“Will this help your students? Will it make a difference?” Robert used those words the first time we talked, and he repeated them in every conversation. Each time Robert and I discussed the exciting ways God was working at Arizona Lutheran Academy, I saw Robert’s eyes light up because he loved the work we do to serve students at ALA.
Do you know why Robert Lippelt was so passionate about helping ALA change the lives of young men and women? It’s because Robert made gratitude the central theme of his daily life. He related his story of grace while confined to a wheelchair in a long-term care facility in Denver, Colorado. He was already about 80 when we first met, but he loved to talk about the blessings of his circumstances. Here’s his story.
Robert grew up on a family farm in South Dakota. God led him to Arizona after serving in the Air Force, which led to attending the University of Arizona, and eventually to an accounting job at APS. He was a long-time member at Good Shepherd Lutheran in Phoenix. But Robert never forgot his South Dakota roots and often traveled back to the Midwest.
Life took an unexpected turn in 2011 when Robert was involved in a horrific car accident in rural Nebraska. Emergency workers were convinced he would not survive, but God had different plans. Robert was airlifted to Denver. Despite massive blood loss, internal bleeding, broken bones, separated vertebrae, and a heart attack, God kept Robert alive. He settled into a care facility in the Denver area and that is where I met Robert for the first time.
He spent most of his days reading the Bible and devouring commentaries, so that he could learn as much as possible about God’s love and forgiveness. He highlighted passage after passage, and spoke with tremendous conviction about how God had used the accident to strengthen his faith. He was grateful for his struggles and extremely reliant on God’s grace. Because of his gratitude for his Savior, Robert wanted to help the students at ALA.
Gratitude led Robert to generously support financial aid and capital improvement projects at ALA. Robert wanted more students to attend ALA. He knew that ALA was transforming lives with the Gospel, with an emphasis on grace. Robert loved the ways God was working at ALA. He took action and his gifts allowed families to bridge the gap between what a family could pay and the actual tuition costs. Robert was the man behind our “50 in Fifty” matching campaign in 2018, which raised over $100K for financial aid. In January of this year, Robert entered eternal rest with his Savior after a long bout with cancer.
Now it’s your turn! Out of love for God and gratitude for the gift of salvation, Robert shared his blessings and supported the next generation of Christ followers. You can follow Robert’s lead and give a gift of gratitude that will directly benefit an ALA student. Our goal is to raise $50,000 for tuition assistance. Together we can make this happen by November 1.
Robert longed for students to know the love of Jesus and the grace showered on us by our loving Savior. His gratitude overflowed in generosity. Praise God for connecting Robert’s generous spirit with the students of ALA!
With gratitude in Christ,
Director of Mission Advancement
P.S. Your gift of gratitude —$250, $100, $50 or more—will help an ALA student connect with Jesus!
Give online. Choose "Financial Aid/Tuition Assistance" from the drop down.