Bonnie Lind is a retired high school teacher who taught math for 40 years. She lives in California, but a large part of her heart is in Greece. Being a teacher, Bonnie spent many of her summers serving and ministering to people in need through her participation on various mission trips.
“In November 1979, I met a missionary couple in Greece who told me about a summer project outside Athens to refurbish an old building into a Bible College. It was a perfect fit for a teacher like me, who had the summers free! We did ‘hands-on’ projects such as carpentry, painting, and landscape work. When we were not working, we spent time with the missionaries and observed how they interacted with their neighbors, store clerks, and others. They only spoke in Greek, but we knew when we heard “Christos” or “Theos” they were sharing about the Lord,” she says reflecting on one of her first trips.
The next summer, while she was in Greece working with Greater Europe Mission, she met Costas Macris, a former AMG missionary. Costas and his wife, Alky, co-founded Hellenic Ministries, an AMG partner ministry engaged in evangelism to Greece and surrounding countries. Hellenic Ministries outreaches include evangelistic meetings, discipleship, media evangelism, humanitarian services, church planting, and youth programs. Costas was Ms. Lind’s first connection to AMG International, and eight years later, she met Alekos and Nafsika Haralambides, who are now missionaries in Tanzania, where they founded and operate a home for orphans.
“All of these missionaries were such loving people to the unbelieving Greeks we met in the neighborhood, stores, and those who crossed our path each day. They used every opportunity to share the love of Christ with these individuals. Living with them and seeing them live for the Lord all day, every day, was so much better than reading a missionary prayer letter!”
Bonnie has a passion for supporting national leaders because of the advantages of locals ministering in their home culture. “Supporting missionaries through AMG allows the missionaries to serve the Lord full-time without having to work for a living. Some of the neediest individuals in the world are touched with the love of Christ and the gospel message through AMG missionaries and ministries. Having nationals operate as missionaries in their own country enables them to serve effectively from ‘Day 1’. They already know the language as well as the culture.”
One of the ways Bonnie has been able to support AMG International has been through the giving of appreciated stock. AMG International gladly accepts gifts of securities, both publicly traded and closely held. Gifting appreciated securities to AMG can provide special tax benefits to donors compared to similar gifts of cash. By gifting stocks that have been owned for longer than one year, the donor can qualify for a charitable income tax deduction based upon the security’s full, fair market value regardless of the cost basis.
“My financial advisor suggested I give stock that had appreciated. I get the benefit of a donation as well as avoiding capital gains if I had sold the stock. Since I planned to give a gift to AMG anyway, giving appreciated stock made great sense,” Bonnie says.
Even today, though she is not traveling as much, Bonnie continues to support AMG Greece ministries in every way she can and encourages others to support AMG’s ministries as well. “Having been able to go to Greece and see with my own eyes AMG national leaders at work in various ministries, it is a blessing to continue to support them with financial gifts. Every dollar is used wisely and stretched as far as it can go to share the gospel. It is a joy to be a part of the ministry as a supporter.”