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Fran & Kay Williams

Just Do It: Fran & Kay Williams’ Lifelong Stewardship Journey

By Andrew Shaughnessy, Dec 31, 2019

When asked what one thing she would want to communicate to the church at large about stewardship and giving to global missions, long-time MTW supporter Kay Williams simply replied:

“Do it.”

“That’s it in a nutshell,” added her husband, Fran. “Just do it, just give for the sake of the kingdom and see how God blesses the work that can go on because of the funds provided. Over the years, we’ve heard so many stories that make you think, ‘Wow, what a huge impact a small amount of money can have!’”

The Williams can still recall the many particular missions projects that have taken hold of their hearts—“skin-tingling stories” of churches planted, pastors equipped, and lives changed. There was the orchard keeper from Eastern Europe who, year after year, funded his ministry with the apple harvest; the young pastor from Madagascar who traveled from island to island in his dugout canoe, visiting churches and mentoring pastors; the Cambodian couple who, thanks to MTW funding, were able to dig a well for clean water and sustain their gospel work in rural villages.

“None of those examples are world-changing,” Fran said. “But for the people involved, they’re life-changing. To hear these stories about exponential growth in God’s kingdom throughout the world—not all because of, but certainly augmented by, the funds given through Mission to the World—it’s heartwarming to me.”

Growing in grace and generosity
Today, the Williams are passionate supporters of global missions. But it wasn’t always this way.

Though Fran and Kay Williams both grew up in the church, they drifted away from the faith during college.

But God wouldn’t let them go.

“Soon after we got married we realized that we were missing something in our lives,” said Fran. “We started attending church again, and as our marriage journey progressed, our activity with the church progressed.”

Over the years, Fran and Kay became more and more involved. They both served with the youth, while Fran became a deacon and served on the session. They gave to the church too, tithing and giving beyond their tithe to support global missions. But even then, their financial house was not in order. The Williams had no plan in place to continue supporting the ministries they loved after they died.

“We hadn’t even thought about it,” said Kay. “We had planned to just leave all our resources to the children and that was it. And then all of a sudden Bruce came into our life and it was like, ‘Oh! We forgot something really important!’”

The Williams first met MTW Director of Estate and Gift Planning Bruce Owens when he came to their church to put on a stewardship and estate-planning seminar. The Williams had just inherited a small sum of money, and their experience at Bruce’s seminar changed their perspective on what to do with it.

“He talked about missions and how to set up our estate so that we could continue to do kingdom work at the end of our lives,” said Fran.

Working with Bruce, along with their financial advisor, attorney, and accountant, the Williams put their house in order, setting up what they wanted to do with their end of life assets and finding the most tax efficient way to give a portion of their inheritance to kingdom missions work. 

The most critical thing we can do
Over the years, the Williams’ support for missionaries has extended beyond their checkbooks. When long-term MTW missionaries Tim and Therese Galage sold their house and needed a place to stay before departing for their mission in Cape Town, South Africa, Fran and Kay let them stay in their house for several months.

“They’ve been back to visit the States three times since, and they have used us as their base of operations each of those times,” said Fran. “They are part of our Sycamore Presbyterian Church family!”

Fran and Kay continue to live as faithful and generous stewards of the resources God has entrusted to them. It’s not always easy choosing which ministries and missionaries to support, but they love seeing the impact their giving makes—giving that will continue to make an impact, even after they are gone.

“We have a responsibility to plan for the future,” said Fran. “I think that end-of-life planning for ongoing support for the organizations that are dear to our heart is probably the most critical thing that we can do.”

Learn more about estate planning through MTW’s Estate and Gift Design.

Consider making a 2019 Year End gift to MTW. 

Andrew Shaughnessy

Andrew Shaughnessy is a long-time word slinger who spent nearly six years as MTW’s staff writer, gathering and telling impact stories from missionaries across the globe. These days, he’s off working as an analyst and editor in the publishing industry, writing fiction, and mountaineering. He holds a B.A. in history and English literature from Covenant College, and an M.S. in political science from Portland State University.

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