During a roundtable discussion with other Church leaders, Elder Enrique R. Falabella of the Seventy, who is assigned to work with the Perpetual Education Fund, spoke of how the fund is doing more than just helping families improve their situation in life through education and employment — it is assisting in the “hastening of the work.”
He said that the Perpetual Education Fund “will help returned missionaries to be self-reliant, and they will be able to provide for themselves and their families spiritually and temporally” (see Church News, Dec. 29, 2013).
For many of the Perpetual Education Fund participants, education means they are able to hold a stable job, provide for their families and serve in the Church. One example is Jairo David Machado Lopez from the Duitama Colombia Stake.
After returning home from his mission, Jairo found it difficult to attend school. He was recently married, and not long after he and his wife decided to start their family.
“This was all a great challenge for me — going to school, working, being a husband and father, plus serving in the Church,” he said. “The situation demanded a lot from me and was not easy, but thanks to the gospel and the support of my wife, I was able to move ahead and finish my university studies.”
He now works as an industrial engineer and has since served as a bishop.
“I hope sharing my experience can in some way help those who are applying or who are thinking of applying for a PEF loan. The PEF was a great blessing and provided me with an excellent opportunity to be able to study. A PEF loan brings with it great responsibility and it is not easy, but it is worth it. Participants in this program improve themselves, become more competitive in the job market, and serve in the Church more confidently.
“I encourage and invite the young people to go to school. Education is the key to improve your quality of life, both spiritually and temporally. Likewise, I invite the parents and leaders to support the young people who sincerely desire to further their education.” — Marianne Holman