When the daughters of Hal and Jane Rodenhouse began to lend a hand with their parents’ finances, they were astounded by what they discovered. The list of charities their parents supported was two pages long. . . single-spaced.
We told them, "This field needs to be narrowed down a bit," remembers their daughter Sandi. They replied, "Well, they might need our support too!"
Since Jane went to be with the Lord in 2013, and Hal in the fall of 2017, Sandi and her sister, Sue, have aimed to keep giving a priority, just like their parents.
"My parents would always say: Well, if we can give, don't rob us of the blessing!" remembers Sandi. "They were gracious, gracious people. Sue and I want to carry on that tradition to honor them."
Because Hal and Jane gave so generously during their life together, it came as no surprise to their daughters that they would also use their will as an opportunity to give beyond their days. Hal and Jane left gifts in their will to seven organizations that held a special place in their hearts.
Along with each of the estate checks, Sandi and Sue sent a hand-written note of thanks to each of the organizations named in their parents’ will. In each of those notes, they included memories explaining why that particular organization meant so much to Hal and Jane. This personal touch provided a tangible way to give expression to their parents’ hearts for blessing others.
Carrying out their parents’ final acts of generosity made an impression on Sandi and Sue far beyond what they could have ever imagined. It’s helped them discover the power of giving as a legacy. “When you carry out their wishes, it seems like they’re not gone,” says Sandi. “Their lives continue through their gifts.”
This desire for blessing was the result of Hal and Jane living together in the abundance of God’s blessing for so many years.
Hal and Jane’s will began with these words, “Being of sound memory and mindful of the uncertainties of this life, with full confidence and trust in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and knowing that we have eternal life, do hereby make this to be our last will and testament.”
The daughters were so touched by the appropriateness of this lifetime testimony that they chose to engrave “We belong body and soul, in life and in death to our faithful Savior, Jesus Christ” on their parents’ gravestone.
“It’s just the way they lived,” says Sandi.
And now that’s the way all of Hal and Jane’s children and their families seek to live, too.