Letter from Our Director

August 2019

I was waiting to pay for my coffee at a Virginia convenience store last month when a man rushed in and asked the young cashier, “Do you do Western Union?”

The clerk looked him in the eye and replied, “I don’t even know what that is.”

As the man headed out the door, I took a moment to explain how Western Union has been a longtime method of sending money to someone else a long distance away. You give your money to a Western Union agent — usually a grocery or convenience store cashier — who then types in some information on a dedicated terminal. An agent in another city is notified that your named recipient will stop by to pick up the designated amount of cash. (Often, they already are standing there waiting!) Western Union charges a fee for the convenience and takes care of settling up with the entities involved.

Today, you don’t have to track down a Western Union location to send money to a child, friend or other individual. Just pick up your smart phone and choose a money-transfer app like Venmo, Cash App, Zelle, PayPal or many others, then execute a few screen taps and rest assured your funds have made the trip to the other person’s account.

Because sometimes, somebody needs money, and they need it right away.

Every month, we get a few such calls from the retired pastors and widows we assist through Mission:Dignity. An electric, water or phone bill is past due and service is about to be shut off. Emergency dental work is needed, a water heater began leaking, or a car just broke down. Those kinds of situations can’t wait, and we have a variety of ways to get much-needed dollars to a service provider. Today. Right now.

Fortunately, many of our retirees don’t need a response within an hour, but they do have ongoing, pressing needs that depend on the prompt arrival of the grants we provide each month. Most of those are sent directly to bank accounts and, as you can imagine, it’s a great comfort to see your balance go up by a few hundred dollars on the expected date.

I was reminded of the importance of those precise distributions when I read this note from Leonard and Bettye Gush. The Gushes were in pastoral ministry for 26 years in Alabama and Ohio, and very few of their churches provided a retirement plan contribution. With just a little over $100 in ministerial pension and a modest Social Security benefit, the extra help you and others make possible each month means Leonard and Bettye can turn a calendar page with an added measure of assurance and less worry.

Just a note to let you all know we are grateful to God for Mission:Dignity, and for the generosity on the part of churches, individual donors and all who are involved in the day-to-day operations. The timing of the financial assistance at the end of the month is great. By that time, our bank account is depleted and it is a secure feeling knowing some money has been deposited on our behalf. May God continue to bless and provide guidance for all connected with Mission:Dignity!

Thanks for your generous gift this month. It’s our privilege to pass along these dollars to a deserving individual or couple who sacrificed greatly in gospel ministry in years past. The best part is we don’t charge any fees or operating expenses against your contribution so you can give with complete confidence and 100% stewardship.

Today, we have lots of ways to send a Mission:Dignity gift. Whether you share via credit card, bank draft, our convenient phone app, or the more traditional method of mailing a check, be assured of our appreciation for your care and compassion. When it comes to God’s faithful servants, their needs can’t wait. And neither can their thanks.

Grace and peace,,

John Ambra
John Ambra
Director of Development

By the way, if you’d like a safer, faster and more convenient way to give, stop by our website at MissionDignity.org and click any of the green Donate Today buttons. Or, text MDGIVE to 41444 from a mobile device for a direct link to our donation app. You’ll find several updated and secure giving options that not only assure your information is completely protected but also enable your valued gifts to get where you want them to go more quickly. Contact us by email at MissionDignity@Guidestone.org or call us toll-free at 1-877-888-9409 if we can answer questions or help in any way.

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