Sweetness from the Struggle

Tom and Dee Little, Stewards Fund Clients

Retired and blessed with an ever-expanding family, Tom and Dee Little know they are living the good life. They enjoy travelling together whenever they can, especially to take part in the important life milestones of their grandchildren.

“For the rest of our lives, we’ll be at some sort of graduation,” says Tom. “It stretches out every May and June as far as I can see. And then there are marriages and also the births of great-grandchildren. So yeah, that’s cool.”

The path for the Littles hasn’t always been so smooth.

About 25 years into their marriage, Tom was forced out of a Fortune 500 company, and he and Dee struggled just to stay afloat.

“I started out in a series of businesses, the first four of which were unsuccessful,” Tom recalls. “We had some very, very, very hard economic times. I remember having two kids in college, and my total income for the year was less than $1,000. That was in the days before credit cards! It was a struggle to stay out of debt and to keep things going.”

In the midst of their struggles, Tom and Dee relied on the unifying power and peace of their faith in Jesus Christ.

“We knew God was in control, and that He was going to see us through,” says Tom. “We did make it through, and now He has blessed us beyond all belief!”

Tom’s fifth business venture – one in which he bought, sold and leased IBM main frames – turned out to be the one that changed the trajectory of their lives.

Today, Tom and Dee take great pleasure in funneling their blessings into Kingdom impact. One way they accomplish this is by giving to their church and other favorite ministries through Barnabas Foundation’s Stewards Fund. “Our prime objective is furthering the Gospel,” says Tom. “That’s where our physical and financial efforts go.”

Tom and Dee recognize much of the sweetness of their present life is the harvest from their struggle.

“Experiencing the lean times shapes us for when we have times of plenty,” concludes Tom. “Our barometer for goodness and mercy isn’t dependent upon what’s in our checking account, but by God’s faithfulness and God’s abiding presence.”