A Financial Leap of Faith That Paid Off!
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When they were young parents, Christian and Crystal Rosenaus never imagined they'd have a carefree afternoon boating with their kids. While expecting their third baby, Christian shifted careers into real estate sales just before the 2008 housing bubble burst.
Christian recalled: "I stressed out my wife so bad during that time. ‘What are we going to do? How are we going to make it.’"
Crystal remembered: "His commission checks dwindled to $130 for real estate. I was only a paralegal at that time. I was worried I wasn't [going to] get any maternity leave.”
For extra income, Christian landed a side gig as an events DJ on weekends.
Christian reported: "We're barely squeaking by with mortgage, utility bills, food, credit cards and medical bills, and all those things just start to pile up. It was just a really difficult time to have your income just kind of evaporate when you have a family to support.”
Like she'd done on each maternity leave, Crystal watched The 700 Club, where teaching on tithing and giving to God intrigued her.
Crystal added: "When I look through the Bible, and I just see it everywhere, the first 10%. It's real. And, so, when I brought that to my husband and was like, 'well, we need to tithe.'"
Christian recalled: "I just kind of felt like, you know, it's my money. We worked for it."
As Christian wrestled with fully trusting God, they occasionally gave at church.
Crystal remembered: "Christian struggled with that a little bit. You know, like, ‘why are we giving to the church when we've got bills to pay?’"
Christian said: "It was a long struggle. It was ongoing because church is every Sunday, right? We would just kind of twenty bucks, you know, you're in there, ‘oh, we're giving something to God. It's a little something.’ It wasn't the real deal."
To stay afloat, they refinanced their house, extracting thousands in cash from its equity to cover expenses. Despite Christian's doubts, the couple first tithed from the cash they received, and then they paid bills. They had 3,500 dollars left as their future savings.
Christian remembered: "I did kind of want to hold back and go, are we, am I sure? Like we could use this money. 'Okay, God, you can have it.' And when I let go of it and just trusted God, I started to feel joy about it. Like, I just felt like this release. Like God's got this."
A week later, the events company owner where Christian DJ'd, took him to lunch.
Christian explained: "She says, we want to sell the business and we want to sell it to you. And I thought, 'I can't buy a business right now! I don't have the money – what that would look like, what that would cost?'"
However, the down payment for the franchise matched his bank balance.
Christian recalled: "So I run out and call my wife, and I say, 'Hey, they're offering to sell us this business for exactly what we have in our bank account.’ She doesn't hesitate. She just says, 'Well, you told her yes. Right?'"
The Rosenaus' put up the down payment and bought the business, while the former owners financed a loan for the remaining franchise value. Revenue flowed in immediately for Christian and Crystal and, with it, an income to consistently tithe.
Christian recalled: "I'm down in the basement of our house on the phone, calling venues, calling prospective brides, just really working the business, and started to see immediate results. Our business income doubled every year for about the first five or six years."
Within seven years, they paid off the loan for the franchise. As their income continued to increase, so did their tithe and giving to ministries like CBN.
Crystal said: "Terry...with all she does with Orphans Promise. It is just, it had my heart. Everything that CBN does is just for His glory and just to make lives better for people around the globe."
Christian added: "If you give to CBN knowing that you're helping support the great commission, what else is there? Like, that's, that's the number one goal of God calling us to do that."
The Rosenaus' hope others embrace what they learned about tithing, giving, and God's faithfulness.
Christian concluded: "In my mind, had we not tithed, I would not be sitting where I am today in a way better financial situation than I ever could have been. What we do as a family is we give our first fruits and trust in God, and He provides everything else. Never stop tithing! And, then, just watch and watch Him take care of you.”
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