We came up with a plan 12 months ago that would take 12 months to establish itself; seeing that plan coming together is very exciting.
There were four things we wanted to achieve: lift the profile, make sure Baptist Savings was commercially competitive, show people how to leave a legacy, and show people how to reduce their debt.
Showing people how to reduce debt has been the area of most success – not so much in numbers (though 70 Baptist pastors have changed their financial circumstances), but in the real life stories of real people. We would like to share an example.
I visited a couple on the North Shore as a ‘mystery shopper’ to make sure we were achieving what we said we would back in October. This young couple is in their mid-30s, no kids, and dual incomes. I was sitting at the dinning table when all of a sudden the wife started crying, which makes the whole atmosphere quiet threatening to the husband – stranger at table, wife crying, doesn’t know why she is crying – so, picking up the atmosphere, I decided to go.
But the wife stopped me to tell me her story. “We have been married 10 years and I have just fallen in love with my husband again,” she said.
At this point I make the assumption I should be gone and this couple should move to a different part of the house. I try to leave again, but the wife says, “Let me tell you the story.”
She said that one of the things that attracted her to her husband was his generosity of spirit. It was nothing for him back in those days to pay somebody’s mortgage payment for the month, take around a food parcel, provide somebody with clothes – he was a very generous man, and she loved that about him.
As time went on and they acquired more stuff, they had a boat in the garage, he drove a Porsche, she drove the latest four wheel drive. To afford these things, she had to go back to work as a nurse, which includes night shifts. Sometims, they don’t see each other for four or five days.
Since their financial health check last October, their financial circumstances have been radically changed.
“We have a lot more disposable income now,” she said, “to the extent that the generous
man I fell in love with has just re-emerged. And it struck me, Andrew, that while I was looking at this whole area as a numbers exercise, God was actually in the business of transforming lives.” When somebody’s debt burden has been removed, pressures on marriages, depression, and anger are removed and people are set free.
We’ve had more than 20 seminars now, and literally hundreds of people have been or are in the process of being set debt free. There are always stories that emerge of people whose lives have been changed by what Baptist Savings is doing.
A number of seminars are planned in various regions over the coming weeks and months. We urge people to attend, have their lives changed and become part of the story.
– Andrew is Baptist Savings’ Business Development Manager.