Faith & Finance facilitator, Sharon Garabedian, grew up being taught to save her money for things she wanted to purchase aside from the 10% that went to a savings account and 10% that was given to her local church. It was many years later she realized that very few people had this kind of guidance
Sharon heard Dr. Randy White speak about the Faith & Finances program and how lives can be transformed by changing what they are doing with what God has provided. She signed up paying her own way for the certification training. Once trained, she started by hosting workshops at her church, Hope Lutheran, for people who came to glean from their food pantry. The church provided dinner for the group each week and were witnesses to the stories that were being shaped. One person was able to start their own business, and has an emergency fund – they credit the class for this as well as helping them survive during this current crisis. Another person saved $600 during the class by distinguishing wants from needs and tracking all purchases. In addition, they began to see their money as not only theirs, but as a tool God has provided for us to do His work. A couple with a teenage daughter who attended had been living in their car. As a result of the class, the daughter made progress and was on track to graduate from high school, and the husband was able to finally get disability support for his blindness. Most importantly, the family is now living in stable housing and doing well. God is truly making all things new.
A couple years ago, the Fresno Housing Authority invited Faith & Finances trainers to teach the workshops to their Section 8 residents. The Housing Authority provided wonderful rooms for classes at several of their facilities, as well as the meal and childcare. They were so appreciative of having this training on their site, they did the recruiting and follow up with participants who lived there. Sharon observed that the participants who paid at least a small portion towards the workshop cost were more committed to following through with the program since they had a vested interest.
We celebrate Sharon Garabedian and Hope Lutheran Church, and all trained Faith & Finances facilitators who are serving our city. The CCT just this month graduated the largest class of trained facilitators ever. With the presence of so many Pay Day Lenders in our city exploiting the vulnerability of the poor, and so many negative financial forces in the lives of the vulnerable, God is making all things new through the people, programs and organizations that the CCT resources.
To find out how you can become a train Faith & Finances facilitator, please contact our office at 559.453.2367.