A Blessing and A Challenge
By Jerry Russell, Washington Conference vp for finance
Have you ever been in a financial tight spot? During the recession of 2008-2009, giving was down due to the economic difficulties and employment loss. To avoid a mass layoff of employees or canceling programs, Washington Conference's financial reserves were used for several years to keep the Mission funded. Our reserves were at a critical low at one point and the need to restore those reserves was a high priority and prayer initiative.
Several years ago, Jack, one of our Executive Committee members, suggested that if we wanted to increase our financial reserves, we should not only pray for it, but budget for it as well. “If we are going to ask for it, we should plan to receive it,” Jack said.
Wanting to budget conservatively, as I had always done, I was hesitant and foolishly declined to take him up on the challenge. Over the course of the next year, the more I thought and prayed about Jack's reasoning and incredible demonstration of faith, I felt that I had missed an opportunity to see God show His glory and majesty in the simple act of providing financial resources to the conference.
When the time came to begin budgeting for 2018, the Washington Conference administrative team met, and as plans were being made, decided that we had indeed missed an opportunity to be blessed by God’s goodness as promised. We thought about two key Bible verses.
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in Heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!
Claiming those promises and stepping out in the faith as prompted by Jack, we budgeted $415,258 to receive as additional funds for strengthening our reserves.
Many prayers went up daily and God responded in a big way.
As of the end of September 2018, God provided $919,099 against that budget line item of $415,258! He is Good! While 2018 is not over yet, and we are excited to see what God will do by the end of the year, there is much to celebrate. We will continue to pray for our conference finances as well as those of our churches, schools, and members.
God is Good and He wants to, and has promised to, provide for our needs. Praise Him for His Provision!