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"If you asked me to come wash dishes, I'd come every single day. And I'd even dry them!"
That's what a faithful Bethel donor said when asked to share why she gives to Bethel each year. But talking about her consistent generosity to Bethel—through gifts to the music department, IRA charitable rollovers, and even inclusion in her will—would bring a little more attention than this humble donor wanted. Her passion was seeing lives changed through quality Christian higher education, and she insisted that her best thanks was enjoying events like Festival of Christmas and getting to know the quality students and educators who walk the halls at Bethel.
Though she didn't want her name or photo included, this donor—one of thousands like her who prefer to remain anonymous—wanted to share a few words with the Bethel community. Her words are even more meaningful now because she passed away unexpectedly just a week after she wrote this note. However, her love for Bethel will continue through her generous estate gift.
Here are her words:
"You cannot out-give God." This phrase has been proven over and over in my life.
Finding myself in a new city years ago, with a son to be educated—having been out of the workforce for over 20 years, with the job market non-existent at the time, and personal issues to deal with—made me an unlikely candidate for charitable giving.
However, my faith grew deeper as the Lord resolved the many issues I was facing, often without my even realizing how He was directing my new life. With a grateful heart, my first thought was of how I could "repay" the Lord for His many unexpected blessings of provision for us.
The first challenge came in the form of a letter from Bethel, since our connections to the Department of Music go back as far as C. Howard Smith. The letter informed us of the establishment of a Pipe Organ Fund, which appealed to me as a former church organist. As I prayed, this became a gifting opportunity for me. Out of my meager salary, I was able to contribute a small amount each month to this fund. You can only imagine how exciting it was to hear this magnificent instrument played in the Great Hall, knowing that even my small gifts were a part of it all!
When I became more established, more financial opportunities were open to me, and I continued to fund Bethel's many giving options, including through my estate plan. Again, the phrase "you cannot out-give God," was realized. I never hesitated when I became aware of new opportunities to support Bethel's academic pursuits—all of which need and deserve support.
Thank you, Bethel, for not only providing exemplary educational opportunities to countless students but role models of our Lord and Savior's presence in the lives of educators as well. I know and trust that every contribution—no matter how small or large—will be used to further the kingdom of God. Thank you, Lord, for helping me realize, time and again, that "I cannot out-give God."
Learn more about how a Charitable Bequest, IRA's and an Endowed Scholarship can advance Bethel's mission .