JoNancy Sundberg has always had a heart for missions. She remembers her mom starting the missions program at their church in Ohio when JoNancy was young, and their family hosting numerous missionaries in their home over the years. JoNancy said, “I grew up loving missionaries. Every missionary that came through stayed at our house. I went through four years of college rarely sleeping in my own bed when I was home.”
While JoNancy didn’t feel the call to the mission field, she’s been a friend to many missionaries throughout her life, supporting their work through prayer, hospitality and giving. When JoNancy and her late husband, Bob, moved to Virginia they didn’t know anyone. Among the first people to reach out to them was a couple in their church named Don and Jean Lindholm. The four became friends, and when the Lindholms took an assignment in Peru with Wycliffe, the Sundbergs joined their financial partnership team.
JoNancy has been a partner in the ministry of Bible translation since Don and Jean joined Wycliffe 50 years ago. She loves giving to many aspects of ministry work, but Bible translation is special to her because of her passion for Scripture. “I love the Lord so much, and his Word,” JoNancy said. “Therefore, I want other people to have it so they can know the God I see in his Word. And until they have it in their language, they can’t really understand what it says.”
God’s Word has helped JoNancy get through many challenges in her life, including becoming a widow at the age of 53. Losing her husband meant JoNancy needed to take on household responsibilities she didn’t feel equipped to do. “I suddenly had a job I never wanted to have!” she said. “My husband had been in banking and had made virtually all of the financial and investment decisions. Thankfully, I have a research mentality and really do like to learn new things.”
While closing her husband’s business and settling his affairs, JoNancy decided that when she passed away she didn’t want someone else to have to go through the same exhausting process. She worked with a lawyer to settle her estate plans for the future, but that left her wondering, “What about the present?”
After more research, JoNancy found charitable gift annuities (CGAs), which she described in simple terms as, “a gift that you give to the ministry now, get regular, fixed income back from the CGA for as long as you live, and the remaining funds go to the organization after you pass on to heaven.”
Over time, JoNancy’s initial set of annuities grew into a collection of 45, benefiting all types of ministry work — including Bible translation. JoNancy believes in the good that CGAs do and encourages those in her retirement community to explore them as an option for giving. She said, “I promote CGAs not only because they take care of me, which they do so well, but because they help that ministry do what they do best. That’s really important to me! I want my resources to be used to create the greatest impact in the lives of people.”