Sharing Mission:Dignity is a ‘family’ thing
    June 11 2013 by John Ambra, GuideStone Financial Resources

    It was October 2001, and Buddy Temple was in a quandary. The retired postal service worker and court bailiff had sold a house a few months earlier and couldn’t figure out where God wanted him to direct part of the proceeds. No matter how many options he looked at, he had no clear direction.
     
    “I was trying to do something with the money that belonged to God,” Temple said. “Every time I sat down to write a check, something stayed my hand. I’ve never had a problem giving to the Lord, but this time I just couldn’t do it.”
     
    Buddy and his wife, Nora, joined a group of friends on a trip to Glorieta Conference Center in New Mexico to attend a weeklong senior adult event sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources.
     
    On Tuesday afternoon, the day after their arrival, Buddy walked up to Glorieta’s prayer garden and spent some quiet time by himself near the reflecting pool as the gold leaves of the aspens rustled in the crisp autumn air. “God, I need to get rid of this money. It’s yours,” he prayed.
    06-11-13dignity175.jpg

    Contributed photo
    Buddy Temple studies God’s Word on his porch.

     
    That night, in the main conference session, Buddy and Nora listened to a presentation about GuideStone’s Mission:Dignity ministry. It was the first time they had ever heard about the needs of several thousand retired ministers and their widows who had served in small, rural churches and now were struggling to pay for basic expenses. Immediately, Buddy had the peace in his heart that he had been searching for.
     
    As they went back to their cabin later in the evening, Nora  knew Buddy’s countenance had changed. She said to him, “That’s where your money’s going, isn’t it?”
     
    When they arrived home in Texas, Buddy made out a check to Mission:Dignity. A year later, after reading more stories about the impact his gift was making, Buddy began sending a monthly gift as well and has continued ever since. “The first check I write is for my church. The second one is Mission:Dignity.”
     
    In 2008, the Temples moved their membership to Woods Chapel Baptist Church, near their home in Arlington, Texas. Two years ago, Buddy told his men’s class about Mission:Dignity.
     
    “I got one of the monthly thank-you letters and there was a story about an old pastor who only got a $39 retirement check and needed a battery for his car. It really hit me that what goes around comes around. We have 16 men in our class and all of us could do something. I thought they needed to hear this. They were surprised about the $39 income.”
     
    “Buddy presented it and we voted on it,” said teacher Tom Boddie. “We are glad to give, and we really get a blessing out of it.”
     
    Each month, the class takes up an offering. It started with five dollars each, but some give more. The collections average about $100 a month. “These men are ready and willing to give. They even have their money out on the tables when it’s our week for Mission:Dignity and I really don’t even have to say anything,” Buddy noted. “I don’t count the money. Somebody counts it and announces the total to the class. Then I deposit it and mail in a check.”
     
    Recently, one of the women’s classes heard what was going on and asked if they could give, too. They bring their money to the men’s class and it gets added into the monthly collection. More than $3,000 has already been given by the two classes. At last year’s Mission:Dignity Sunday, Buddy and Nora had a chance to tell their whole church about the ministry using the free video and bulletin inserts that are available. Their pastor, Eric Armstrong, wholeheartedly supported the church learning about Mission:Dignity.
     
    Buddy and Nora count it a privilege to be in a position where they can give back to those who have ministered through the years. Buddy has even volunteered to speak at other churches, if needed.
    Nora said, “This is some kind of organization if 100 percent of our money goes to those in need.”
     
    “I feel so close to these people,” Buddy added. “It’s like I am sending help to my own mother or to a family member. I can’t take any credit for this, though. It’s all been from God.”
     
    Mission:Dignity Sunday is June 23. Sprea the word by encouraging your church, Sunday school class or mission organization to participate in this special day! Order free bulletin inserts and a short video. Posters and ads can be downloaded at www.MissionDignitySBC.org/Resources.
     
    (EDITOR’S NOTE – John Ambra is director of development for Mission:Dignity at GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.)
    6/11/2013 1:13:51 PM by John Ambra, GuideStone Financial Resources | with 0 comments
    Filed under: ministry, Mission:Dignity




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