5 Core Values
2. To strategically invest in the next generation
Funding a Dream
By Kirk Noonan
Challenges. Alaska is full of them. So much so that many
world-class adventurers trek there every year to test their skills, endurance
and mettle against the majestic and equally rugged landscape. Doing so takes
courage, unwavering faith, determination and an ability to embrace short-term
objectives while keeping a steady eye on long-term goals.
Melia McDonald is not yet an adventurer, but she has the DNA
to be one. She just finished high school. Served as vice president of the
National Honor Society. Played outfield for her softball team. Earned the
second-highest score in the Academic Decathlon. Volunteered at kids camps
during summer breaks. Led worship and even preached for her youth group at
Fairbanks First Assembly of God.
Sure, she admits, she has enjoyed every academic pursuit and
extracurricular activity. All of it, she says, is part of a working tapestry
she hopes will play a part in her goal of becoming a missionary — who
specializes in children’s ministries — to Africa. Though she’s only 18,
she knows that great visions have challenges.
The main one for her is money. For months she wondered how
she was going to pay for an education at Central Bible College in Springfield,
Mo. Tuition, room and board are costly by themselves, but traveling back and
forth from Springfield to Fairbanks is not an inexpensive proposition either.
“I plan to go into full-time ministry immediately after
college,” she says. “My goal is to not have something like money prevent me
from doing what I feel I am supposed to do.”
Cash-strapped families with children wanting to go to
college are nothing new. But in an effort to help such families and develop the
brightest and best future leaders of the Assemblies of God, the AG Trust has
created the Riggs Scholarship Fund.
“The fund is named after former General Superintendent Ralph
Riggs who was an early advocate for higher education in the Fellowship,” says
George O. Wood, General Superintendent of the AG. “In the years to come it is
our hope that the scholarships will be a major resource for AG students to
attend Assemblies of God schools.”
McDonald is one of the first recipients.
“It’s hard for me to describe how much the scholarship means
to me,” she says. “I am still in shock that a girl all the way up in Alaska
would be given such a scholarship.”
As part of the Fellowship’s goal to strategically invest in
the next generation, the
Next Generation Fund has also been established.
It will help young ministers who have attended an AG college or university by
paying a portion of their school bills each month.
KIRK NOONAN is managing editor of the Pentecostal Evangel.
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