By Kathy Hodorek
Albert Gubay, founder of a UK supermarket chain among other business men, is giving away $1.1 billion because of a promise he made to God. The 82-year-old asked God for help with his finances at a time when he could barely make it financially. Now God has blessed him, he wants to give back by donating to Catholic church projects, and other charitable trusts.
In the ‘60s, Gubay opened the Kwik Save supermarket chain in the UK, then sold it in 1973 for $28 million. He later opened a similar business in New Zealand, Ireland, and the US, while also acquiring property in the UK. He also opened the Total Fitness Gym chain, selling it 10 years later. Each of these endeavors proved successful.
In 1988, he donated a substantial sum to build a new church on the Isle of Man where he lives. He attributes his success to God blessing him as he puts money back into the community.
Then there are people like Kevin Brown of New Orleans who, for the last 12 years, has given up his time, his energy, and his comfortable lifestyle in order to help inner-city children and teens. His father, Bill, started Trinity Christian Community and Kevin took over when his father “semi”-retired. The faith-based community development focuses on mentoring children from troubled and/or poor families, offering them a safe place after school, spiritual hope through the gospel, practical hope through skills, and fun clubs such as photography, reading, basketball, music, art, ballet, and tap dancing.
Brown received his psychotherapist degree in Illinois and had his own radio show in Chicago before he took over the ministry in 1998. He packed up his wife and kids, taking a big pay cut, but admits that there’s nothing else he would rather do.
When Hurricane Katrina struck, most homes in the Hollygrove area were wiped out. Most of the neighborhood had left, but with Habitat for Humanity, Project Homecoming, and Americorps partnering with him, they rebuilt about 2,500 homes. For that effort, he’ll be acknowledged with the top public service award given by the Department of Justice in Washington. Over the years he thought of giving up, but seeing hope blossom in the people’s lives he has touched keeps him going.
We may not have millions to give away, but we all have time – how will we spend it? How does God want us to spend it? What is His heart? Is our heart lining up with His?
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