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Gifts From the Heart: There's No Better Recipient Than the Ministries That Transform the Heart

Bitsy and Rollins Rubsamen

Bitsy and Rollins Rubsamen

As Rollins and Bitsy Rubsamen reflect on their spiritual journey, one place stands out as the most important nurturer of their faith: Laity Lodge.

"Every time we go up there, we learn a little more about ourselves, the Lord Jesus, and how we see him working in our lives," Bitsy says.

In 1972, the Rubsamens made their first trip to the Canyon for a weekend retreat. They found the experience to be both transforming and unbelievable. Since then, they have attended retreats every year and have devoted themselves to furthering Laity Lodge's mission.

"I think anybody who goes there walks away feeling like his or her life has been touched," Rollins explains. "This is a very unique place with a very unique ministry in a location that is drop-dead gorgeous. Until you go there, you won't believe it!"

Giving and Receiving at Laity Lodge Ministries

Rollins, a "Super Aggie" and retired stockbroker, helped to found the original resource development council nearly 20 years ago to help seek outside donations to further the H. E. Butt Foundation's programs. What was supposed to be a three-year term lasted 19 years and included two terms as chairman. During those years, with the help of Rollins' astute leadership skills, the ministries have grown astronomically.

Bitsy has been equally giving with her talents and leadership. The author of two books— Gentle Rain: Reflections on the Mercies of God and Becoming Beloved: Journeys to Freedom—Bitsy has led two women's retreats. A founding board member and prayer minister at Christ Healing Center and an active community member, Bitsy is a natural at sharing the message of Jesus' love in her life.

Still, she seeks out opportunities to grow her faith and loves the ecumenical atmosphere of Laity Lodge. Twice each year, she takes a trip to the Quiet House, in addition to other retreats. "Because I'm a contemplative living an active lifestyle, I love the Quiet House for its peace, quiet, and silence," Bitsy says.

For Rollins, the joy he discovers is multifaceted- including seeing grandchildren attend summer camp, realizing the good of the the H. E. Butt Foundation Camp open year-round to more than 20,000 people, and witnessing at-risk children discover hope and belief in God. "You see so many miracles in a place like that," Rollins says. "It strengthens your faith."

Building an Even Stronger Tomorrow

When Howard Butt started Laity Lodge in 1961, no one could have predicted its future success and growth. But with such an effective ministry and amazing outreach, it has been an easy decision for people like the Rubsamens to support HEBFDN with time and money.

"I have not in my life or in my relationships seen a ministry that changes lives so dramatically at all levels and throughout all the different ministries," Rollins explains. He and Bitsy consistently make annual gifts and have designated an estate gift through their individual retirement account.

You, too, can help to touch thousands of individuals' lives each year. If you are over age 80, a gift through a formal bequest or life-income vehicle will also have you recognized as a major contributor.

Call Bonnie Finley at 830-315-9206 or bfinley@hebfdn.org to find out how you can be a part of this work.

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