Last week while driving to the memorial service for Jeannie Elliff, I got a call from a church member. I could tell by the tone that the conversation was serious in nature. The member said they felt led to give $100,000 in memory of Jeannie to the International Mission Board’s offering, praying this gift would be a catalyst for other members and churches to engage in financial support of missions on a whole new level.
This past Sunday, I shared this with the church, and we are seeing many of our people give sacrificially to add to this fund. Sherwood is located in one of the poorest cities in America and is by no means a church with unlimited funds, yet people are giving the widow’s mite as well as larger gifts.
Tom and Jeannie Elliff are part of the DNA of Sherwood. Tom has spoken nearly 90 times at Sherwood or at a ReFRESH® Conference. Jeannie was a faithful member of the choir when they were here. We had the privilege of leading a ReFRESH® conference at the IMB’s International Learning Center during the years of Tom’s presidency. We got to know the stateside staff on a level that few are privileged to experience, and they became our family. Tom allowed us to pastor that staff, love on them, and call them to deeper dependence on the Holy Spirit. Every session, whether she was feeling well or not, Jeannie was on the front row with her notebook and Bible. She listened. She encouraged our team. She prayed over needs. She modeled what being a godly woman looks like.
Jeannie is gone, but not forgotten. She will be remembered by thousands of missionaries, church members, and others whom she encountered along life’s journey. It’s easy to send flowers, but doing something eternal is different. Investing in the things that are on the heart of God is essential in these dark days.
My prayer is that churches where Tom and Jeannie served and where Tom stood in the pulpit to proclaim the message of revival, prayer, and missions will answer the call and give a generous special offering to the International Mission Board in these days as a memorial to Jeannie’s life and legacy. Let’s not wait until December, but let’s bombard IMB with our gifts now in light of this precious woman’s beautiful life and the increasing urgency for the gospel to go forth to every corner of the globe.
PLEASE NOTE: Checks can be sent to the IMB Development Office | P.O. Box 6767 | Richmond, VA 23230. On the designation line, please write “Jeannie Elliff Memorial Offering.” These gifts will be used toward the Macedonia Project, which helps mobilize more missionaries to the field.
Who knows who will be in glory because the gospel was shared by our missionaries because you invested in the kingdom in honor of Jeannie?