I came to work for CFE almost two years ago. Shortly after I began work, I was given the LeMars office to handle on a weekly basis. One week I received a call from a woman stating that she had a friend that needed help. She gave me his information and I called him to set up an appointment the following week. This is Sam’s story!
I would love to introduce you to my client Sam. * When he walked into my office, I was surprised to see an agile eighty-two-year-old man. But as he walked to my desk he slumped and drug his feet. I offered him a chair and he sat down as if the weight of the world were on his shoulders. Sam’s hair was pure white, and his hands looked as if he had worked hard in his younger years. His eyes were dull from worry--I suppose of the things that had been happening to him in the last few months. Sam quickly began explaining the need to pay some bills, that he was living on the family farm, but he had sold it a few years back. Sam still was living on the farm, but not paying any rent. The buyers of the farm had let him stay till he found a place to go. Unfortunately, Sam couldn’t afford to move, let alone pay any sum of rent.
He didn’t realize that even though he had no money, he kept living as if he did. Sam’s heart is huge. Sam’s huge heart is what got him into part of his mess. Sam had given a lot of his proceeds from the farm to people who needed help.
Through our conversations, Sam soon learned the difference between need and want. The people Sam had helped were nowhere to be found now that Sam needed help. He had run up several bills before I could convince Sam that we needed to get him some housing assistance and get him moved. It took the whole winter, an accident, then surgery (not to mention his stubbornness) before I could talk him into moving to town. I put in the application for housing for him and was told it would be three months before he would get accepted. I was worried that the landowner’s patience would wear out before we could get him moved. I was right. It did. The landowners called and said find a place for him or we will have to evict him.
God always has a plan; you see, Sam is one of God’s biggest supporters. He reads the Bible and other spiritual books and shares them with others. Sam always tried to stay positive while we were working on things, but I could tell though that it was starting to take a toll on him. Finally, this past July a mission team of young students from Rejoice Church in LeMars went out to Sam’s house to move him to town. What they found there was so sad, his living conditions were very poor and there was no food in any cupboards.
Sam had been just getting by, and the help he said he had was really no help at all. There was not much salvageable to take to his new apartment. Quickly Rejoice Church and others pitched in and got him a new bed and blankets, his table and chairs from his house, his spiritual books, a few new clothes, food for the kitchen, shower curtains and towels, cleaning supplies and other items. CFE and Rejoice came together to help with his rent deposit and other items.
Sam now understands that he needs help with his finances. Center for Financial Education helps Sam take care of his bills and Social Security paperwork, we walk beside him every week. Sam has been blessed with creditors that have forgiven most, if not all, of his debt to them. He is able to breathe and enjoy life now. The Sam I see now always has a smile on his face, his step is higher, he always has a joke and he loves spreading God’s word daily with others. He has found new friends in his complex, has coffee with them each morning and prays for them. He visits some old friends from his youth, each late afternoon; they spend their time with tea and sharing memories.
His eyes sparkle now, and it is clear that “the weight of the world” has lifted. He tells me with a big grin on his face every time I see him, “I wish I had done this years ago!” Sam keeps saying, “I’m asking God for a large windfall that will change all of this for me.” I told him the other day “Sam, open your eyes, your windfall has come, you have real friends, a warm home, and people who are more than willing to help you. Money is not your windfall, God and friendship are!”
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the path of righteousness for his name’s sake
4 Yea, though I walk through the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me;
Thy rod and staff they comfort me
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
There is no Greater work than Gods work!
*name changed to protect privacy. Story used with permission.