Letter from our Director

November 2017

Doris Payne walked out of the local Walmart store near Atlanta this past July with a receipt in hand for the items in her shopping cart. But it was the unpaid merchandise in her purse and shopping bag that got her into trouble. She was arrested and taken to the DeKalb County jail.

This wasn’t Doris’s first brush with the law. Actually, she’d been stealing from retailers for quite some time and the $86.22 theft from Walmart paled in comparison to the $500,000 10-carat diamond ring she took from a jewelry store in Monte Carlo years earlier. In a 2013 documentary, The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne, Doris claimed to have stolen more than $2 million in jewels across two continents.

Did I mention that Doris is 87 years old and she’s been stealing for six decades?

Myrtle Sticher walked out of the local Walmart store near Jasper, Alabama, this past week with a receipt in hand for the items in her shopping cart. She placed everything in her car and drove safely home.

Married on Christmas Eve 1947, Myrtle and her husband J.W. were givers to others for over 60 years, especially during the 34 years he served as a pastor in small Alabama churches. God’s goodness continued after J.W.’s death in 2013 and this note underscores Myrtle’s gratitude for people like you who make life more comfortable and secure for this precious pastor’s widow as she turns 87 years old this month:

I want to say from the depths of my heart, thank you. Just before my husband passed away I made a statement, I don’t know how I am going to make it. That was a lack of faith. My God said if I would put Him first everything I needed would be supplied and He has done that for me. May God continue to bless each of you that has a part in any way with this great ministry.

In the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10, the gospel writer presents contrasting attitudes about people and possessions. A story outline by our GuideStone president, Dr. O.S. Hawkins, observes three perspectives among the characters:

1. What’s yours is mine and I’ll take it. (The thief.)

2. What’s mine is mine and I’ll keep it. (The religious folks.)

3. What’s mine is yours and I’ll give it. (The Samaritan.)

Thank you for reflecting that third point through your gift for Mission:Dignity this month. You’ve given willingly to help people like Myrtle Sticher who have sacrificed much over the years in their ministry to others. Today, your care and compassion make it possible for them to get food, medicine and other necessities as they go to the store with the confidence and assurance that the Lord through His people will provide for them.

Again, thanks so much for sharing. As your life story is documented in years to come, may the generations that follow be able to look back on a faithful heritage of generosity and love — for the good of others and for the glory of God. 

Grace and peace,

John Ambra 

John Ambra

Director of Development

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