Music and dancing greeted the hundreds of people attending the dedication ceremony for the ALC Community College’s phase II building project on June 26th. What a celebration! Current and former students reunited, sitting together under colorful canopies to share stories. Despite temperatures well above 100 degrees, leaders of the Arcot Lutheran Church (ALC) warmly welcomed dignitaries from the local city of Parangipettai as well as the surrounding area. Several of the ALC’s partner organizations, including LPGM, sent delegations to encourage and support this new “City of Hope.”

Among those guests, LPGM representatives Paul and Melissa Steen brought greetings from LPGM’s board, staff, partners, and Friends of the Community College. They helped dedicate many of the new buildings on the magnificent new campus by cutting ribbons and offering words of prayer during the four-hour service. They spent time with students, teachers, and administrators, learning about their hopes for the future of the college and their careers.

Begun in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami that devastated southeastern India, the ALC Community College serves as a glorious witness to God’s long-term vision. Only God could have imagined the changes that would come to this area, and planted a seed that would take over ten years to grow and mature. The college’s new buildings now stand as a bold proclamation that all people, regardless of their class, religion, or gender deserve a quality education. The college will continue to fulfill a vision that generations to come can have better futures for their families.

The dedication of the new buildings – among them a chapel, classrooms, dormitories, dining facilities, and a recreation area – marks a very important milestone to achieving that vision. In addition to LPGM, there were delegations from ELCA Global Missions, the ELCA’s Northern Illinois Synod, architectural firm MSAADA, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia. A generous $1.2 million grant to LPGM from ELCA Global Missions greatly accelerated the building of the campus, and led us to this momentous occasion. Glory be to God!

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