About three years ago, young Ivan Haeflinger of Elma, Iowa, was under the weather. His nose was runny, his body hurt, he coughed and he was tired. It was not a good day for Ivan. That is until the mail came.
Around noon, Ivan’s mother, Steva, went down the driveway to fetch the mail. As she sorted through the stack of envelopes on her way back into the house, she noticed a package addressed to Ivan.
Once inside, she and Ivan opened the package to discover a brand-new stuffed lamb inside. Ivan named the stuffed lamb “Bah.”
Remembering that Ivan’s grandmother had opened a Young Investors Club account for Ivan as a Christmas gift, Steva said, “Grandma sent you a present!”
Ivan’s eyes lit up, and he hugged his lamb.
“The package was so welcome,” Steva said. “It came at the nick of time. The lamb meant the world to him.”
Y.I. Club as a perfect gift
Beverly Haeflinger, who lives about 10 minutes south of Ivan in Alta Vista, knew she wanted to bless her grandchildren when she received a family inheritance after her mother passed away. She wanted to give the gift as a Christmas present, and being a lifetime Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod member who was aware of LCEF through zone and district conventions, she opened Y.I. Club accounts for all seven of her grandchildren.
Haeflinger said, “I just wanted to pass on the inheritance to the children and help the Church.”
In a lot of ways, it was the perfect gift. If she didn’t have the opportunity to invest through LCEF, she said she would “just open a savings account, but the interest rate wasn’t very good.”
The Lamb of God who loves us
It’s been about two years since Ivan received the lamb. He’s still a little too young to understand the significance of his investment on behalf of his grandmother, but the lamb named Bah still occupies a prominent place in Ivan’s heart and room.
“The lamb,” Steva said, “sits on his bed with the puppies and bear. Of course, he still sleeps with him.”
It won’t be long before Ivan understands that saving money and teaching people about Jesus can go hand in hand. The Y.I. Club is all about God’s love—witnessed through Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world—and the Church’s mission to make known that love to the world.
For Ivan, it’s a message that started with a little, stuffed lamb he named Bah.
Originally appeared in Lutheran Church Extension Fund’s official magazine, Interest Time. View a digital version here.