I’m in our hotel lobby in Pakse, Laos. Our Business for Missions project is now 6 years in the making, or should I say growing! This is the first year, finally, that the product and the processing mills are ready. It is harvest time for coffee growers and processors. We have the best equipment, our coffee cherries are ripening nicely, and the farmers have a lot of product they want to sell to us. What could be better?

So in the world of make believe, you turn on the mills, raise the flag to purchase, welcome the workers to the fields for harvesting, sell the finished product at premium prices, and live happily ever after. Now that is a fairy tale.

Here is the real story. You work your tail off to understand what must be done, as told by a variety of experts … all with a slightly different twist on the process. You put the investment at risk in a different culture, with different understandings, and attempt to bring all the processes to full operating capacity with a minimum of fuss. Just today, some product dried too much, some too little. The egress slide for the product from the hopper was installed with the wrong grade, and the belt to the conveyor came off the pulley. The rains came creating a new point of struggle. I’m dirty, tired, and could use a chocolate shake … comfort food you know … And I’m on a diet!

Well, no one promised the proverbial “bed of roses.” Any business—or project—is so beautiful when it works. Your energy comes because you believe this is what God wants you to do and the final result will be a sustained business funding ministry that will change lives. To God be the glory and I think I’ll go to bed.

This tome would not be complete without an application to the process each of us must follow to create that Future Funded Ministry we talk about. If you have God’s call on your life, then preparation is critical. And, like with coffee, there are plenty of people ready to tell you what you should do. If you have that picture, then taking the steps to be ready for the point in time when the paycheck stops—but ministry must continue—is the consistent work of your hands and minds.

Consistent engagement, learning what is true, investing for the future, applying those lessons to the present, and a willingness to be consistent and persistent during good times and difficult ones, is how it really works. And, it is so beautiful when it works.

As a Plan Sponsor, my message today is an encouraging one. Help your people to prepare by providing the best retirement plan experience for them. See our new explanation, EDUCATE NOW on our website. To our knowledge, it is the only all encompassing explanation of its kind. We’ll talk more about it in the future.

In the meantime, drink a couple of cups of coffee for me.

Let me know your thoughts and comments. Our dialogue continues.


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