Zacchaeus Financial Counseling via Crowdrise
December 25, 2014
BENEFITING: Zacchaeus Financial Counseling
My name is R. Joseph Ritter, Jr. CFP®, and I am the founder and president of Zacchaeus Financial Counseling, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving low-income households, households in crisis, and full-time ministers and missionaries with financial planning, coaching and counseling services. Our primary service area is the state of Florida and the Appalachian regions of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky. Services are provided on demonstration of need without regard for the ability to pay.
As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(TM) professional, I have dedicated my career to working with the underserved and overlooked. My education includes a Masters degree in world mission and evangelism from Asbury Theological Seminary. My family and I stepped out in faith to launch and operate the organization and are relying on God to provide their financial support. To supplement our income, I have self-published three books - 25 Days of Christmas Devotional, Sacrifice and Submission in Marriage: Unlocking the Promises of Christ Through Obedience, and Jacob's Testimony: A Catechism Teaching the Praises, Strength and Wondrous Works of the Lord. We are pleased to announce that these books are being read throughout North America, Europe, Australia and India.
In February 2014, I attended a church conference representing Zacchaeus Financial Counseling, Inc. A young man approached the booth and engaged me in conversation on the topic of trusting God to provide financial support. He relayed to me stories of family members and friends who were called to the ministry, enrolled in Bible college, accrued student loan and credit card debt to pay for tuition and living expenses, and ended up working in secular jobs to pay off their debt.
At that moment, God laid on my heart the burden of ministering to young adults and help them avoid this trap. A ministry leader told me when young adults become trapped in debt, they wind up never fulfilling their call. Once debt is paid off, they remain in the more comfortable secular job.
"Debt is killing our missionary candidates." "Debt is a trap."
The video is a clip of Eric Kuhns passionately delivering a message at the Missions Convention on October 10, 2014 at Hobe Sound Bible Church in Hobe Sound, Florida. Eric and his family are active missionaries to Honduras under Hope International Missions. Eric succinctly highlights the problem.
Zacchaeus Financial Counseling, Inc. brings the solution.
You are supporting the cost of printing and distributing a pocket-size book (approximately 4"x6"). The title of the book is You're Called to the Ministry. Now What? This book will be placed into the hands of pastors, church leaders, mission boards, ministry leaders, educators and other influencers who are commonly the first to listen to a young adult's call to ministry. The book will be distributed at no cost. The purpose of the book is to guide and inform candidates for the ministry and missions and help them avoid the trap of debt and avoid being prevented from fulfilling their call.
Our goal is to raise $1,500 to finance the initial printing and first round of distribution of the book.
How many people have to continue suffering because ministers and missionaries never made it to the pulpit or field due to heavy debt loads? How many people have to feel badly because they cannot fulfill their call? How many people have to sit on the sidelines only being able to watch and not being able to participate in bringing people into God's kingdom?
"If God is holy and we are to be a holy people, can we use the world's ways to finance God's work?" "Should we apply holiness to the way we handle money?"
“What difference would it make in our churches and on our mission fields if young adults and individuals called to go trusted God by faith to provide what they needed to complete their education and preparation?" Faith will be required once they go anyway, so why not start before enrolling in college?
The book provides examples of missionaries who faced their own challenges in support, carefully calculated their gaps, and relied on prayer, faith and trust in God to provide for the gaps. The reader is challenged to do the same – carefully count available resources, calculate gaps between the need and the resources, and develop his or her own life of prayer, faith and trust in God for the gaps. We cannot see God working unless we give Him space to work, and this book outlines how to give God the space He needs. Once we see God working, then we can praise Him and give Him glory, which adds to our witness and testimony.
The chapter titles of the book are
- God Called – Now What?
- Holy Pauses – Mind the Checks
- What Does God Want to Do in Your Situation – Is God Moving?
- What Are Your Gaps
- Prayer – Wear Grooves in the Floor
- Give Your Faith a Workout
- Give God the Glory
- Be Ye Holy As I Am Holy
- Once You Go
- Our Example in Christ
- Counting the Cost
- Closing Challenge
As of October 31, 2014, the manuscript is out for editing, and the cover is complete. The book has been assigned ISBN 978-1502951335, and Zacchaeus Financial Counseling, Inc. will hold the copyright. We expect this book to be fully available in print by the end of 2014. We are eager to begin distributing the book just as soon as it is printed, and we are asking your help to cover the cost of printing and distribution. $1,500 is our initial goal, and we anticipate the need for additional funds after the first wave of distribution.
If you are not able to contribute to this goal, please share us with your friends and others you think should know about us. Use the Indiegogo sharing tool! Please also pray for us. Pray that
- God will open the hearts of the young adults who will read this book.
- God will strengthen young adults called to the ministry that they can be strong in their faith, endure the world's peer pressure, and endure the tests and trials that come with living by faith.
- God will continue opening doors for Zacchaeus Financial Counseling, Inc. as we integrate the gospel message and faith with our financial planning and financial counseling work.