“Right before Christmas, I got a letter from PCA Ministerial Relief and surprise! It was $1,000.” Brenda Gordon lives in New Hampshire and her husband, Rev. Bruce E. Gordon passed away last May. Brenda received a $1000 check to help meet her financial needs. She recently sat down with us, shared her story and what that gift meant to her.
“My grandmother led me to the Lord before I could read or write,” says Brenda. “My husband, Bruce came to know the Lord in his early 20s and went to Westminster Seminary. It was through him that I learned the Reformed faith which I dearly love.” Brenda and Bruce were married for over 60 years before Bruce passed away. Brenda had stood beside her husband and supported him throughout his life in ministry. “The Lord led Bruce into the ministry for 40 years and that had its trials as well as its joys,” says Brenda. “Bruce had such a heart for winning people for Christ no matter where he was. It didn’t matter if he was between the aisles of the grocery store or at the barbershop. He would talk to anyone who would listen.”
Losing Bruce after being married for over 60 years has been heartbreaking for Brenda. “The hardest part is you feel like you’ve lost a major part of yourself,” says Brenda. “Here’s an example. We both had the flu together last winter and we were both so sick. Our doctor had put us on a very strong antibiotic. At that point, we knew Bruce had bone cancer and he had to sleep in a different bed because he was so uncomfortable. But in the middle of the night, he came over and I heard ‘baby girl, how are you feeling?’ I miss that. He was always checking on me and I was always checking on him. I miss that sweetness and love he had for me.” Brenda says that her children and grandchildren have been particularly precious to her at this time because they recognize that great loss and they feel like a part of them is missing too.
Brenda says she has been able to find spiritual rest in the Lord. “Every night I tell the Lord ‘you’re not only my savior, but you’re also my best friend.’ I feel so accepted by the Lord and what I miss the most in Bruce, the comfort and the acceptance, the Lord is being faithful to provide.”
When it comes to financial troubles, Brenda says she has depended on God’s guidance and the sacrificial giving of others. The $1,000 gift provided to Brenda through PCA Ministerial Relief came through the Survivor Assistance program that provides a one-time $1,000 gift to surviving spouses and dependents of PCA Teaching Elders. This gift was a welcome surprise for Brenda and she is incredibly thankful to all the givers who made the gift possible.
“I would just thank the givers for having such a heart for widows and I think God has a special love for widows too. You see all throughout scripture how he cared for the widows and how he acknowledged the widows.”
Brenda says that money went to pressing hospital bills. “It was an answer to prayer and I praised the Lord for his generosity to me through so many people that had given sacrificially.”
Brenda hopes to encourage and provide for other widows in her situation. “Lean heavily on Jesus and remember that you’ve got a sovereign God,” says Brenda. “You’ve got the Lord Jesus and you’ve got his Spirit that ministers to you constantly, and that’s critical.” One of Brenda’s favorite verses is Deuteronomy 31:6-8 which says “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Brenda wants to help out other widows and give to Ministerial Relief as soon as she is able. In Brenda’s own words of encouragement to other widows, “our God is a promise keeper. Remember, he keeps his promises.”
Your gifts to Ministerial Relief are at work helping widows like Brenda. These gifts demonstrate the love and compassion of our Lord through His people, to those men and women who served sacrificially in our churches for the work of His Kingdom. Click here to see how you can help more widows like Brenda by giving to PCA Ministerial Relief.
Geneva Benefits Group serves those who serve others, providing practical support for the financial, physical, and mental wellbeing of people who work in full-time ministry.