I received many requests for financial assistance from friends and students. I minister among the poor and often the poor need money just to get by day after day. I have no regrets telling my fellow pastors especially young pastors or those recently married to limit the number of children to just two. Today I got a call and numerous texts asking me to help buy milk for a third child of a student. But I made a firm stance as I have helped this family several times and it is time for me to tell them they can’t rely on me. Some ask money to take their drivers license. Some ask for other needs. Needs are plenty and I have advised my students and pastors to find work outside that pay more if they are constantly struggling with finances. I doubt God wants us to serve Him with worries about money all the time.
Not that I don’t understand their struggle for survival as I am one of them and live among them. I came into the ministry with nothing because I wanted to identify with the 99percent of my fellow pastors who also have nothing. But God has dealt well with me. Even after 6 years in Singapore I did not return to Sabah with much savings. I knew I needed a 4 wheel drive if I were appointed to serve in a rural church. That was about it. In 2015 with my monthly salary hardly enough to pay for living expenses let alone my house loan coupled with the fact my son being unemployed at that time it was one of the toughest years for me. But I hanged in there and early 2016 was no better when I found myself with a meagre allowance leading my College for the 2nd quarter of the year. More than anything it was a work of faith and a labour of love. I survived that phase of my ministry and then relying on sponsor for another year. But God’s promise held true. He promised me like He did Jacob that if he returned to his homeland God would bless him and dealt well with him. God has dealt well with me these couple of years so much so I can be a blessing to others as well. Another Abrahamic promise that holds true “I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who disrespect you”.