the course of this year we have made several cutbacks in an effort to help balance the budget. Teachers have been amazing in the way they have continued to provide an exceptional educational experience for our students all while mentoring them, walking beside them, and helping them mature and grow in their faith and as young adults. At the same time they have pitched in and helped by vacuuming their classrooms and taking out their own trash. Volunteers have worked with Mr. Haar to help keep the landscaping and grounds kept up and looking good.
Many Lutheran schools across the country have had to cut teachers’ salaries and benefits in order to keep their schools going. We do not want this to ever be considered as an option at Valley Lutheran. We have an amazing faculty that needs and deserves our support through a difficult financial time.
Over the past several months I have made countless phone calls requesting support for a place that has been life changing for so many people. Some people have stepped up and contributed, but more needs to be done. We have reached a point where I need to ask you, rather implore you, to step up and help Valley Lutheran.
Why are we in a difficult financial situation? The 2018-19 school year was a devastating financial year for our school. We had a record enrollment of freshmen and started the year at just over 200 students. With this big growth there were many added expenses. The school put into place programs and personnel that were needed to support the growth. The reason it didn't work is really two-fold. First, many families did not follow through on their financial obligations. As a school we work hard to collect all of our tuition, but some people just didn't pay. As a result they were not able to continue at or return to Valley; but the reality is, that money will probably never be collected. The second reason is that there were students who either made poor choices or did not fit in with the Valley culture. These students either chose to leave or were asked to leave the school.
The combination of these two factors, along with some unexpected expenses, resulted in about a $240,000 loss last school year. We have put many safeguards in place to make sure this does not happen again. We spent the first part of this year ensuring we are on track for a brighter future, and I believe we are. However, we need to make it through the present to get to the future. The people of Israel were stuck between a body of water and an enemy closing in on them.
BUT THEN GOD!
God parted the Red Sea and the people walked through. I believe God will do this same miracle for Valley Lutheran. He will use YOU to bless the school and part the Red Sea that will lead us through to the promised land. I also correlate the Egyptians chasing after the people of Israel with all the fears and doubts we have. We wonder if Valley will really be strong. We question if this will be enough. How will the school keep going after Mr. Richter retires? All of these fears, doubts and anxieties get washed up and drowned the same way the Egyptians did in the Red Sea.
I may be calling you in the next few weeks asking for your support. Please know you are not only supporting Valley Lutheran this year, but you are impacting the lives of countless families and students for many years to come. I also want you to know that every faculty member has committed to giving in this fundraising effort. They are giving out of their hearts and modest income because of their strong belief in the mission of Valley.
If Valley Lutheran has made a difference in your life, your child's life or in the life of someone you know, please consider making a donation. Click here to donate.
God is Good. He is Faithful. We will all be participants in and witnesses to this incredible miracle of support to His Kingdom through Valley Lutheran High School.