Growing up, I was always looking for ways to make money. My first job was as a paperboy. I delivered papers three times a week. But, I always had something going on the side as well. I also picked up soda bottles and redeemed them; five cents for the small bottles, and 10 cents for large bottles. I loved making and saving money.
When I became older, that drive or desire to make and save money didn’t change, just the ways I chose to make extra money. Instead of picking up bottles, I became interested in flipping houses and owning rental property. I invested a ton of time and money in real estate. And things went really well until 2008 when I learned for the first time in my life, what a downturn in the economy looked like. I had some investments that didn’t make it. It was painful watching something I had once loved become something I loathed.
Something else happened the winter of 2008. A group of people formed Haywood County’s first homeless shelter. I was elected to the board and served on that board for six years. Then the homeless shelter merged with two other organizations to form, The Haywood Pathways Center (a homeless shelter, half-way house, and soup kitchen). I have served on that board since its inception, and still do so today.
The Haywood Pathways Center houses up to 100 people who are working on turning their lives around. Currently it is an adults only center since we may need to serve those who have been past sexual offenders, and our two dormitories are an open floor plan. The next phase of our ministry is to focus on families in crisis, by providing off campus temporary housing for moms and their children. This may involve buying, flipping, and managing families in individual units.
Funny isn’t it? I got into real estate to make money for my family. I learned a lot about the market, renters, contractors, bankers and their policies and procedures. And as I personally experienced the ups and downs of the real estate market, God began turning my heart towards those that have no place to live. God is now redeeming all of the time I invested in real estate, and I am now using every bit of it for the benefit of others.
Some of our greatest failures might be God given burdens misapplied! God has graced my investment as I have focused on helping others.
If God has given you a passion, but it doesn’t seem to be working for you, you might want to consider using it to serve someone else. You may find, like I did, that it was always His original intention. For more on this subject http://www.newcovenantchurch.com/resources/media/sermons/the-gift-of-godly-leadership.html