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Last July, following a series of unexpected difficulties with her vision, Rev. Kathleen Thomas learned that she will eventually lose her sight in her left eye. After a season of difficult events in her personal and professional life, this news was hard to process. But she and her husband, with the support of family and friends, quickly rallied to prepare Rev. Thomas for life without full sight, a life that would soon include the addition of a service dog – a suggestion made by her doctor.

Rev. Thomas began exploring options, only to be taken aback by the high costs of obtaining and training a new canine companion. “All my ministry I’ve served small, rural churches. I felt that was my calling. But I certainly didn’t have the funds to buy and train a dog,” Rev. Thomas said. With some encouragement, she did something that she describes as uncomfortable and difficult: she asked for help. “I was used to being the helper,” she says, “and learning to ask for help myself was a really, really hard thing for me to do.” Some of Rev. Thomas’ help came from Pension Fund, through a Ministerial Relief and Assistance grant.

This past January, an eight-week-old puppy arrived. Rev. Thomas said the sound of moving water has always been reminiscent of the voice of God to her, and so she named the puppy Brooklyn for the sound of water rushing over rocks, like in a brook. It will be about 15 months before Brooklyn is home for good; for now, Rev. Thomas enjoys updates on her training via email and text from the facility in Western Iowa where Brooklyn is learning how to serve Rev. Thomas best. “She’s doing really well,” Rev. Thomas says, “really well.” And Rev. Thomas is much more confident about her future, knowing she’ll have Brooklyn by her side.

Your support of MRA is directly responsible for Rev. Thomas and Brooklyn’s new journey together. They join countless others, who, having reached a place of crisis in life, discovered the very good news that they were not alone in their time of need, and that Pension Fund, fueled by the generous gifts of donors like you, is willing to stand in the gap and offer both spiritual presence and financial assistance as these servants of the church find solid footing again.

In 2019, we seek to raise $300,000 in gifts to MRA, and with your help, we are confident we can reach that goal. We are grateful for your past gift, and invite you to continue that support, perhaps even increasing your gift if you are able. We also invite you to consider becoming a monthly or quarterly supporter of MRA through a recurring gift.

Would you help us reach our goal by returning the enclosed donor card or by making a secure one-time or monthly gift?

Click here to give now.

Emergency Aid Recipient: Rev. Hector Velazquez

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