So we bought a hot tub at a time where we didn’t feel like we were that financially strong. Because we had a great Dad and great friends: The gift from St Saviours and the surety that this had God’ s “OK.” We had to take on a small loan for a year and live at our limits rather than within them. All through 2015 we were stretched, but had total peace. We slowly spent and gave all of our savings and resources by the September of 2016. During this year many people commented on our new life, in a beautiful new house and garden, leading a great church, hot tub, living in beautiful place with city and countryside on our doorstep, “winning at life,” somebody (Gusta?) jokingly called it. All the time we (unintentionally) projected one image about our financial situation, but the truth was that there was no substance, we were intentionally impoverishing ourselves. It has since given me empathy for those who struggle with poverty spirit and project and image of success whilst actually their financial situation is entirely leveraged by debt and an insight into the distance between financial reality and projection in many ‘middle class’ lives.

In this period I was desperate to start saving. I have begun to want to invest, to build financial strength, to start my own business and create wealth. Having learned dependence and financial freedom I felt a call to build wealth for the good of others and the Kingdom of God. It’s a dangerous road to take, but it feels like the life-school-journey we’ve been on has prepared us to take this path without forgetting our reliance in God. Caroline is interested and supportive in this, but its more my heart than hers. God has provided for her desire for a pension and we both see the need for long term planning and prudence, but there’s more passion in it for me than her. God put this desire and call in my heart during a time when it was impossible to do. First we were giving everything away, then we needed to set aside money towards sabbatical and holiday for a while. So I prepared my heart, did some reading and began to make a plan. It’s frustrating for things to be delayed, but we’ve learned that when God speaks it isn’t always an immediate word and asking about timing is always helpful.

This included, or concluded with, giving away our car that September. In September 2015We learned that we would be giving away our car in September 2016. We asked God how we should prepare for giving away the car. Caroline and I prayed separately, we each heard £100 a month. Caroline felt that we should give £100 a month, I felt we should put £100 a month in cash in a jar and add to it any cash that came into the house, this was an ‘investment’ according to God. Strange investment, I had no idea how it was going to grow in a glass jar in our bedroom. Not sure which to do, we did both. So in September 2016 we had £960 in a jar and had given £900 away. The kids had enjoyed helping us choosing where to give. We’d made sure our bikes were working (God provided for this to be done for free) and were waiting on God’s word as to where to give our car. Our saving were gone and for the whole year we had been living with the knowledge that a major calamity like a broken appliance or major expense was going to be a big problem, despite living in this foolish way, it was wise because we were following God’s direction and nothing went wrong.