This article was first published in the March 2019 edition of ITMI Monthly.
The call took almost an hour. Fifty-six minutes to be exact.
It was not a call of desperation, but a request for help. David and Taru, our partners in Bangalore, India have experienced, once again, the uncaring over reaction of a government system that is both against terrorism...and anything that is not Hindu.
Taru headed to the bank for the fairly normal task of withdrawing the funds graciously given to help them live and minister as they educate and care for children and women of the local Muslim slum.
But Taru was met with something unexpected at the bank.
ITMI's Taru Kumar, Indian partner.
Modi Road slum, called "Little Pakistan" by locals, is where ITMI's Taru and David minister.
Taru ministers to and cares for children from Modi Road slum, through Deepam Women and Children's Center.
She was pummeled with questions about where the money was from and why people would be sending her funds. After the difficult conversation, the over-zealous bank manager instructed Taru to "reject" the funds because the bank was not going to release them.
This is a game Zambian banks have been playing for years. They use the wired funds, then claim that the funds “haven’t been received yet.”
Years ago, after a 6 week financial merry-go-round with a Zambian bank regarding the funds urgently needed for a final payment on the newly acquired school building for ITMI’s Excellence Christian Academy, ITMI’s founder, Bill Bathman, called the bank manager directly (which was not an easy task in those days).
Bill graciously, but forcefully informed the stonewaller that if Eugene Kalunga, who was standing outside the bank doors, didn’t leave the bank with all the funds that ITMI had wired, the next call would be to all of the media outlets in Zambia and inform them that this bank and this manager was not to be trusted with their money. After some blustering on the other end of the line, Eugene left the bank with every Kwacha (Zambian currency) that was due him.
Hidden beneath this financial quagmire, God was at work. He was revealing to all that He is able to calm the storms when we think it’s impossible.
Some of the long-time ITMI partners may remember this story of helping Eugene get a real school building for his fledgling Christian elementary school. If you haven’t heard the story or don’t remember all the details, allow me to give “the rest of the story.”
The brief version is that Bill had worked very hard to share Eugene’s need for a proper school building there in Zambia. ITMI’s supporters like you, gave over $14,700 of the needed $20,000+.
Then, the donations mysteriously stopped coming in.
This amount was exceptional and deeply appreciated, but it was not enough to complete the transaction that stood before Eugene.
Some people might be led to ask God, “You have brought us this far, why have you just stopped providing….?” Not Bill and Eugene. They knew God could provide, and that He would in His time and in His way.
Then, the story gets really sweet.
Eugene had, at Bill’s faith-driven instruction, bid the equivalent of $20,000 in Kwacha for an old railroad office complex that was worth about a third more than Eugene’s almost impossible bid. Eugene won, due to some other bidders’ under-the-table dealings. He needed to produce the Kwacha equivalent to $20,000 USD.
What we all didn’t know was that while the bank stalled for six weeks, God was going to cause the U.S. dollar to gain in strength while the Zambian Kwacha lost strength.
When the bank released the funds, $14,700 USD was exactly the amount of Kwachas needed to complete the purchase. God had it in His control all the time.
At this property, Excellence Christian Academy has provided a quality Christian education to many Zambian children who otherwise wouldn't get to go to school.
To this day, the Lord continues to use Eugene, ECA and this property to reach many with the Good News!
Our partners live these challenges almost every day. Pray with us for wisdom, encouragement, and Spirit-prompted solutions to the policies, procedures and people that the enemy tries to use to stop God’s people from being obedient in taking HIS truth to the nations.
In His Service,
About the Author
Steve Evers has advocated for and served the ITMI partners as ITMI Director since 2001. Approximately once a year, Steve visits with ITMI partners in their countries and brings stories back to encourage supporters. Steve enjoys photography and mechanics, (both hobbies that have greatly benefited ITMI partners!) Prior to becoming ITMI's Director, Steve served on the Board of Directors for 4 years. Steve lives in Arizona with his wife, Darlene.