By Angela Nelson
When Marsha*, a thirty-year-old business executive, set off on a trek around the world to discover the meaning of life in 1979, she had no idea that her life was about to change.
“God was chasing me,” Marsha explained. “I was somehow compelled to buy a Bible and stick it in my backpack, and it was as I was reading the Bible that God came alive to me and revealed Himself to me. As soon as I gave my heart to the Lord, I knew I was called to missions.”
And so began a life-long journey as a missionary.
When her mother died two years ago, Marsha experienced another change in her life. She now had an inheritance, which led her to start thinking about her legacy.
She read Your Money after the Big 5-0, by Larry Burkett and Ron Blue. “He put the whole question of retirement and finances into a kingdom perspective,” Marsha explained. “He says, ‘What do you want your money to do? Don’t just let it happen.’”
Marsha realized she wanted her financial goals to be in line with her life goals.
So she wrote out her financial goals, listing that she wanted to glorify God, live a modest lifestyle, be financially independent, and leave a substantial amount to charity. She also wanted to leave family members some money as a representation of her love, but knew they didn’t need a large sum.
Marsha’s financial counselor helped her manage her money to provide for her shortterm, mid-range, and long-term goals. She also chose to give a charitable gift annuity through Wycliffe Foundation. This will give her guaranteed income and a charitable deduction. The principal will belong to Wycliffe so that if she ever goes into a nursing home, the government can’t take those assets. She also named Wycliffe as beneficiary of a separate annuity and as secondary beneficiary in parts of her will.
In Marsha’s experience, Scripture is a key reason people come to the Lord and are discipled. So it’s no wonder she wants her legacy to help others encounter the God of the Bible, just like she did some thirty years ago.
“Seeing the Scripture available to all people of the world is an absolutely unquestionable kingdom investment, and whether that’s my time or my money, there’s nothing flaky about it. It just needs to happen.”
*Because of Marsha’s work in sensitive countries, her name is a pseudonym.
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