My Rashionale — Late-arriving surprise provides one of those God moments


December 7, 2020


Rod Marshall’s emotional “oh my” response concerned me at first. He stared at the text message on his phone in disbelief for several seconds.

But the stunned look turned out to be because of something really good, actually great.

It came from a heart of awe in what the Lord had done and gratitude to the generosity of those supporting the work of the Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries, where Rod serves as president and CEO.

Rod shared how the Children’s Homes’ 2020 Giving Tuesday goal looked beyond realistic when it was set — $650,000. Still, they sensed a peace and confidence in the ambitious ask, he explained.

When midnight struck on Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1), the dollars donated came up a bit shy of the mark and confused the team, but they didn’t let it discourage them.

And then two days later (mid-morning, Thursday, Dec. 3), Rod’s phone started lighting up as he and I recorded an upcoming TAB Talks podcast on the topic of leadership.

The consistent buzzing and bursts of light caught my attention as we chatted about wisdom, integrity, compassion and other characteristics of a strong leader.

He never blinked nor felt the need to grab his phone. He stayed focused on our conversation, something I’ve been working on in recent months and was able to watch modeled for me in that moment.

As we wrapped up in the studio, Rod flipped through the messages on his phone — and that’s when he stopped and stared.

At 6:30 that morning, a donor contacted Children’s Homes team member Steve Sellers to let him know he had intended to be part of the Giving Tuesday effort but failed to get his check in the mail in time.

He had a $50,000 check in hand ready for Steve to run by and pick up.

With the surprise gift and a few other late-arriving donations, the new total landed at $652,953.

“Our hearts are full” became the sentiment of everyone connected to the Children’s Homes.

We could sense the cheering and high fives as an image of cute kids throwing confetti trickled out through the digital world in a celebratory social media post and email message:

“Thank you for helping us reach and exceed our goal. Every gift helps and every gift makes a difference in the life of a child and family. THANK YOU for your support through Giving Tuesday and every day in-between!”

The generosity of church families and individual donors giving to the Children’s Homes in this recent effort is a great example of how Alabama Baptists respond consistently to the work and ministries taking place across the state, nation and world to make a difference for Christ.

Thank you, Alabama Baptists, for always being willing to dig deep and give with such a generous spirit.

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We launched the effort in August with a goal of expanding our engagement in all areas of service by the end of the year.

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By Jennifer Davis Rash

  • David Garrard Magic