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Carolyn Kullmar: Steward of Relationships

By Andrew Shaughnessy, Dec 15, 2016

Carolyn Kullmar is a connector, an instigator. One of those remarkable individuals who not only pours heart, soul, and material resources into those people and causes in which they believe, but who gets so much joy out of it that they prod and sweet-talk others to do the same. Carolyn Kullmar is a lifelong steward of relationships.

A missions-minded family
A schoolteacher from Walhalla, South Carolina, Carolyn met her husband Ken in Florida after moving there as a young woman for a teaching position. Throughout their marriage, the Kullmars were dedicated supporters of global missions and the church.

“Ken and I were happily married and had two sons,” said Carolyn. “After Ken retired, he and I traveled as General Assembly representatives for the business committee of the PCA, visiting churches in five presbyteries. Those were some of the best years of our lives. 

“Mission conference time was something we all looked forward to,” she added. “We had missionaries stay in our home, and many dinners and get-togethers. We really got to know the missionaries we supported and many of them are special friends to this day. We wanted to be a part of their support by getting to know them personally.”

After Ken passed away in 1990, Carolyn continued her support for missionaries around the world, and has even planned ahead so that her finances will continue to benefit missions after her death.

“Most of my missions giving has been to MTW,” she added. “I have been given the opportunity to know many missionaries personally and that means a lot to me.”

Missionary support groups
Carolyn has also been a major force for missions within her home church, Lake Osborne Presbyterian Church in Lake Worth, Florida, and was instrumental in starting several missionary support groups.

Among those encouraged by Carolyn is Maurine Roese, who has known Carolyn for over 30 years, and served with her on the Lake Osborne Presbyterian Church missions committee.

“Carolyn has always wanted all of us throughout the church to keep on having a relationship with missionaries to support them,” said Maurine. “She kept after all of us and keeps everyone connected.”

Case in point: once a month, Carolyn meets for brunch with a group of women who support, pray for, and stay in touch with MTW missionary Alice Hatch. She has been doing this for over 20 years.

“We keep in contact with Alice through the phone and Facetime,” says Carolyn. “Missions support groups are important to me.”

“One of Carolyn’s dearest characteristics is how much she loves missionaries,” Alice said. “I have known Carolyn since the 1970s when we first met in a ladies bathroom at the MTW summer conference. … After my husband died, I began serving with MTW by myself in the 1990s. Her husband had also passed away and she had me stay with her whenever I visited Lake Osborne Presbyterian Church.

Praying together
“A number of years ago, Carolyn gathered the group of women from the church together to meet regularly to pray for and support me,” Alice added. “They know my schedule and are praying for me as I travel or have events at MTW. They pray for my family. They pray for missionaries that I am working with. They pray for my personal needs. They probably know more about what I am doing than almost anyone besides my family! The way Carolyn has faithfully kept the group focused on my ministry and personal needs means the world to me.” 

Carolyn has lived a life of faithful stewardship, not only wisely managing and planning her finances and physical blessings, but also stewarding relationships.

“Stewardship is a vital part of my life,” Carolyn said. “The Lord has provided for me these many years since Ken’s death and I feel one of the reasons is because giving is something that I enjoy.”

Giving brings Carolyn joy, and that is a gift. Whether she’s giving her finances, her time, her home, or her friendship, she has lived a generous life for the kingdom.

 

MTW has resources available for donors interested in long-term planning. Visit MTW’s Center for Estate and Gift Planning to learn more.  

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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