I hope this letter finds you well. I’ve been tasked to write an article on a very special subject, and each one of you Vision Task Force members trouped into my mind at the very mention of the article’s focus. Even now, several years since our time together, I imagine your days are filled with following your own missions passion—always with an eye on the future.
It’s been years since we put our heads and hearts together in 2005 to present a vision of what WMU could look like in 2010. I recall that we did individual work between meetings, but the long sessions together definitely stand out in my mind. Sometimes we were in retreat settings and interspersed some relaxing fun to balance the focused thinking. I clearly remember the deep thoughtfulness, the creative imagining, and the linked desire to seek God’s direction for WMU’s future. You barely needed me as leader. Those were the days, my friends…
As I look back on the various parts of the vision we imagined, one proposal’s importance stands out more clearly today than the others. Our task force was fully aware that the mission of WMU was basically funded by the sale of its missions materials and related products. We spent considerable time brainstorming alternate ways financial support could be generated. We wanted our plan to touch the future, to produce an idea that could be thriving by 2010 and continuing for years to come. We did our best thinking and then took the idea to work out details with the WMU Foundation. The results of our efforts became the Wanda Lee Joy Fund. The purpose of this fund would be to provide a solid financial foundation for the operational expenses of national WMU.
When we shared our final vision at the January Board Meeting, each proposal was presented one after another for the women to consider. With the proposal of the Joy Fund came the challenge for each woman in attendance to make a pledge of financial support and to promote the fund in their states. Those monies became the seedlings that grew into a fund still providing national WMU support today.
I recently asked Sandy Wisdom-Martin, a fellow task force member who, in her executive director role now, administers the Joy Fund, to tell me what the monies mean to them today. She said:
“The Wanda Lee Joy Fund supports a location from which national WMU launches global ministries. That space enables us to look behind and see vivid images of faithful missions advocates whose amazing legacies are embedded in our shared history. We are also blessed with the opportunity to imprint the future with missions DNA that was passed to each of us. That’s the power of a place supported by the Wanda Lee Joy Fund.”
My friends, I don’t know about you, but simply reflecting on the way our vision is still playing out today, I’m compelled to give again to the Joy Fund. Care to join me?
Visit wmufoundation.com/wmuministries to learn more and give a one-time or monthly gift to the Wanda Lee Joy Fund today.
Written by Sylvia DeLoach, national WMU retiree and former WMU Foundation board member.