By Katie Kuykendall
One evening in the late 1940s in southern California, Dottie Brown and her late husband Bill were visiting their friends the Lukens. At one point during the visit, Jim Lukens happened to look out the window and saw a man walking up the hill toward their house.
The man, Cameron Townsend, came in and chatted for a while. Dressed in overalls and a straw hat, he had just returned from a trip to Guatemala. The Browns didn’t think much about him.
They had no idea they’d just met the founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators, nor did they realize they had just begun a long relationship with Wycliffe.
Fast-forward a few years, and several couples who also happened to be Wycliffe missionaries began attending the Browns’ church in Santa Ana. They included Ben Elson, who later became Wycliffe’s first executive director. They spoke fondly of ‘Uncle Cam,’ and the Browns began to take an increased interest in the organization so many friends had come to love.
They even attended a Scripture celebration in Mexico with the Elsons to see firsthand what Wycliffe was all about.
“When you see the faces of these people when they receive their very own Bible, it makes you want to be sure everyone who really wants one gets one,” Dottie said.
As a real estate broker, Dottie helped Wycliffe find its former headquarters in Huntington Beach, and has also helped many Wycliffe missionaries sell their homes. Several times, if a family felt called to leave but couldn’t sell their home, Dottie has bought it. She even sold a home to Uncle Cam’s daughter, Grace.
Dottie and Bill began supporting Wycliffe missionaries over fifty years ago. Though Bill died last June after sixty-six years of marriage, Dottie continues that support with her business. She also established her own Donor Advised Fund (DAF) with the Wycliffe Foundation. It allows her to advise the Foundation to make grants from her fund to Wycliffe and other charities—supporting the ministries and missionaries she chooses with a single, tax-deductible gift.
She owns several properties throughout southern California and one in Washington state, which she donated to Wycliffe through her DAF.
“I was going to sell it, and I think the Lord spoke to me,” she said. She was praying about what to do with it when Wycliffe came to mind.
“We’re helping about seventeen missionaries—giving some support to them,” she said. “The DAF will continue that.” Because it’s ongoing, Dottie said she feels comfortable knowing the money will be there for missionaries when she’s gone.
For information about establishing a Donor Advised Fund, or to learn about other legacy plans, visit http://www.wycliffefoundation.org