Letter to the Editor: Randy Skow-Anderson

Randy is a Cobber graduate from 1978 and is a Lutheran Pastor in Menomonie, Wisconsin

Dear members of our Concordia family, the Caring Community,

I am sharing about a fellow Cobber in dire need who is about to become homeless and on the streets without YOUR assistance and that of members of our greater Concordia family! I plead to each person to significantly impact his future. His needs are great and urgent! Each person will save him from a life of hopelessness out on the streets by taking action today and also by sharing this information with your family, friends, members of your church, Concordia faculty and staff, Cobber alumni, and with non-Cobbers in all of your networks of contacts. Most will not read this issue of the Concordian.

Picture in your mind how you’d feel if you were to become jobless, broke, homeless, and out on the streets with no place to go and no source of funds from family, friends, agencies, or networks! You’d only have meager belongings. Your situation is due to serious medical conditions and other unfortunate circumstances. Your health would greatly deteriorate for lack of proper care. You’d feel lonely, frightened, hopeless, helpless, and in great despair!  

You’d cry out to God in agony, “where are you God? I need your help!” But God seems to be silent.

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus answers the question, “Who is my neighbor?”. He tells a parable: a man was beaten and left helpless on the road.  Supposedly “religious” persons passed by without helping. The Good Samaritan had compassion and paid for all the stranger’s needs while he recovered. The command from Jesus to us is that we should “go and do likewise” for others.  

We are God’s hands to do His work. When you are about to become homeless, you’d pray for Christians to help you. Would they?

Dear member of our Concordia family, you can “go and do likewise” for your fellow Cobber who is described above! He will be out on the streets without our aid. His only family that can help is his Concordia family! His needs are great and urgent! He needs you!

To help him get better so he can seek employment, Hank Tkachuk, retired Concordia professor, along with a Cobber Alum from ’80, started a GoFundMe campaign: “Help MOVE MOUNTAINS for Jim.”  

Former Concordia President Paul Dovre and other Cobbers kicked off the campaign, but it is far behind its goal even to meet current needs. I feel certain that after reading Jim’s compelling story on the website you’ll likely want to join the campaign to meet the GREATEST NEED: to help rapidly and vastly spread the word to a great many others! Do you hear a still, small voice calling “go and do likewise?” Please tell your family, friends, and others today. Keep this Concordian issue to refer to again.

Kindly also consider donating generously. Galatians 6:7 states, “Whatever a person sows, that shall they also reap.” Giving must be done in love, and must be from the heart to be returned, multiplied tenfold. With a great army from the Cobber Nation mobilized, together we can all “Help Move Mountains for Jim!” Please pray for Jim and the success of the campaign. Soli Deo Gloria!

Here is the website for Jim’s GoFundMe: www.gofundme.com/help-move-mountains-for-jim. GoFundMe campaigns succeed due to ever-expanding networks. It is amazing what is quickly possible when a great many persons help! Please start today to call on Cobbers of all years and non-Cobbers among family, friends, organizations, church members, employers, co-workers past and present, as well as any network. Consider that they will have no opportunity to help  if they remain unaware of the needs. Make a new contact daily! Don’t assume others will act while you stay uninvolved. Also ask members of several organizations to sponsor a creative fundraiser to involve several communities. Consider involving businesses to offer door prizes or other assistance.

GoFundMe recommends phone calls and personal contacts first, followed up by email. When contacting others, ask them to contact others in ALL their networks in the same ways. Have them ask persons in their networks to ask others to do the same.  Explain how GoFundMe campaigns can be very successful. You could send them the link to this Concordian letter that appears online. Not all persons use Facebook or Twitter. After the above methods, GoFundMe recommends also using Facebook or Twitter to ask others to get involved. Repost nightly between 6-8 p.m. Ask others to also repost nightly on their own pages. Ask others to ask those in their network to get involved and repost nightly between 6-8 p.m.

Thank you for joining the Cobber Army to “Help Move Mountains for Jim.” Someday you may find yourself in a similar position as Jim’s. Who will help you?

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