A Dream Fulfilled Because of Church’s Perpetual Education Fund
Contributed By Edward Kofi Wallace, Church News contributor
As a returned missionary, I wanted to establish a strong, gospel-centered family. From what I observed while on my mission, I knew that to be able to achieve this objective, one must have a good spouse, an education, and a job. Though these are not easy to come by, I had great faith that it was possible.
When I returned from my mission in 1995, I struggled for five years to earn a diploma in accounting (two years for the diploma in business studies and three years for the higher national diploma) and spent an additional year in national service. Getting a job was another daunting task. After several unsuccessful attempts, I finally got a job in 2003 as an operations assistant on contract with a bank.
Through all these experiences, I remained committed and faithful to the Church. The next thing for me to do was to fulfill my goal of getting married. Though the salary I was earning at the time was meager, it was enough to allow me to get married to a wonderful young woman, Pascaline. This was a great joy. She brought a great strength into my life.
I knew that my income needed to improve and that I needed additional education. My dream was to earn a degree in accounting. The Church’s Perpetual Education Fund provided a way for this dream to be fulfilled. I was able to apply for a PEF loan to do a two-year “top-up” degree program at a university, which earned me a degree in accounting. Having a loaded class schedule on the weekend, coupled with work stress and Church activities, was very challenging. But I completed the goal in 2009. Becoming a graduate in accounting was a fulfilling experience, which I owe to the Lord, my wife, and my son, John.
For me, the PEF program bears witness of a living prophet who reveals the will of a living Father who knows and is mindful of the needs of His children.
I have now been given additional responsibilities as an operations officer at the bank. My earnings have improved. I am able to pay my tithing and other offerings and have enough to provide for my family.
The monthly loan payment during and after my attendance at school was the least of my challenges, for I viewed it not as a loan payment, but as a commitment to help sustain what the Lord has instituted to bless His children and meet their needs. I found myself making these payments with the same joy I had when the prophet announced the PEF.