Not long ago, I received a couple of envelopes in my work mailbox. I went to my office, sat down at my desk, and opened the first. Inside was a letter and two checks. The letter explained that a trust for an Adventist couple had matured and the estate was settled. Both the Wisconsin Conference and a local church in Wisconsin, where the couple had attended for years, were beneficiaries. Both checks were large. I was incredibly grateful and excited about the gifts.
I wanted to quickly tell the treasurer about the blessing, but I thought I would speedily open the second envelope and read its contents first. What a surprise I had when I saw the contents, a check from someone who lives out of state ,but was still a member of a local Wisconsin church. The instructions in the letter specified that part of the money should be used for the Wisconsin Conference and the other portion was for the local church that this person belongs to but who no longer is able to attend.
Let me tell you the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey used to say. The checks came from two families. The women were sisters. They belonged to the same church, gave almost the same amounts, and their gifts arrived at the Conference office the same day. One sister died a couple of years ago, the other is 98 years old and lives in another state. God’s timing is amazing. Both of these sisters loved the Lord, loved their local church, and wanted to leave a gift that would bless the work of the Lord here in Wisconsin, and particularly the local church that they belonged. I’m guessing that these sisters prayed earnestly for the Lord to lead them as they contemplated their gift. I know the members of the church who received these gifts are praying that God would lead them in how to best use these funds. I have no doubt that God has a plan for this local church, and He always provides what is necessary to fulfil His plans. Sister White says in Desire of ages (my paraphrase) God has a thousand ways in which to provide for us in which we nothing about.
Have you considered leaving a gift in your will or trust to expand the Lord’s work in Wisconsin, perhaps your own local church, or school? Our Planned Giving Department can help you do that. Of course, you can leave a gift in your will or trust that your own lawyer has prepared.
God bless us as we head into the holiday season and we think of all we have to be thankful for, which includes of course, the greatest gift of all – our dear Savior.
Bill Ochs, Planned Giving and Trust Services Director