Julene and I both grew up in families that practiced generosity to the church and people outside the church. Julene recalls her mother feeding “hobos,” as they were called then, who would come to the door asking for a handout. My father and mother owned a meat market and grocery store where we allowed people to charge groceries. My parents knew that some of the money would not be paid, but they saw people in need and just allowed it. In later years after selling the store, people would show up once in a while and hand Dad some money, and he knew what it was. Our parents weren’t rich in money but rich in grace and knowledge that they were doing what God wanted them to do.
Julene and I began giving to the church right after marriage. Gradually, we began to increase our giving, always sure that God would provide. He did. We have continued to increase our giving year after year, being able to support not only Calvary but missionaries, local organizations and children through Compassion. He has not failed.
One year, we decided we could not give to a local Christian radio station (finances just weren’t there). However, one morning on my way to work, I was impressed that we should still pledge a certain dollar amount. Julene said let’s do it. A couple of weeks later, there was a knock on our door. A young man was standing there who we did not remember. He said that we had given him a used washer and dryer months ago. He handed us a check saying that he had repaired them and sold them. It was for the exact amount we had pledged to the radio station! That is one example of God's provisions made to us over the years.
Five years ago when I retired, we adjusted our budget based on reduced income. (Years earlier, we attended classes at Calvary much like Financial Peace University.) But in faith, we continued with the amount we were giving to Calvary, and missions we supported, to see how it went. We have not looked back, and we have been able to give more than we were before I retired. Amazing!
We encourage all of you to step out in faith. You won’t be sorry. You are part of something much bigger than you can imagine. As we heard the CRU folks sharing, tears came to our eyes as I was part of CRU at Mankato State more than 45 years ago. We have been able to help CRU continue God’s work right along with Calvary. Not only CRU, but many organizations committed to spreading the Gospel.