Carol Toensing of White Bear Lake, Minnesota followed her childhood dream of teaching elementary school children. She said, “I wanted to be a teacher since second grade.” She taught for four years in a Lutheran parochial school and thirty-two years in the public-school system in North St. Paul. “I absolutely loved it.”
Carol first heard about Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center while visiting a friend who lives in Tempe, Arizona. Carol signed up for her first Lutherhostel retreat in 2010. She said, “It was an awesome experience. I had never been to a Bible camp as a child, and I was blown away by the desert setting, friendly people, the Bible studies, and the music.” She has continued to attend Lutherhostel every year, because it refreshes her and deepens her faith.
Sometime after Carol retired from teaching, two members of her family, a sister and an aunt, passed away, both leaving her some money. At the time, Carol said to herself, “I have to think about what to do with this money I didn’t expect to have.”
As Carol thought about making contributions to organizations she cares about, like Spirit in the Desert, she consulted with inFaith Community Foundation, a donor advisory service, to help her set up the process. She is grateful to know that when she passes away there will be financial support for Spirit in the Desert to continue its impactful work. In addition to Lutherhostel, Carol enthusiastically supports the 3rd Chapter of Life and Healing of Memories retreats. She knows, firsthand, the value of a Spirit in the Desert retreat.
As she thinks about the future, Carol is doing her part so Spirit in the Desert can continue on its present path of reaching out to more groups of people who can benefit from its renewing retreats.