A faithful member in a rural church knew that it was important to have a plan for her possessions. When we can’t use our belongings anymore, they have to go somewhere. Choosing to exercise her right to decide for herself what should happen to her assets, she contacted the Gift Planning and Trust Services Department of the Minnesota Conference. That phone call resulted in a nearly unbelievable miracle.
After consulting with Justin Lyons, who was director of the department at that time, she elected to place a modest sum in a Charitable Gift Annuity. The money would be invested for her, she would receive an income stream for the rest of her life, and anything left over would go to the Lord’s work and specifically to the projects she chose.
The Charitably Gift Annuity, or CGA, can be a wise investment because it never stops paying back to the donor. You cannot outlive the principle in a CGA. It allows you to receive an income for life and support the missions about which you are most passionate.
Once the CGA was established, this faithful member began receiving checks. For the rest of her life, the checks arrived on time, and the amount never diminished. She never had to worry about changing rates, falling markets or her account running dry because a CGA keeps on paying out as directed.
The miracle came some years after she set up her CGA. As mentioned earlier, it was a rather modest amount: $10,000. But when this member passed away, her CGA returned $10,759 to be divided among her favorite institutions in the Minnesota Conference.
Yes, you read that correctly. She gave $10,000, from which she received an income stream for the rest of her life, and THEN it provided more than the original gift amount for the Lord’s work. I suppose you can work it all out on a calculator, but I think Ellen White explains it best: “The little that is wisely and economically used in the service of the Lord of heaven will increase in the very act of imparting” (Desire of Ages 371).
Of course, while the payout to the donor is guaranteed in a CGA, there is never any guarantee for that kind of a payout to the charity. In fact, it is a rarity, which is why I have applied the label miracle to this case. But it does provide an illustration of several truths: God honors the efforts of the faithful; God uses us as His agents in providing support of the mission; and from time to time, God demonstrates His sovereignty over all things in ways we are not expecting.
There are many places you can invest your money that will provide a return to you. But how many will provide a return while also supporting the mission of the church? Everyone needs a plan. Call today to see how your plan can provide for you, your heirs and the Lord’s work: 763.424.8923.
—Doug Inglish is director of Gift Planning and Trust Services for the Minnesota Conference