Q&A with Donor Ann Panhorst

Ann Panhorst explains what motivates her to give.

Photo courtesy of Ann Panhorst

Florida resident Ann Panhorst sees firsthand the importance of helping others when disaster strikes. When hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma caused widespread devastation this past fall, Panhorst and her husband, Don, were quick to make a gift to LCMS Disaster Response — in addition to the regular support they provide to their own congregation, Redeemer Lutheran Church in Stuart, Fla., and three of the Synod’s missionaries. The great-grandmother recently took a few minutes to explain what motivates her to give and why generosity is so important to her.

What led you to make a gift to LCMS Disaster Response?

: I’m originally from the Midwest. After we retired and moved [to Florida] in the early 2000s, there were three massive hurricanes. We were unaffected thankfully, but we’ve seen how it disrupts people’s lives. That was the reason I wanted to give.

There are many organizations that assist after a disaster. Why did you choose the LCMS?

: I trust the church to be faithful stewards of that gift. It won’t be used for frivolous things like somebody’s Mercedes. I love the idea that it will be Christians helping the people, and they will be witnessing with that help. … A lot of organizations come in and give water and food, and then they’re gone. But we’re there for the long haul.

What motivates you to give?

: We can really witness to people with our love and our care. The people who are hurting get a chance to know that they have neighbors who love them. I’m really motivated to give because of what Jesus did for me. He was so patient with me. He never gave up on me. He’s forgiven me, and I give because He’s given me so much. It’s because of my gratitude for what He’s done. Plus, I just love to give. … The feeling of joining with other Christians, that’s a joyful thing.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

: Ephesians 2:8–9, which says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith … not by works, so that no one can boast.” For many years, I didn’t know what to believe or where to find it. I spent a lot of years away from the church. Then one day I walked into Redeemer and heard Pastor Dave [Albers], and I got it. I have nothing to offer. It’s entirely [Jesus]. It’s because of His grace and mercy that He’s forgiven me and made me His child.

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