A team of 20 LSU Wesley Foundation students recently returned to Baton Rouge after a work and relationship building mission to the Lydia Patterson Institute, a United Methodist college preparatory school located in El Paso, Tex.
While the Wesley team was at Lydia Patterson, the group tarred a leaking roof, cleaned air filters, fixed stairs, repaired broken chairs in the chapel, installed a gate and painted a number of rooms around the school campus. The repair work completed by the team served as a big help to the school, which has only one paid maintenance worker. Much of the regular facility maintenance, kitchen and cafeteria duties and clean-up chores at the school are done by the two thirds of the student population who are at La Lydia on scholarship.
The team from LSU also enjoyed fellowship time with the young students during a dance party and a dinner hosted by the school for their Louisiana guests. “We were graced with generous hospitality by all,” said Adam Darragh, LSU Wesley Foundation director.
“When describing the students that I met at Lydia Patterson, I have been at a loss for words,” said Rev. Colleen Bookter, associate pastor at University UMC in Baton Rouge and team member for the mission to La Lydia. “These students are mature, kind, composed, incredibly intelligent, successfully learning English--and are filled with the Spirit. Despite the rigorous and demanding academics, this school has a 98% graduation rate with 95% of graduates going on to college across the United States. That tells you something about these students! At times I forgot that they were teenagers because of the daily adversity they face and the maturity and grace with which they handle themselves.”
The team was able to present a gift of $2,750 to La Lydia. The funds were collected by University UMC through a special Christmas offering.