When I was baptized and joined the Adventist Church, I was working as finance director for the city of Portland, Maine.
Baptism, though a freeing experience, brought a host of financial challenges. With a new home to pay for and four children to educate in Adventist schools, I found it difficult to make ends meet. To make matters worse, my wife, a teacher, was not employed at the time. We agreed for her to stay home with our children. As a result, I became the sole breadwinner of our family.
I realized the devil was not happy with me and was doing all he could to discourage me. And he almost succeeded. I struggled briefly with reducing my tithe and offerings to meet my expenses. But then I remembered the promise that if I was faithful, God would take care of my needs. I claimed that promise, even though I had no clear picture of the way out of my difficulties. But God had a plan already in place.
In addition to my responsibilities as finance director, I was also city treasurer and tax collector. By virtue of these positions I became very active in the Treasurers and Tax Collectors Association in the State of Maine. This gave me some recognition among my colleagues and opened the door for God to work His plan.
The University of Maine Governmental Resources Office contacted me and asked me to author a book on fiscal management. This I did and entitled it, Cash Management for Smaller Municipalities. Shortly after its publication I was again contacted by the university to perform an evaluation of treasury and tax collectors management procedures in a number of municipalities.
These towns asked me to help them improve their financial systems. For this I received a stipend and expense monies. Every time after that when the end of the month found me short, I was called by the university to teach workshops on municipal finance. All of our needs, and even some of our wants, were met. “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!”
John G. DePalma. This article was published October 19, 2011.