This week, I have the wonderful privilege of announcing another very significant gift to Falls Creek. This gift will allow us to build a 50-room lodge that is so desperately needed for year-round use of the conference center. Two years ago, members of this family gave $500,000 to be used to honor a specific individual.
What will these gifts accomplish in conjunction with the recent $7 million gift for a new dining/event center? These gifts will allow a lodge, welcome center and event center that complement each other to be built without having to retrofit the amphitheater. The new complex will be built for easy access from the tabernacle and other conferencing facilities. The new welcome center will serve as a lobby for both the lodge and event center.
These new facilities will greatly enhance the conference center’s ability to host major events and meetings year round. There have always been tremendous challenges in regard to serving groups needing dining facilities. During camps, churches bring their own cooks, and meals are accommodated in the cabins. During the rest of the year, there is not a facility that can serve more than 250 people. Now, because of these gifts, meals can be prepared for groups of thousands. The lodge will provide attractive space for adults instead of the cabin dorms. Now, there will be the ability to house many more guests in hotel-style rooms.
The real story behind this gift is the legacy transferred from one generation to another. This gift comes from a family whose legacy of generosity began with the grandparents through hard work, integrity in business and generosity with the resources God has placed in their hands. This family has been generous in support of their church and Baptist causes for many years. Because I know the family and their giving patterns, it is clear the grandparents have inculcated in their family a deep love for Jesus and His church, as well as a heart of generosity.
This pattern of living was passed on to the son and his wife. When their son bought the business from his parents, he and his wife worked hard to further develop it. As God blessed the son and his wife financially, they have been faithful in using God’s blessings upon them in the work of the Lord. This is not their first gift given to Falls Creek, nor the first to Baptist causes.
It does not stop there. Their children, who are now adults and involved in the business, have followed the same pattern. It was made clear in the offering of the gift to Falls Creek that the gift comes not just from the grandparents and parents, but that each of the children are contributing as well.
What a legacy! Some of you may be thinking that you would love to leave that kind of legacy in your family, but you just do not have that kind of money to give. I would suggest that a legacy of generosity is not based upon how much you can give, but on your faithfulness and generosity in comparison to what you have to give. I did not grow up in a wealthy family. My dad was involved in the working side of the oil business. I have been given the same gift as the children mentioned above. My mom and dad were givers. They were generous beyond their capacity to give, and I received a legacy of giving from them.
As I thanked the family for their gift, I talked about the more than 8,000 individuals and families who gave to build the tabernacle (this family was among that number). I mentioned one precious lady who gave $2 per month from her Social Security check. The grandfather looked at me and said, “That just might be the greater gift.”
She, too, left a legacy of generosity.
What legacy are you leaving to your children and grandchildren?