Proverbs 11:25 assures us that whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. As Bob and Lois Kendrick refreshed others in their ministry, they have been refreshed through Mission:Dignity.
Bob and Lois served a total of 42 years in the ministry, all in Oklahoma. It started in 1967 when Bob left a promising career in the financial world to give his life to the ministry. “It was worth all that I gave up,” he said.
With smiles on their faces and arms opened wide, Bob and Lois constantly tended to the needs of their flock and community. They visited those who had been saved. They discipled believers in their homes and at the church building. They prayed with the sick in hospital rooms.
They gave all their strength to the work of the ministry, loving every soul and every minute of it.
Along with pastorates in Bluejacket, Chouteau, Madill, Caney, and Savanna, Bob also served as director of missions in two associations until he “retired” in 2000.
After his “retirement,” Bob and Lois threw themselves into building churches through the Baptist Builders of Oklahoma – many times giving from their own pockets to support the ministry. Again, they wanted to give all their strength to refresh others for the cause of Christ.
Then, in 2017, at the ages of 82 and 80, Bob and Lois “retired” once again after Bob had a heart attack.
Having saved very little for retirement and with very little coming in from Social Security, the Kendricks reached out to GuideStone’s Mission:Dignity ministry for assistance.
Through Mission:Dignity, Southern Baptist ministers, workers, and widows age 65 and over who qualify for financial assistance are eligible to receive between $225 and $600 per month, an annual Christmas check, and assistance for emergencies such as medical bills, eyeglasses, hearing aids and house repairs.
“What would retired preachers do without Mission:Dignity? Where would we go after giving all we have?” Bob said.
Lois passed away in 2019, and Bob has recently been battling cancer, but his faith is strong and his compassion for people has not diminished.
Continuing to refresh others while sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bob said, “I just want to give everything I am before I leave this earth. Mission:Dignity helps me focus on finishing well rather than focusing on finances.
“Having cancer during this pandemic has been dangerous. But when I look at how God has provided for me through Mission:Dignity, I praise Him and say, ‘My cup runneth over!’”
Mission:Dignity Sunday is this Sunday, Aug. 30. Individuals, small groups and churches can join in offering refreshment to Bob and 1,700 other households in need.
Free promotional resources – including free bulletin inserts, promotional posters and a DVD with several brief testimonies – can be downloaded at MDSunday.org or by texting MDORDER to 41444 from a mobile device. The materials are undated and can be used anytime.
The website also has a link for churches, small groups and individuals to use the power of crowdfunding to set goals, make donations and encourage their friends to donate. Donations may also be made by texting MDSUNDAY to 41444. One hundred percent of every gift to Mission:Dignity refreshes someone like Bob with assistance to cover life’s basic needs like food, utilities and prescriptions.
In addition to offering Mission:Dignity Sunday promotional materials, Mission:Dignity is also hosting a premier video release on August 30 at 4 p.m. CT on our Facebook and Instagram accounts. Request early access to this special content – including messages from recipients, donors, and GuideStone President O. S. Hawkins – to use in Sunday services or small groups, or join us on August 30.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Aaron Meraz is the director of Mission:Dignity at Guidestone.)