Miriam Bartlett and the Power of Gifts in a Will.
Aim at nothing, and you’ll hit it every time.
This truism didn’t escape Miriam Bartlett who lived with a singular aim for 96 years – supporting Christian missions. Though she’s now in glory, the effects of Miriam’s life and passion for missions are still experienced all around the world.
In her late twenties, Miriam began serving with Sudan Interior Mission as a missionary in Nigeria for a career that would span 30 years. Her efforts doubled at mid-life when she met and married her husband, Clemens Bartlett. Together, they formed a dynamic duo as missionaries in Nigeria where they labored together in Gospel ministry.
After ten years of service, retirement took Miriam and Clemens out of the mission field to Canada. But retirement didn’t blur Miriam’s focus on missions. Even into her nineties, she sent regular checks to support missionaries – including to her niece, Sandy Niemeyer.
“The last time we saw Aunt Miriam, she was starting to be confused and forgetful,” says Sandy, who along with her husband John, serves as a missionary in Spain. “But I know that she remembered us, because she prayed regularly for us and sent monthly donations.”
To boost the power of her generosity, Miriam took advantage of charitable gift annuities. CGAs offer individuals and families the ability to give to the ministries close to their hearts while securing income for life.
Miriam’s brother-in-law, Richard Camp, points out, however, that she didn’t start annuities to provide income for herself. “She gave because she loved missions and missionaries” says Camp. The principle from each of Miriam’s annuities also went to missions so that the effect of her singular focus is still felt by missionaries today.
Miriam was an ambassador for Christ throughout her career, marriage and retirement – and now even in her passing. The impact of her life and generosity will ripple throughout all of eternity.
Again and again, Miriam took aim at missions, and she hit her target…every single time.