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The 700 Club

Investing in God’s Family—A Harvest of Their Own

Cheryl Wilcox - 700 Club Producer
Zsa Zsa Palagyi - 700 Club Producer

Michael and Missy Barth struggled to have their first baby. They never imagined they’d be able to have a big family.

“God told us to dream for a larger house and a larger family,” Michael recalls. “So, we went online, we printed out a listing, and we put it on our refrigerator. My wife even named our savings account. I think she called it ‘big family’ for our house.”  

Michael was a fairly new software engineer and Missy was a substitute teacher, so making enough money to support a big family and saving for their dream house would be challenging, especially since the couple had a considerable amount of debt.

Michael admits, “We had between us over $30,000 in student loan debt and $25,000 in debt on our cars. And then we had $170,000 in debt on our house.”

“And the debt was almost holding us hostage, really,” Missy adds.  “We have all this money that we're supposed to be paying back that we can't put towards other things.”

The Barths took a class at church that helped them create a budget and get aggressive with paying down their debt.  Meanwhile, they also tithed, although not always willingly.

Missy confesses, “It seemed like a lot of money to be giving every week.  So, I was feeling like, ‘Why do we have to give such a big amount? Can't we save some of this and put it in the savings?’”

Michael proclaims, “God said to do it, I want to do it.  You don't want to be on the wrong side of God, right?”

When Michael and Missy’s pastor taught on the heart of giving, their point of view changed.

“Before that, I felt like I was giving up something,” Michael shares.  “But when my mind shifted, I actually felt like I was gaining something by giving.  And it was very liberating.  You don’t give just because you have to, you give because you want to, and you realize that in giving, God will take care of you.”

As the couple tithed with this new perspective, they always had enough to provide for their growing family.

Michael explains, “God blessed me a lot. He blessed me with some large raises along the way and a bunch of awards."

In less than four years they were able to pay off their debt of $60,000 in school loans, car loans, and their home equity line of credit.   

Michael exclaims, “When I'm willing to trust God with my finances, and I'm willing to give to others and to the ministry, then He provides the increase to not only cover that, but so much more.”

Missy adds, “It became easier to give bigger amounts, and we saw increase back to us even bigger.”  

With five kids in a 1600 square foot home and a baby on the way, they knew it was time to get their big house. Still, they chose to sacrificially give to their church’s building fund.

“We trust that if we build God's house, He's going to provide the house that we need,” Michael explains.  

So, by faith, they began searching for their new home.

Missy says, “I remember finding this one house and I sent it off to him. And he looks at it and said, ‘I think that's the house.’  And I said, ‘Uh, what house?’”

“And I pulled it out. I put it in a memories box because I save everything. I pulled out that listing. It was the same exact house we had hanging on our refrigerator for years,” Michael shares.

Even though the asking price was more than Michael and Missy could afford, they prayerfully made an offer, and soon, the 4000 square foot home they’d hoped for almost a decade before was theirs.

“God worked it out that they came down to the number that He had told us,” Michael says.  Choked up, he continues, “I can't believe what I dreamed for is actually here.”

Missy adds, “There’s plenty of room for all of us. We even have a separate school room because we homeschool. And that was one of my dreams.”

Today, the Barths have eight children. As they’ve continued to trust God with their big family and their giving, Michael’s income has continued to grow.

“God really showed him favor,” Missy explains.  “Since we bought this house in 2017, his salary has increased almost 50%. There's definitely a cause and effect when you give. God gives it back to you, especially when you're giving obediently when He’s telling you to give.”

Michael concludes, “The house, the family, everything that we have, the amazing gifts He gives us every day - if I cut off the giving, I cut out the blessing. Tithing and giving - it goes out, and He brings it back in even better.”

 

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