By Mayme F. Olegario and Ptr. Liza Angelias
After the summer holiday, the month of June is a bustling back-to-school season in the Philippines. School expenses become top budget priority. However, for most parents, the answer to the question of where to get extra money for school fees is always hard to pin down.
As a church family, finance is a shared affair. A pastor’s aspiration is always for the welfare of his flock. This concern is not only limited to spiritual fulfillment but also to material success in order to live a truly blessed life.
To help members enjoy financial freedom and increase, the Southern Mindanao Region held a seminar in three churches from June to August, a refreshing and timely discussion as financially draining school year kicked in. The seminar aimed to energize breadwinners, new and seasoned professionals and aspiring and established businesspersons with the reminder that God is the one who gives us the ability to produce wealth.
EFC-Davao, EFC-Kidapawan and EFC-Tagum were the host churches of the seminar “A Divine Purpose on Investment” with speakers Eng. Dave Domingo and Godeth Domingo from EFC-Davao. About 200 professionals and entrepreneurs were thrilled and motivated with moneywise principles shared by the husband-and-wife team.
Bro. Dave started his talk with an animated video presentation of two men making a living by carrying pails of water from the river to the village houses and stores that pay them for their service. One of the men wakes up early every morning and does the same thing every day for the rest of his working years. The other one named Bruno, however, is a visionary. He has a big dream for his life and the society. He works hard, plans every move, and sacrifices his time for pleasures until he is able to attain his dream. Bruno’s dream is to create technology that will bring water faster into the village. He invests two years of hard work, and his income gets bigger and bigger as his accomplished water system brings improvement in the community. Everything he sacrificed pays off. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keeps the law, happy is he.” Foresight and knowledge are indeed steps that usher vision fulfillment.
The speaker continued by discussing the various sources of income such as being an employee, self-employed, business owner and investor. He said whatever our source of income is, investment and savings are a must. The attendees were coached how and where to invest their financial resources and were taught the 7 Simple Steps to Save Money. The attendees, some of them engaged in small businesses, were all eager to apply the knowledge learned and were even asking for a part two of the seminar. Asked for a reflection, one EFC-Kidapawan youth who is currently employed as teacher in the government realized that he should find another source of income and not just depend on his monthly salary so he could give more and be a blessing.
Bro. Dave also warned that fear and laziness are enemies in wealth production. Fear can paralyze and eventually make us unproductive. Laziness, on the other hand, is a likened to a robber. As Proverbs 6:10-11 states, “ A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man”.
Another convicting point is the “Law of Use” which states that “What you don’t use, you will lose”. This is a reminder to all that we are accountable to what the Lord deposited in us. Whether in ministry, business or daily activity, God is looking for faithful stewards in small and big things.
Finally, Bro Dave concluded the topic with tithing as a divine investment. He shared his own testimony on how God flourished his business with so many favors since they started to pay their tithes faithfully. He encouraged everyone to pay tithes honestly despite bills to pay and daily expenses. It’s heartwarming to hear some participants, who are still struggling with tithes, say “I will surely give my tithes from now on”.
By understanding and applying the divine purpose on investment, may we truly think of ourselves as not just mere employees or workers , but wise investors and owners in the kingdom (with contributions from Ptr. Judith Kintanar and Micah Simpas).