Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children


Teaching Others About Generosity by Living with Purpose

Sarah Williams

The Foundation’s mission statement is often accompanied by the verse: “…through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” Today, I am thankful for Sarah Williams’ generosity.

In these difficult economic times, it seems that everyone is cutting back. However, for Sarah, being a good and faithful steward is what comes naturally. Sarah is one of the Foundation’s lifecare trustors. Now at 86, Sarah began her relationship with the Foundation 12 years ago. She funded her trust and has lived with purpose, spending very little of it on her living expenses throughout the years.

Sarah’s life in her small apartment is ordered and intentional. She prays about everything and is grateful for even the smallest things. With the Foundation’s assistance, she manages her personal and financial matters. 

Let me share with you a few things about Sarah…her discipline, wisdom, and talent in managing the resources God has entrusted to her.

Sarah’s husband, Fred, was a member of the United States Air Force. Sarah drove to San Francisco by herself to catch a Navy ship so she could meet Fred when he was stationed in the Philippines.  

The Williams had no children. When Fred passed away, he left her two life insurance policies. She set the proceeds from one policy aside with the express purpose of paying for her dental and automobile expenses.

Sarah also has a daily wardrobe routine. She started this routine years ago when she worked, so she could lay out her clothes the night before. With the “color of the day” method, her choices were easier.

  • She wears blue on Monday; everyone knows that Mondays are blue.
  • Pink (in the summer) or burgundy (in the winter) on Tuesday
  • Black, gray, or white on Wednesday
  • Purple on Thursday, and
  • Red on Friday

Sarah travels monthly with our lifecare assistant, Lisa Barsaleau, to the Tinker Commissary (they usually go on Thursdays, so purple is the only color the folks there have ever seen her in). But even at the Commissary, the order in Sarah’s life shines through:

  • Her grocery list is organized by aisle numbers (bread is on aisle 2B).
  • She buys four-to-six gallons of milk each trip to freeze until the next trip. You know, it costs up to 50 cents more per gallon at Buy for Less, Sarah will tell you.
  • Sarah is also prudent with coupons and pays close attention to such details as which two boxes of raisins will yield the greatest value for her “Save $1 off 2” coupon.

First Peter 4: 10 says: “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” Sarah is a good steward and a witness to the grace of God. She is not saving her money selfishly or cutting back because the nation has fallen on difficult times. Sarah is honoring her gifts from God and living with purpose, to care for herself, and ultimately to care for those who rely on Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children.

You know, the more I think about it, it is not really the Foundation who is helping Sarah, but Sarah who is helping the Foundation. She is teaching us what generosity is really all about.

The Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma | Generosity Magazine | Spring 2009
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