Have you ever been on your last dime and miraculously found a $20 bill in an old jacket pocket? Have you experienced the worry of making ends meet when remarkably the exact amount needed appears? God's providence is not found solely in our bank accounts. It is all around us. However, three extraordinary and unexpected legacy gifts recently reminded us of God's hand in providing and preparing for the University's current financial needs.
Legacy gifts are like manna. They arrive silently "with the dew during the night" and are critical sustenance for our mission as a Christ-centered university. Behind these gifts are stories of people and the legacies they choose to leave. Each gift brings a renewed sense of security and sustenance, and usually fills an unexpected financial gap. Most importantly, each legacy gift is an expression of God's faithfulness during times of uncertainty.
What is most striking about the legacy gift is not that it falls from heaven. Instead, it is the revelation of relationships made and cared for over time which have an immediate impact on the present. For example, Bushnell University recently received a substantial gift from the Pierce family estate. According to Trustee Clayton Walker, who played a part in the sale of assets for the distribution of the Pierce family estate, the interest in Bushnell University was generations deep. "Al's parents wanted the sale of assets to fund a number of faith-based organizations, and Bushnell received a percentage. Al was carrying out his parents' wishes." Al Pierce was in his 90s when he died, so the interest of his parents in the work of the University dates back to the early or middle part of the last century. While the specifics remain an untold history, Bushnell University has been blessed immensely by their commitment to our mission.
Faithful friend of the University, Lois Morse, also remembered Bushnell in her estate. Lois and Bill Morse were pillars of the Harrisburg Christian Church. Frank Morse '66, Lois's nephew, states, "The Morses had a strong personal connection to the leadership of the college for decades. It was a natural thing for them to support a school that offers this kind of leadership." Thus, the continuity of our history to cultivate leaders and deploy them around the world inspired Lois' gift. The legacy of Lois and Bill Morse will be more than financial support. It will be a legacy of investment in leaders of today and tomorrow.
Lastly, Evelyn Tapp was a longtime supporter of Bushnell University, making modest yearly gifts to various programs. Her passion for our students and mission was evident. In her final years she was housebound and widowed but remained joyful and looked forward to updates from campus. While regular visits from University staff helped keep the relationship alive, God's provision was to bring our stories together in the first place. Her heart for the Lord and sense of loyalty giving resulted in a generous legacy gift that will serve students during this time of need.
The Pierce, Morse, and Tapp families could have never predicted the challenges that this year has brought, but God knew of them all when he moved in their hearts long ago. God's preparation of our hearts, needs, provisions, and legacies that allow gifts like the Pierce, Morse, and Tapp estates to rain down like manna in our times of greatest need.
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