I started attending The Carpenter’s Church fully in 2014, and in 2015 I made my first budget pledge during the budget reading service. Unfortunately, I didn’t fulfil 1 kobo of the pledge and felt really bad about it. My thriving network marketing business had taken a deep nose dive as the foreign exchange rates went out of control that year, and income kept dropping every single month. At the next budget reading service, my rational mind had advised me not to bother making any pledge and that if I did, I will just be making a fool of myself. I am someone who keeps His Word as long as it is within my power, so making a pledge and not fulfilling it is not my thing. So, I decided I won’t make any pledge and if my business gets better then I’ll give to the budget as I am able. As Pastor preached that day, she mentioned that some people would say, “Because they pledged last year and were not able to fulfil it, they have decided not to pledge again.” I can’t remember her exact words then but she said something like if you decide not to pledge based on your past experience, you are limiting God. She asked us to stretch our faith and trust God to do His part. It was like she was talking directly to me. Before the end of the service, I had made my pledge but I gave God a condition. I told God that if he could just double my current income, I will fulfil the pledge.
About 1 or 2 months before this, I had gotten a good job offer, which I turned down. The managing director of the company really wanted me to work for him but I wasn’t interested in getting a job at the time, but one day while praying, I had a leading to accept the job. My pride couldn’t allow me to go back to the man to ask for the job, so I told God that if he really wanted me to work there, He should make the man ask me again, then I’ll agree to take the job. About 2 weeks later the M.D asked one of his mentors who happened to be my mentor as well, to plead with me to accept the job. I knew this was God at work and the moment he mentioned it to me again, I told him I’ll accept it. He was so surprised because he was someone who knew me well, and he knew I had no intentions of getting a job in the near future.
I started the job on the 16th of August 2016 and the moment I started the job, it dawned on me that God had fulfilled the condition I gave Him. My income had doubled, and it was now left for me to fulfil my part. I split up the budget pledge into the remaining months of the budget year to determine how much I will need to give each month and decided to start from November because I had also made a pledge to a particular missionary, and I needed to finish giving that off by the end of October. As it happened, my business income almost completely dried up before December 2016 and all I had left was income from my job but I was determined to give my budget pledge, so I went on with it.
When I gave the first month, I noticed that after giving my tithe, offering, budget pledge and other missions support, over 60% of my income was going to God. I barely had enough to live on talk less about saving but I still ensured I saved about 10% every month. I had to discuss this with my fiancée because we were planning on getting married in 2017, and I told her that even if I saved 100% of my salary for the next 12 months, I will not have enough to rent an apartment and do our wedding. I told her it was pointless trying to save towards it. I said when what you have in your hand is not enough to be your harvest, make it your seed. I had known this principle for years and now it was time to practice it. She agreed with me and that gave me a lot of peace and rest of mind.
Every month I continued giving my tithe, offering, budget pledge and missions support, and sometimes it felt like I was just working for nothing. I will get paid today and on the same day I will make all the transfers immediately and the next day it’s like I’m already broke. People will ask me for money a day after salary is paid and I’ll say I don’t have money and they felt like I was very selfish. My mentor had also been asking me how my savings towards my apartment was going, and for the first few months, I’ll answer, “It’s going well sir,” but not with a very confident tone. His wife will then remind me that if there’s no house, there’s no wedding. One day after some months, my fiancée also asked me what my plans were for getting a house. I told her the only plan I had was to trust God because I intend to continue giving the pledge until the end of the budget year. She was scared but I reassured her that God had never failed before and He won’t start now.
Every time my heart would want to fail me because of fear, I will remind myself of Scriptures like Deuteronomy 28:12-14 that says “The LORD will open to you His good treasures, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.” …if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God.” I will also pick up A.W. Tozer’s book titled The Pursuit of God and read the second chapter titled “The blessedness of possessing nothing.” It made it easier to part with what I had and strengthened my faith and ability to trust God totally just like Abraham did.
I kept on giving faithfully till the end of that budget year and I had to resolve that I will transfer all the money to the church’s account immediately I received my salary so that I won’t have time to think about it. Though it was scary at the time, because everyone, including my parents, kept asking if I was saving money for my apartment and wedding and life in general. I had convinced myself that I was indeed saving money but not in a physical bank, I was saving it in heavens bank and whenever I needed that money it will be made available. After all, Jesus said we should lay up our treasure in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy.
A few weeks after SOFT Word Games 2017, my fiancée and I were led to give a special seed to Pastor Kech and we did just that and asked her to join faith with ours for three things.
Towards the end of 2017, I had been thinking seriously about how I was going to handle my financial crisis. I didn’t have up to half of the money for the apartment and I had no money saved up for the wedding. I started thinking about getting another job or starting a business but sincerely I was quite desperate because I knew our wedding was going to come up in the first half of the year 2018.
On the 20th of December, my managing director asked me to wait behind to see him in the office. I had an inkling of what he wanted to say because I had gotten a hint from the mentor we both shared in common. He said he knew I was not really satisfied with what I was earning at the time and he knows I won’t be able to sustain a family on that income. He asked me how much I would want to earn that will make me stay with the company for at least another five years. I told him the amount, but I also told him that I’ve never really liked earning a salary. I prefer earning commissions because that way I can increase my income directly by becoming more productive.
Our company runs Health & Safety and Auditor certification-training programs in about 24 states of the country. My MD informed me that he will be handing over the Bayelsa State business to me to run as a franchise from January 2018, I will only need to remit a certain quota to the Head Quarters on every student I train. In addition to that he handed over to me the Auditors certification-training arms of the organization to handle in all our states, and I will earn a commission on every student trained. This is one of the arms of the company with the greatest potential for growth and so I was blown away. I had planned to ask him to allow me to market these courses and get a commission on every student I bring to the company but this offer was much more than I expected.
The magnitude of this didn’t hit me until February 2018, when I earned almost 4 times what I used to earn previously. It could only have been God. In April 2018, I paid for a wonderful two-bedroom apartment in a beautiful neighbourhood. The house is almost fully furnished, thanks to SOFT Word Games. Someone offered us a complete set of beautiful sitting room chairs, someone else offered us really nice curtains.
I thank God because my regular salary still continues to come every month. I thank God who has started this great work and I know he has finished it in glory and splendour. My wedding is coming up in a few weeks and I trust God to more than meet every need. I will continue giving to Him not just because I need from Him but primarily because He owns it in the first place. I know beyond any reasonable doubt that God’s Word is true, and it works. What God says He means and is capable of bringing to pass, we must just trust Him and learn to have Him as our only hope!
I want to thank God for honouring my faith and exceeding my expectations. I also want to thank God for the great pastors we have in TCC who are not afraid to teach us God’s Word about giving. Thank you Pastor Kech, thank you, Pastor Sola, and thank you to all the assistant pastors. God bless you.