From $90,000 in Debt to Debt-Free
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22-year-old Emmaus Vanderbilt owns Silver Fox Productions, a video production company located in North Carolina. His wife, Hannah, owns and operates her own cleaning company, Joyful Cleaning. From the beginning, they made tithing a priority.
Emmaus said, “I credit that to my parents. They've always modeled that for me. God just gets the first 10%.”
Hannah feels the same. She said, “ I want to honor God as best as I can. And so, from that first job when I was 14, ever since, I've just always tithed 10% of what I made. And it’s just been a habit I’m joyful to do.”
Emmaus has learned valuable lessons about finances. At 18, his income had grown to six figures as a startup video business shooting destination weddings.
“I believe there were certain times in my life when I slipped. And I said this is something I’ve been able to do. Look what I did,” said Emmaus. “And I won't never say that I totally cut God out of the equation. Because I still tithe on it. I thank the Lord for it. But what I realized was that no, the Lord was the one who put the breath in my lungs this morning. The Lord was the one who provided these opportunities. And God has just allowed me to manage this money, this video project.”
When Covid hit in 2020 Emmaus experienced God’s faithfulness as his business weathered the storm.
He said, “Some people, they were, they were dropping by 50% of their weddings, 60% of their shoots. And just the Lord continued providing even whenever a few weddings canceled, we still had 85 90% still hire us and for the 10% that had to cancel. We had local government organizations reach out and ask us to film videos for them. Different corporate groups. We never went without. I totally attribute tithing to the fact that we stayed safe during that storm.”
Soon after he met and married Hannah in 2021, she became co-owner of the production company and in 2022 she started her in-home cleaning business. The couple then got serious about debt. She had school loans and they both had car payments which in all totaled $90,000. They began paying it off working long hours, tithing the whole time and their businesses thrived.
Hannah said, “There's no other no other answer, but the Lord did that. We're having a month where we're having less weddings, but more cleaning clients. So, it's all, it all balances out. And the only answer for it is, God, He's the one providing it.”
Today, they are debt free. Looking back on all God has accomplished this year the couple is grateful for their two businesses growing at a rate of 40% and many more opportunities awaiting them.
Emmaus said, “And whenever we don’t have debt, don’t have payments, we have more money to invest, save, and ultimately give and be more generous.”
Emmaus and Hannah say it all starts with generosity.
“The Lord provided for us. And, it says in Malachi three 10, the only time in the Bible that we can test God in something. Yeah. And it's tithes and offerings. And God just completely overflowed our storehouses,” said Emmaus.
Hannah said, “I say when you give 10% that God's going to bless you because you're obeying Him and you're doing what His word says.”
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