December 14, 2010 | Seeds
By Blake Weaver
I recently read the book titled Radical by David Platt. Undoubtedly, the book is appropriately subtitled “Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream.” I found Platt’s comments on this subject Biblically-based, very straightforward, and certainly eye-opening. Wess Stafford, who serves as the President and CEO of Compassion International, adds that “David Platt challenges Christians to wake up, trade in false values rooted in the American dream, and embrace the notion that each of us is blessed by God for a global purpose.” Platt equates “global purpose” with the Great Commission, and he suggests that as followers of Christ, we are to radically pursue this calling.
Coming to grips with the fact that we are indeed blessed by God for a global purpose is no small thing. In fact, it is something that most of us (me included) routinely forget, or at least suppress. We say things like, “I would rather just focus on my local community” or “I am not physically able to take the Gospel to someplace overseas.” While these sentiments may be somewhat viable, the bottom line is that Christ has commanded us to pursue the Great Commission. It is hard to argue that it is globally oriented.
Obviously, our radical pursuit of the Great Commission can be manifested in a variety of ways. For the remainder of this article, I would like to highlight one example of this that I have been exposed to while serving with this organization. Allow me to introduce you to some dear friends of this ministry named Don and Hilda. Without a doubt this couple has committed themselves to planting Gospel seeds throughout the world by their involvement in God’s work through NICS. In addition to sacrificially giving of themselves in service as key ministry volunteers, Don and Hilda have made a unique and significant financial commitment to the expansion of the Gospel through NICS around the world. In fact, the uniqueness of their financial gift is certainly worth explaining in greater detail.
Several years ago, Don and Hilda sold their family business. As good stewards of the proceeds from the sale, they felt led by the Lord to establish a Charitable Remainder Unitrust (CRUT). This particular investment tool was recommended to them by their CPA. In a nutshell the CRUT afforded them the opportunity to draw passive income from the CRUT as long as they live as well as name NICS as the CRUT remainder beneficiary. Consequently, NICS will receive the principle amount of the CRUT upon the passing of Don and Hilda. When asked why they chose to benefit NICS with this gift, they simply responded by saying, “We love the ministry of NICS because we believe in what God is doing through this organization.” I also inquired as to their vision for this money that will one day be passed along to NICS. They explained:
Our hope is that these funds will one day be used to expand this ministry. Perhaps the money could be used to help start a new NICS school, or maybe it could help the NICS Home Office secure adequate Pre-Field Orientation facilities. Whichever way it is used, we just want God’s kingdom to be expanded.
This statement certainly reflects the heart of this couple. While it could have been so easy to use the proceeds of the sale of their business to ensure a retirement of ultimate comfort, pleasure, and safety, Don and Hilda have evidently considered their global purpose of taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Perhaps they are not well suited to physically go, but they have ensured their unique participation in helping to fulfill the Great Commission. By all means this is a trustworthy endeavor on their part.
I share Don and Hilda’s story for at least a couple of reasons. First of all, they are living examples of individuals that are living for something more than the American Dream. Secondly, I want to draw awareness to the way in which they have chosen to financially benefit NICS. While the CRUT was ideal in Don and Hilda’s situation, there are a myriad of other “planned giving” tools available. Should you consider benefitting NICS in a similar way, feel free to contact us or your CPA for additional information.