Heeding God’s Call to Serve

June 11, 2024

ALVARADO, TEX. – In the spring of 2023, my wife, Blanca, and I were scheduled to make an update to our Last Will and Testament with the Texas Conference. After completing the update, we were surprised when I was asked if I would be willing to serve as a trust officer for the Texas Conference Stewardship, Planned Giving and Trust Services Departments. 

I had served as an associate pastor at the McAllen Spanish Valley Central Seventh-day Adventist Church for three years and we truly enjoyed serving that church.

I told Lynette Ecord, Texas Conference stewardship/planned giving and trust services director, that I would only accept it if I had a clear answer from God. So, we started praying. 

Time passed. It felt as if God was silent about the matter, but we kept praying. After more time passed, I wasn’t sure of God’s answer, so I rejected the call. Ecord encouraged us to keep praying, so we did. 

One day, I went to pray for someone at the hospital. After the prayer, she asked me if I knew someone who could assist her with her Last Will and Testament. I felt impressed at that moment that it was probably what God was calling me to do, but I was still unsure. 

On July 4, 2023, early in the morning, I received a call from my family in Brazil letting me know my dad had passed away suddenly. I started the journey home immediately but ended up arriving in Brazil three hours after his burial. The next morning, we learned he had no Last Will and Testament. 

When I arrived back in the United States, I was sure God called me to serve Him in this area. He wanted me to teach and help our brothers and sisters in Christ understand the importance of preparing for death, knowing our time on this earth is unknown. Completing an estate plan through the Texas Conference allows people to advance the Lord’s work through their after-death giving. 

By Tony Correa

Stewardship, Planned Giving and Trust Services Trust Officer