By Jeff Keaton, Founder & CEO
RENEWANATION has been greatly blessed from her inception by key individuals who have felt God’s call to get behind this nation changing vision and work.
When I first shared this new vision with the congregation I was pastoring, I was somewhat anxious about what their response would be. However, when I invited anyone who wanted to help get this vision off the ground to a meeting and 120 people showed up, I knew that God was speaking into people’s hearts.
In that very first meeting one individual donated a beautiful Cadillac for our newly hired president to drive. From that point forward God has used one person after another to breathe life into this young vision. Many, many people have invested their wisdom, work or wealth into RENEWANATION over the last four years. We have had as many as 800 guests attend our annual benefit banquet in Roanoke. The donations from this banquet have been the fuel needed to get RENEWANATION up and running. For these investments we are deeply grateful. It takes people of hope, faith and vision to help a young organization get off the ground.
At this point in RENEWANATION’s development, we rely heavily on our monthly donors as well as those who are volunteering their services either directly to RENEWANATION or to one of our affiliate schools. Our membership roll is consistently growing and we are blessed each month by individuals who give anywhere from a few dollars to thousands of dollars. We are also greatly blessed by those who are donating their professional services to advance Christian worldview education.
In these early years of our existence, God has raised up a number of key board members who have invested countless hours and dollars in this work. Building a national ministry from the ground up is a daunting task and yet these early board members have been a great source of encouragement and strength.
Let me highlight a few of our individual supporters who have caught the vision and are deeply invested in RENEWANATION.
Jerry and Elaine Savage
Jerry and Elaine retired to the Roanoke, VA area a few years ago but have been very active in service to the Lord. It is not uncommon to find the Savages in India or some other far away place loving the people Jesus loves. After falling in love with the vision of RENEWANATION, Jerry and Elaine have put that love into action. Recently, they traveled to the Hagerstown, MD area and visited scores of churches and schools on behalf of RENEWANATION and our affiliate school in that area, Grace Academy. They made many personal contacts with pastors and invited them to the banquet we held in their area. This, boots on the ground, kind of work was a great blessing. They will soon be doing this in other areas around the country.
Whether it’s giving in a financial way or through an investment of time and talent, individual supporters are helping to make the vision of offering every child a Christian worldview a reality in America.
Richard and Esther Kiser
Not long after we began to spread the word about the “New Vision” Richard and Esther Kiser took me out to lunch. They talked to me about how God had impressed upon their heart that they were to give 10% of their income to RENEWANATION each month. No, this wasn’t their regular tithe, they were already giving that to our church. This was 10% above their tithe. I was blessed and humbled by the fact that God had spoken to them in this manner and that they were willing to make such a commitment and sacrifice. Over the last three years they have blessed us with thousands of dollars in gifts and have served as RENEWANATION representatives as they travel across the country sharing Richard’s excellent music ministry.
Cheryl Turner spent most of her life working for the United States Postal service. At one point Cheryl managed the finances for a great number of local post offices. She retired fairly young and discovered the power of Christian Education as she watched it transform one of her great-nephews.
In the earliest days of RENEWANATION, Cheryl joined our board and did whatever needed to be done to help us. At some point we had need for a financial administrator in one of our affiliate schools. Cheryl stepped in thinking she would only be there for a couple of months. That couple of months has now turned into a couple of years and Cheryl’s expertise has been used in an amazing way to strengthen this local school’s financial outlook. For the last two years, Cheryl has refused to accept a salary from this school.
Here in her own words (my paraphrase) is her reason for donating her talents and time to this school: “I spent most of my life doing my own thing and making money for my own selfish goals. I want to spend the rest of my life serving Jesus and the children He loves so much.”
Wendy Nichols first heard about RENEWANATION through her involvement with the church I pastored. When I left the church to go full-time with RENEWANATION we moved our offices across town. Wendy decided to show up and see what she could do for us. Today, five days each week, Wendy volunteers as the RENEWANATION receptionist. We are humbled by her sacrifice and gift of time and talent. She is a great blessing to our team and those who contact us.