I was shot by a stranger in February. Here’s what I learned.
During the past year I have tried to use these Legacy Giving blogs to share inspiring stories and helpful information related to legacy giving and biblical stewardship. This month I’d like to share very personally about a recent “life event ” and how it reminded my wife and I why we are including Langham Partnership in our legacy giving plans.
“To Live is Christ”
Earlier this year I came “face to face” with my own mortality. On the evening of February 4th, I was going home from work. It was dark outside, and as I was parking my car I pulled up alongside another parked car. That car held 3 young men who were in the midst of some drug activity. I startled them, and one of them shot at my car 7 times. One of the bullets hit me in my arm and broke my shoulder blade. Four months out from this tragic experience I am doing fine – but as far as I know this was the closest I have ever come to meeting the Lord “face to face.” Yes, it was traumatic. But at the same time, it was clarifying. I was reminded again of what we believe – life is brief, we are not in ultimate control, this world is not our home, and as the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 1:21 “to live is Christ, to die is gain.”
How did this event shape our perspective on stewardship? Let me answer by sharing three reasons we’re happy to make a legacy (or estate) gift to Langham Partnership:
- Legacy Giving reminds us of our Ultimate Treasure – It is an act of worship and a testimony that all we have belongs to the Lord and we can trust him. I’m so grateful that I lived through the event on February 4th, but if I had gone to be with the Lord, what a blessing to know that some of my resources would have been given as a “final act of worship” to the Lord and his work through Langham Partnership!
- Legacy Gift Planning reminds us of our Ultimate Home – By making plans for our resources beyond our life on this earth, we are reminding ourselves that this world as it is is not ultimately our home, and that we cannot take our possessions with us. But we can plan for our resources to be used for God’s glory and his mission.
- The Mission of Langham Partnership is Compelling and Langham is Completely Trustworthy – Since its founding by John Stott Langham Partnership has been doing incredible work to grow the church and to train pastors – now in over 130 countries around the world. The ministry resonates with our own values and passions and it is being done in a way that is exemplary. We trust Langham with our current and future gifts.
I share this story not to make much of ourselves or our decisions – but to make much of the Lord and his goodness. All we have belongs to him and he is worthy! We are simply so blessed to be his children and to be well cared for by him both now and for all eternity.
As a pastor and a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy, it would be my joy to talk with you about Langham Partnership, Biblical Stewardship, and how you can make plans to give now and in the future. I’m happy to share what I have learned from more than 50 others who have already chosen to include Langham Partnership in their estate plans. Call or email any time – email@example.com or 314-488-0256.
Kevin VandenBrink, Planned Giving Director for Langham Partnership, is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®) and a member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners. He is passionate about helping people like you who care about the global church and long to be wise stewards. He also brings to the Langham team many years of engagement in theological education, pastoral ministry, and global missions.
Kevin would love to hear your story, celebrate what the Lord is doing through Langham, and visit with you about the options and benefits of including Langham in your planned giving. Please click here to send an email to Kevin, or call him at (314) 488-0256.