AlongTheWay

“Audacious Generosity” - Kevin White AlongTheWay 79

January 11, 2021 John Matarazzo / Kevin White Season 1 Episode 79
AlongTheWay
“Audacious Generosity” - Kevin White AlongTheWay 79
Show Notes Transcript

It is better to give than to receive so when Kevin White learned how the experience, receive and give more than he ever thought possible it led him on an adventure of Audacious Generosity!


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Kevin White:

I was very angry at God for letting that happen. But as I look back and as very much the grace of God because I, I was in the process of killing myself, and killing and killing my marriage, and ruining my family all in the name of Christian gospel ministry, and it was just heading in the wrong direction. And I remember going to a meeting and one of the pastors in that meeting followed me out to my car afterwards. And he said, perhaps you haven't been fired, perhaps you've been set free. I didn't really understand and appreciate what he was saying on I look back now and just see how prophetic it was. God really used that man and a couple of other men in our church to really discipled me for the first time ever in my identity in Christ. And I went from being in bondage to the fear of failure to really come into a place of freedom.

John Matarazzo:

Welcome to along the way. I'm John Matarazzo, your host and fellow traveler, thank you for joining me along my way, as I try to become more like Jesus every day. God is a generous God. And as we try to become more like Him, we naturally become more generous, too. In this episode, I talk with Kevin white, the founder and executive director of global hope, India, and he is the author of the book audacious generosity. Kevin is passionate about the nation of India, and has been there a lot, you're going to hear how God brought him through a difficult place where he actually became set free to walk fully in his identity in Christ, and his focused direction. If you want to know how to experience receive and give more than you ever thought possible, then you will enjoy this conversation. I'll get to our conversation in just a moment. But as always, I want to thank you for listening to along the way. I hope that you like what you hear, and that you'll subscribe, you can connect with me online as well. All of my socials and contact links are in the show notes. And you can check out all of my episodes and my website along the way dot media, join my email list and find out some more about me too. I hope you check it out and you connect with me, I would love to hear from you. I also have a Patreon page. If you want to help me to continue to put out these along the way episodes. If you'd like to become a Patreon, simply go to patreon.com slash along the way and select the level. The link to become a Patreon supporter is in my show notes. And now here's my along the way conversation with Kevin white. Well, Kevin white, it is great to have you on along the way. Thank you so much for being here. It's an honor to have you we have a mutual friend who connected us Eric Nevins who's another podcaster. And he recommended you very highly. And so I am excited to hear your journey with the Lord. And we had an opportunity to talk a little bit before this broadcast got started. And some of the things that we connected with right away is our missions background. And so we're going to talk about that in this conversation. But Kevin, thank you for being here. I want to hear your story of how you've gone with the Lord to where you are today.

Kevin White:

JOHN, The pleasure is all mine. Thank you so much. What a great show you have. I love your story as well, your history. And yeah, you're right. We connected in the theme of missions, praise God for that opportunity to go abroad and to make Christ known there.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah, yeah, you the first thing that I saw about you actually, after your smile, you held up your hand and I noticed a bracelet. And the bracelet has the the basically the same evangelism tool that I've used around the world and the 15 countries that I've been in the the gold, the dark, the red, the white and the green. And it's for me, it's the wordless book, but you have this honor bracelet. And that was the first thing that caught my eye. And I'm like, okay, here is a guy that we have the same heart and mind when it comes to evangelism and wanting to reach people with the gospel, wherever we are. Can you tell me a little bit about what that has meant in your life?

Kevin White:

Sure. So my very first international mission trip was in 1998, to the country of India. And in India, bracelets are very cultural, a gift of blessing. Everybody loves bracelets, they have a Friendship Day, once a year, and they exchange bracelets. And obviously, you can get into some religious bracelets with Hindu and with Muslim, but also with Christian as well. And so we call this the Jesus bracelet, we call it also a friendship bracelet. And because it really sets the ground for the best friendship of life, those eternal friendships. And so you're right, it has five colors on it's just a silicon band, but it has the squares of the black for sand the red for the blood of Jesus white, for cleanse by the blood, green for growing in Christ and yellow for the eternal life streets of gold. And so we get to share that story with children hundreds of 1000s throughout the years over in India, and we may not be able to speak the local language but they understand the colors and we can say the one word Whether that's sand or whether that's blood, or Jesus, and it really is an effective tool for communicating the gospel, and you'll be amazed, every person of all ages wants a bracelet, and then you go back months later, and they're still wearing their Jesus bracelet. Oh, yeah. And so we really see, we're believing God's word that the word of God will not return void. And we just see it as a great seat for the gospel every bracelet we can share.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah, that is so cool. You know, I love that tool, the wordless book or the friendship bracelet that you're talking about just those five colors, it keeps the gospel very, very simple. And we as Christians have a tendency to complicate things. And I want to talk about the simplicity of the gospel with you, because that is one of the most important things that we can do. Whether it be sharing it with somebody else, or understanding more in our own life, how God wants us to make that simple decision, which then starts a domino effect for the kingdom of God. But Kevin, while we're talking about the simplicity, let's go back to your childhood and I want to hear your story about your journey of faith with with Jesus.

Kevin White:

Okay, so I'm a native of North Carolina, and I grew up in the rural hills, foothills of North Carolina, unfortunately, to a broken and dysfunctional family. I was, we did go to church on a regular basis. But unfortunately, the love of Christ never really infiltrated our home life very, very deeply. And by age 10, I heard the gospel I understood that I did not want to spend eternity apart from God in a place called hell seem very scary, obviously, as a 10 year old. And I remember asking my dad, if I could go forward at a gospel meeting, and I did and repented of my sins accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, predominantly Savior. I really, for a long time did not understand the Lordship of Christ. But I prayed the sinners prayer, and I was baptized. And I, I was really told by the church, that I'd done everything that I needed to do to be a Christian, I had been born into a Christian family, we went to church, and I now had made my profession of faith, and I've been baptized. And so I am a Christian, you are a Christian. But I found myself at age 17. So in between that my parents divorced. I remember as a 12 year old actually being relieved when they divorce because the turmoil was over, for the most part on a daily basis, at least. But it did, unfortunately, split our family of six and in two halves. My mom and younger sister and brother went to one area about 30 miles away. And then I stayed with my father and older brother. And my older brother was 16, he got his license, he was gone all the time, my dad worked about 20 minutes away from where we lived and, and a in town, and would go to his friends and hang out with them after work. And so I lived really alone for two years, and then moved in with my mom and a friend invited me to a gospel meeting, she had gone on a missions trip in the US, and they were a gospel choir. And they were doing a finale concert and given sharing their testimonies about their mission trip. And she wanted me to be there. So I went. And I really saw this group of high school students. This was the beginning of my senior year in high school, and I saw this, this passion for God that I'd never really witnessed before. And it was very attractive. And I remember praying at the end of that service, God, if there's more to you than I realize, I want to know it. And wow, that he ever answered that prayer.

John Matarazzo:

So what was the catalyst for you to change going from living with your dad to living with your mom? And now I do want to know more about you kind of slip this in there. But there was two years that you were basically alone. Mm hmm. What did that look like? And how did you how did you get through that?

Kevin White:

Yeah, it was definitely a season of neglect. As a 12 and 13 year old, my father again, would, would stay in town, and I would come home from school, ride the bus and would be at home most days by myself and then eventually would put myself to bed. In the morning, my dad would be there, and he dropped me off at the school on his way back to work. And then the next day, I mean, that evening, it would happen again. So I, I taught myself how to cook. I taught myself how to do laundry. And I survived, but it was a very lonely time. I did go visit with my mom and sister and brother every other weekend. And so it wasn't like two solid years but for the most part, my living arrangements for two years were you know, latchkey type kid, being at home alone for the vast majority of that time. And then my mom remarried and that household stabilized and they had room for me and it really calls Unfortunately, some Distance between my dad he felt rejected whenever I went to him and said, Hey, I'd like to move in with mom. And but I did, it was really what was necessary. And then that I was 14 at that point. And I started, I bought a push mower and I started I we live close enough to neighbors in this area where my mom lived to, to, for me to start my first business and I did landscaping. And so it afforded me opportunities there that I did not have living out in the in the country by my by myself in those two years.

John Matarazzo:

So the opportunity that came in front of you where you got to go to this, this church revival meeting, and you saw something in them that changed everything for you.

Unknown:

Yes.

John Matarazzo:

So tell me about that. Is that where Jesus became the Lord of your life as well? How, where does that fit in there?

Kevin White:

So really, I remember by age 17, feeling a sense of lostness. Again, I'd been told that I'd done everything I needed to do to be a Christian. But I really realized that I had this major void of any sense of belonging, or feeling loved, and even a sense of peace. And I didn't really see the purpose for education, I've been begging my mom to let me drop out of high school, and she wouldn't allow me to, which obviously was a great blessing later, but I really lacked a mission for my life. And so by praying that prayer, God, if there's more to you than I realize, the Holy Spirit really came upon me. And I started reading the Bible, where until that moment, in my life, reading was a chore I was, I was a C average, at best, all the way through school. And I really never had any type of support at home or value for education. And so reading was not my friend, but all of a sudden, now I have a hunger to read the Bible. And the more I read, the more I began sensing, God's saying he had a plan for me, but I had no clue even how to sense the voice of God. And I went back to that church, where I prayed that prayer, and I started having these regular conversations with that pastor. And fortunately, he really took me under his wing and just began discipling me in how to hear the voice of God. And within six months, I was witnessing to the call into ministry. And this was great news for me, because I had no purpose. And I'm beginning to sense God, saying that he had a plan for my life. And it really brought a place of surrender. But also, the more I conformed to God's plan, the greater sense of peace and love these things that I really had no experience with, until that moment in my life, began to just come in where, as you know, God transformed me from the inside out. Yeah, his spirit.

John Matarazzo:

So what was that first theme that really caught your attention? Whenever, whenever you're reading the Bible, that you felt like, there is a purpose for my life,

Kevin White:

I look back. And I really, I mean, love was definitely a theme. Because I didn't have much sense of that. And through all of my parents, dysfunction and brokenness in their marriage, and then the, the void of that, and our home life and in our family. I mean, obviously, our our parents loved us, they just really lacked the skills to demonstrate that love to us and to show us that love. And they had so much conflict, that it preoccupied the opportunity for them to really love us. Well, unfortunately. So love was definitely a significant theme that really attracted me to God. And I saw that as I read the Gospels, and just really was exposed to the life of Christ, and how loving and kind he was to people, and all of the miracles and the various healings, and the ways in which he really brought the presence of God into people's lives. You know, at that time, 17 year old, I didn't really process that Almighty God is pursuing me. I felt really that I was finding him. Now I look back and I see the grace of God of how he was really pursuing me and revealing himself and in the midst of my brokenness.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah, that's really cool. You know, those themes, they just kind of resonate with our heart. You know, sometimes it's a particular Bible verse, but there's so much of a need in our own lives, that God has a way of meeting that and he's a generous God and he he can provide above and beyond what we need and You said that you wanted to drop out of school. But then you had this, this encounter with the Lord, this change of path, you felt like you had a purpose. And you didn't quit school. And you went on to become a pastor, tell me about that, and how you planted a church and all this stuff. Tell me about that part of your journey.

Kevin White:

Yeah, it was just really an amazing experience. Because even though my home life was warped, I really, and and we did go to church. throughout my childhood, I really didn't have much discipleship, it wasn't that I had had a ton of bad discipleship. I just had a major void of discipleship. And so those moments of really just sitting on my bed, instead of going out and partying with my friends, and just being in the word for hours upon hours, I really just began sensing God speaking to me that he had a plan for my life. And really, you know, now I know the verses like, without vision, the people perish. And I was I look back, and as a 17 year old, I was perishing. But the change really came and God becoming a vision and given me a vision and a calling a sense, a sense of calling in my life. And that has always been a steady conviction, this, this sense of calling in my life. And so I do look back, and I saw how very quickly I become tempted to jump into a lot of stereotype boxes of what it looked like to be a pastor, that pastor that was discipling, me was a major influence, very positive, and I wanted to be like him. And I wanted to be the lead pastor. And I wanted to be the evangelist because the they had a gospel meeting and an evangelist came in, and he was very influential. And I kept looking at trying to be in all of these boxes, and never really, I've really, for the longest time felt like the misfit in the kingdom of God. But I did go to college. And that was a miracle of God, our family was very poor. And I remember even witnessing to to our family, that God was calling me into the ministry, and I was going to go to college, my parents had never gone to college, my siblings, were not preparing for college. Here I am saying, I'm going to go to college. And I remember my dad really challenging me, how are you going to pay for college? Why are you thinking about college you don't, you can be a pastor without going to college. And I just kept, one of the things that I walked away from was this faith. And now it's carried me my whole life that were God guides, he provides it, I really look back. And that was because that was taken root in those periods of just reading the Bible on my bed on Friday night instead of going out and partying. And I saw that in the miracles of Jesus and the life of Christ that were God guides he provides. And I remember not even saying it like that. I didn't have that articulation, but I was just trying to share my dad, if God wants me to go to college, he'll take care of it. You don't have to worry about it. Because I really felt he felt stressed out that I was putting this pressure on him to start paying this bill that he wasn't prepared to pay. And very cool story about that. One of the first miracles I ever encountered. I go back after really identifying the call into the ministry. It's January of my senior year in high school ever. First time ever walking into a guidance counselor's office. I go in, and I share my testimony with her in five minutes. And I say God's called me into the ministry I want to prepare to go to college. She said, Young man, if you are not serious, get out of my office right now. If you're serious, I'll do anything I can to help you but don't waste my time. I said Ma'am, I am serious. I need to go to college, I need your help. She rearranged my schedule put me in all these college prep courses. And, and we didn't really have any other interaction beyond beyond that, because that was a last semester of my high school and I was to graduate the first of June, two weeks before graduation, I go into an award ceremony. And there is the the the usual discourse of all of these awards being given out to all the athletic jocks and all the bookworms, the brain scholars, and I was neither and so I was goofing off with my friends. I was a Christian, but I was still rowdy. And so I'm goofing off with my friends as a big High School. And we were all just talking, all of a sudden, they said, and this 15 $100 scholarship goes to Kevin Wyatt and I go up and I get this piece of paper and everybody's looking at me and and I'm like, Oh my goodness, that's awesome. Now Now I can pay at least this is going to help me toward toward college. And then they said this $3,000 scholarship goes to Kevin white. And by the end of that award ceremony, that little old lady guidance counselor without me knowing it had applied for me for all of these non academic scholarships, and she paid for my first year of college. Oh my gosh, and it was just a miracle to just the confirmation of God. You are on the right path. You're following me and I'm with you in them. And it really boosted my faith and my conviction of, of just the the righteousness of God in my life of him really moving mountains and parting the Red Sea and just doing the impossible in my life and college wasn't easy. It wasn't like it was a bed of roses. I worked my butt off and work study and a lot of different things. But I graduated, and my wife graduated with no debt. Crystal and yeah, yeah, and God just really moved. But by the time I graduated from college, I already had a part time job in youth ministry, I had a minor in youth ministry and monitor and music. And so they wanted me to serve them as a youth pastor, and I served there. And then they hired me full time. As soon as I graduated, I worked in student ministry for about six years and two different churches. And then a church, a bigger church called me to be their campus life pastor, which was students and all the way up to young married and everything. And then I saw this church planning project, and my heart just really leaped and I started talking to the leadership about it. And I transferred to Cary, North Carolina, and was basically airdrop, by this group of churches to start to start a church and, and carry me and my family and we started it from scratch, build it up to 100 people in three years, really went through all of the logistics of becoming an organized church and the form of government went over from the church planning founding pastor, and the group of churches over to the elder board or the they called them the Board of Administration in this group of churches. And within the next year, we went from a unanimous vote as as they incorporated the church to one year later dismissing me as the pastor, because I was, I was in bondage to the fear of failure, and I was a workaholic. And that year, I went from 60 hours to 70 hours to 80 hours, and really trying to do great things for God.

John Matarazzo:

And so you're in your late 20s. At this time, you're leading a church. And they're like, okay, we can't handle you anymore. We can't keep up or whatever. What was the reasoning? how

Kevin White:

did how did you feel? Well, unfortunately, there was some conversations even early on that were neutral, but but my defenses were all up, and I felt threatened. And so I handled it very badly. And I unfortunately, I ended up not meaning to, but I, I ended up communicating that I cared more about my appointment as the pastor than I did about the people that got put in front of me, oh, wow, it was really bad. You know, at that moment, I didn't, I was very angry at God, for letting that happen. But as I look back in is very much the grace of God because I, I was in the process of killing myself, and killing my marriage, and ruining my family all in the name of Christian gospel ministry. And it was just heading in the wrong direction. And I remember going to a meeting and one of the pastors in that meeting followed me out to my car afterwards. And he said, perhaps you haven't been fired, perhaps you've been set free. I didn't really understand and appreciate what that what he was saying. I look back now and just see how prophetic it was.

John Matarazzo:

Wow, perhaps you haven't been fired? Maybe you haven't been fired? Perhaps you've been set free that, that that'll preach that'll? that'll definitely preach there. Wow.

Kevin White:

Yeah. And it wasn't damnation against the people. It was really just prophetic against the move of God, and in my life, there. And God really used that man and a couple of other men in our church to really disciple me for the first time ever, in my identity in Christ. And I went from being in bondage to the fear of failure to really come into a place of freedom. After after a workshop on biblical forgiveness, and I really processed for the first time ever, God's forgiveness for me, and then me forgiving my dad, one of the things he did as a, as a small child was just screen, Kevin, you'll never amount to anything. So I'm 30 years old. I'm a gospel minister, and I'm in bondage to the fear of failure, really trying to amount to something. And I was I was making a big royal mess and in the process of it, and so I had to forgive my dad and I had to forgive myself for really a lot of shame and guilt in my own life, and then really release god of these false expectations of, of what had happened as far as being dismissed by this church. And, and I it really freed me then to understand my identity in Christ that I I'm totally secure, accepted and significant. And it has nothing to do with my merit. And I really, it was like a lightbulb moment when I realized, you mean, I never have to preach again, and he still loves me. I don't have to, I don't have to lead another person to Christ, and he still loves me, I don't have to tie then God's still gonna love me. And I ministry went from a half to to get to just like that. And then going over to India and witnessing the presence of God in a way that I'd never really paid attention to before that really changed my life. You know, I went to India, hoping to have some impact there on the people that I was going to serve. But God use the country of India to literally save my life to change me. And help me to realize on the plane ride back, I, I committed for the first time in my walk with the Lord that from that day forward, I was going to passionately pursue the presence of God first, and that changed.

John Matarazzo:

So you went from being fired as a pastor to was that a that you go to India for some sort of a mountaintop experience? Like, you know, people go to India to try to find themselves in that I don't think that's why you went there. How in the world did you get to India, really, a

Kevin White:

man stood up in our church, and he said, I've been invited to lead a pastors conference in India. I want everyone to pray. And I really want you to pray that God will call another man to go with me as a prayer partner. And when he said that I was sitting behind him, and I just really sense God, say you are to go. And that was after I was fired financially. We had, we had been married 10 years, we had three small kids, we were not in a position financially to think about an international mission trip. Once again, where God God's he provides I said, God, you want me to go, I'll go, you provide. I'll go and he provided and I went, hmm.

John Matarazzo:

So you were in the church that you were removed from?

Kevin White:

No, this was a, this was a different church. Yeah. friends invited us to go over and worship with them. And that was a saving refuge. Yes. of healing. And during that time, yeah,

John Matarazzo:

I'm sure. So tell me about this first trip. Because this is, this is now the first of many, many, many trips to India. And I'll let you say how many you've been on. But I my jaw dropped whenever you told me before we hit record here. So tell me about that first trip, and then how it is led to so much more?

Kevin White:

Yeah, 1998 went to India for the very first time. on that first trip, I prayed a prayer that I look back now. And I can see how significant that prayer was. And I just simply asked the Lord, to let me bring all three of my kids to see his work in India, because I saw with my own eyes, orphans, without toothbrushes or without sandals. But they exhibited such pure joy because they had the presence of God in their life. And they were being raised in the whole value of God's presence. We may not have dinner tonight, but we have, we have the presence of God. And and so I longed for that for my children. I was going back to Piquet's, pastors, kids that had all the Happy Meals of life, but had not really been discipled and valuing the presence of God, unfortunately. And so I was able to go back three years later, with our 11 year old son Zach, and then three years after that, where our 11 year old daughter Courtney at the time. Now, all three of our kids have gone to India multiple times. My wife, Shelley's gone to India multiple, multiple times. And January the seventh 2020. I came back from my 51st trip to India in the last 20 years, and 48 of those was in the last 10 years. And during that 10 year period of really leading global hope India as a founder and executive director, by the grace of God, we've been able to take 1000 people on short term mission trips over to India in the last 10 years.

John Matarazzo:

Wow. Wow. So 51 trips, that is amazing. That is incredible. You know, I've been a missionary to 15 different countries, I've been to several of those multiple times, but 51 times to the same country. You must really love the people there and the food and all this all this stuff that is you know, associated with India. Tell me about how God changed your heart for the people there.

Kevin White:

Hmm. I really looked back and I see that spiritually. It's like open heart surgery. We're on that first trip. God really opened up my heart and parted his love for the people of India into it because there's no earthly explanation for 51 times and all the flights and the spicy food and hot humidity and dust and everything else that comes with an international mission trip. But I have always longed to go. And it's really been the grace of God. And when I come back into the US multiple times, I've just laid in my bed in the middle of the night just weeping, to understand how I get to know Jesus. And yet there's a billion people who call India home that have limited to no access to even hear about Jesus. And the only reason that I would care about India is that God cares about India, For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son and that world includes every nation, and we see it in Revelation seven, every nation tribe and tongue worshipping before Christ, but where, what what is happening in 2020, and what will happen in 2021, for that to be fulfilled, and, and so, God, God just really loves the people of India, I have written in some off road situations in India, for hours upon hours just to go and share the gospel with a remote village. And it really makes you fully aware, the only reason that God has brought you 8000 miles away, to be shaken, rattled and rode on these mountain roads, is because he loves he so loves the people of India, the world,

John Matarazzo:

you know, my experience with foreign missions, the country that I've been to the most was is Peru. And the first time that I was there, I could honest, I was there for a month. And I can honestly say that other than the people that we were working with in the in the, in that particular church, everybody else looked the exact same to me, I couldn't tell you who one person was versus somebody else, they just all looked very monolithic or just monochromatic. It just was, there was no distinction there. And one night, I had this, it was our last week there. And I just felt like God wanted me to walk around the city in the ear up in the mountains a little bit. And as I was walking around the city, I just felt the presence of God come upon me and this weightiness on my heart for the people of Peru. And it was like a miracle that happened because I went from seeing just a blob of people. I just saw a blob of people to I saw individuals and I saw the uniqueness of every single person that I talked to after that it was like, all of a sudden, I could see color again. Did you have some sort of an experience like that? Or just What is that like to have that that heart for a nation?

Kevin White:

Well, I would identify a similar experience. So I had this hobby, I went back three times in the first 10 years, that was all I went to India, every three years, I went to India, and that was the first 10 years. And then we started worshipping at a large church, in our area in Raleigh, North Carolina. And they eventually called me to be on staff as they were going multi site. And that afforded me access to people that were interested in missions. And one time a year, became two teams a year, three teams a year, right at the very beginning of that I'm in a small church in Hyderabad, India preaching to about 30, church planning pastors. And I was sitting there in front of them, and they are poor. And they are humble. And they are bold, for the gospel, everything that I longed for, and I felt wealthy, but yet so poor, and I felt arrogant and broken. And, and so I sat there, and I was just humbled to be in their presence. I mean, it's like really being in the presence of God at that moment. And I really sense God's calling in that meeting, that these pastors needed love, they needed resources, they needed prayers, they needed support. And that's when, after three years of taking these teams, I began to really sense that God would have me serve global hope, India full time, and so I left the church and and started focusing in on this hobby, full time. And that's now since since that point, that I've taken 1000 people on missions. Wow. But yeah, it really became God's love for the pastors and for the church of India.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah. So tell me about global health India.

Kevin White:

Yeah. So it is a 5013 c nonprofit organization, that until 2020 had been recognized as a sending organization, and then international travel came to a screeching halt. And so we really see that during this year, we pivoted From being identified as a sending organization to being an access organization, we're sort of recreating this, this term for access organization of just really, we can't go to India, but we can still provide access for more people to hear about Jesus. And so our three primary pillars have always been to pray, give and go to empower people to pray for India to give to God's work in India and to go. And so until 2020 go has always been a high priority, because it has been influential in how people pray, and how how to do exactly. But we now after 10 years, we have some of our major donors that have never gone on a mission trip. And they're, they're in a place of life, one in particular, is in such fragile health, even in the US, it would probably be catastrophic for them to go over to India, but they are very called of God descend, and blessed financially to where they can be a major partner financially in the ministry of global hope, India. So we've, we had last year over 75 prayer meetings, virtually, with in just keeping people aware of the need to be praying, we were constantly sharing updates about the plight, as the shutdown happen, and factory workers were kicked out of their factories and housing and how they had to walk for miles, the National Transportation was shut down in India, and no one had homes and they needed to get back to their home village, and they were walking hundreds of miles to get back home. And people were dying along the way. And babies were being born along the way. And it was just incredible human suffering there in that time, just things like that. We had the red light district and India shut down. Business stopped. That was an answer to prayer. Wow, all of these commercial sex workers are starving. And we were able to share groceries with them in the name of Jesus. And so just letting people know about that, and just continuing to fundraise for projects like that COVID relief and groceries for the commercial sex workers. And just standing with our long term vetted partners and the churches in India. And now with like Christmas, there's a lot of Christmas outreach that's going on. Still in India, even in the midst of a pandemic, and just being able to resource the church as they make Christ known.

John Matarazzo:

So you've been able to still provide supplies and minister to people in India, even though you haven't been able to leave the United States. Yes. Tell me about some of these people that are on there that are boots on the ground in those areas?

Kevin White:

Yeah. So one of the one of our long term credit partners I met in 1998. And he is he goes by Raja pastor Raja. And so we've been co laborers in the ministry and in the Great Commission all these years. And so we have partners like that we we have a church planning partner in Chennai, India. He said, uh, he really felt God calling him about seven years ago to plant 20 churches by 2020. And we celebrated his 25th church just a few weeks ago. Oh, wow. And yeah, yeah. And so we we have partners all across North, south, east, west, mainland India, and then all the way up into northeast India, there in the Himalayan mountains, and the mountain range there, that borders China.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah, there's a lot of interesting stuff happening up there. And that in that region, you know, you're dealing with a very impoverished population in India. And God has put on your heart this message of audacious, audacious generosity. And how do you talk about that? And that's what your book is, that's the name of your book. How do you communicate a message about being generous to people that are

Kevin White:

poor. One of my first experiences was a leper colony that pastor Raja took us to two hours outside of Hyderabad. And I remember going there and as we were about to leave, they came begging, asking for Bibles. And I just saw the, the their passion for the Word of God and it really convicted me to return. And, and I remember pastor Raja and I talking through the logistics of getting them several boxes of Bibles, but really filling burden for them to have a shepherd and to have a local church. And, and so at that time, we began sponsoring a pastor. I asked pastor Raja is any of you pastors available to go and pastor would they be willing. And there was actually for several years, a pastor with leprosy that was able to go into the leper colony and be a pastor there. And for $60 a month, we sponsored his entire pastor it and then help build a home for him in a church and different things there in the leper colony. As we were sort of commissioning him as a pastor, my son, and I go over, my son leads worship, and I was preaching. And I remember him in one of the meetings really filling the Holy Spirit just just nagging me, I did not want to preach a message on tithing, I thought, you know, here we are in the world's poorest people on the planet. And God wants me to talk about tithing. And, and it really wasn't about financial, it was about surrender and honoring him. And I, I really, the message turned into a call of that, but then a prophetic word, that they were going to become a city on a hill, that they would be the light of God for the surrounding area, that this, this despised group of people would become the ambassadors of Almighty God. And that has that has happened over the years. And that was just one example of many, throughout these years of God just really convicting me, of that he is the cheerful giver, and has always been the cheerful giver, For God so loved that he gave me, I can't read the word now and not see the word give jumping off the pages everywhere I turn, but for the longest time, I felt skills over my eyes of really understanding that God is the giver. And that giving depends upon what he puts into our hands. And, and so now, by the grace of God, there's this book that I really believe will be influential for nations around the world, to really get a hold of this truth about giving, because unfortunately, research shows whenever it comes to giving the people of God run in the other direction. Yeah, and yeah, I am convinced and heaven, they're throwing parties, every time we have the opportunity to give because they know the blessings of God, that are reserved when we are following God and honoring him. And in the area of our giving.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah, you know, I love the illustration of, you know, somebody holds out their hand, and you put in $1 on their hand, and you tell them, you know, hold on hold on to that tight, and, you know, then they try to put another dollar in. And if you're holding on to that with a clenched fist, you're holding on to what you have, then then you can't have more. But if you're able to hold on to it with an open hand, then yeah, you're you're in control of that. But it's God's able to put on more and give you more than what you had before, as you're willing to not hold on to it so much that it controls you. As my eight years in missions, I had to live on the generosity of other people and living by faith, and I saw God provide in tremendous ways in my life. And then God challenged me to be generous for other people. I didn't make a whole lot of money living by living by living by faith and living on the support that it was coming in. And one, one time in particular, God told me to basically offer a scholarship for these two brothers to come to the United States from Colombia, to do our summer program where they would learn how to share their faith. And then they would go on an outreach with us. They were just tremendous translators as high schoolers. And I felt like God say, make them an offer that if they can get there, that you'll cover everything. And I didn't have that money. But I made that promise to them. And I told that to their dad as well. And I said, I promise you this. And when the time came, I had the money and those guys came. And but i i whenever I made that promise, it wasn't there. It was a total faith thing. But I was able to be generous and then have faith to be even more generous. And would you say that that is kind of a bit of the audacious generosity that you're talking about?

Kevin White:

Yeah, yeah. The whole word audacious is just that word of acknowledging the risk involved. It is risky to deny ourselves and to put other people first. Yeah, there was a moment in time that our family needed food. And we had come to a place with with that was out of our control. And this was after I'd gone to India, so I'm free in Christ. And yeah, there's no food and the refrigerator and the cabinets, and I'm before God. And this verse keeps pounding seek first the kingdom and is righteous And all these other things will be added. And I really felt convicted that it would be the will of God for me to care about other people that was without food, but did not know the presence of God. And I literally by the grace of God felt the Holy Spirit guiding me to pray, Father give us food that others might eat. That seemed like a incredible and consideration to our family's need for food. But we serve the God that lacks nothing. So absolutely, he can feed my family and a lot of other families. And I saw that in john six with the, with the miracle of the feeding of the multitude, the disciples ate, too. But had they taken the loaves and fish from Jesus and sat down and ate it, the story would have ended right there. But they had to go and distribute it. And then it said, When everyone had their field, they picked up 12 basketballs of leftovers, so they ate as well. But they had to follow the Lord and distributing it. Right, first and foremost, caring about the needs of others, realizing God's got their back, they're not going to go hungry, if as long as they're close to Jesus, he's gonna take care of them. And that's true for you and I today and 2021.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah, I love that in your book, you have these three sections you've got set God free, set yourself free, and then set others free. Can you explain that breakdown and how it's how it's applied in your life? Yeah,

Kevin White:

I really see that. God has given me a spirit of courage from the very first time after 17 years old. And I'm really reading before that, and being called into the ministry, the very first passage I ever preached out of was from Timothy where Paul says, God's not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. And I really look back and I see this theme of courage throughout my entire ministry. Because I've always sort of been a little bit insane as far as all these trips over to India and different things. But it's just been courage, you know, not willing to take no for an answer, really calling God to his word, and, and experiencing, in my perspective, some some very bold miracles along the way, by by His grace, and then the next thing, just being freedom. And I remember the day that I really saw that that verse For it is for freedom that Christ has set us free, and began to just really sense the Holy Spirit, just pointing out to me, that in the same way that we love, because he first loved us, he has set us free, so that we will set him free. And and I've always applied that principle to my worship, and to my response to the Lord, that the more I can give him, surrender, and, and the control of my life, the more things I have experienced that, that I don't believe I would have ever experienced had I maintain control. And and so it's by setting God free, I'm just talking about giving them access, to really be who he says he is, and his word, and to do what he says he will do. And that takes that takes surrender. And so setting, Godfrey and then setting yourself free, is really walking, walking through, like I talked about, that fear of the bondage of the fear of failure. And so in that section of the book, I really talk about working versus resting and the call now in Christ we're giving the the privilege and the gift of rest. And so have we have we flipped that switch from working to resting, and for the longest time, I really expect a God's reprimand instead of his reward. Now I expect his reward. And so that section on setting yourself free, is really all about expectations, and what are you expecting from God? And, and will will you let go of your natural tendencies and your fears, and your fear of failure and all of that and really, really be free to be the person that God has declared you to be? And then in setting others free, it's it's one of the things there's just biblical forgiveness. You know, we've been through the 2020 was a year of wars among racial divide, and especially in the US, but we saw it all you know, this advocacy for equality all around the world, and you cannot be racist and generous at the same time. You can't discriminate against one group of people but then go and be generous to another group of people. That's not the audacious generosity of God. And so coming to that place to where you set others free from being perceived as a burden to being perceived as a blessing, going back to john 316, For God so loved the world. And so if our world that we are willing to love is any different from the world of Jesus, then we've got some growing still to do. And when when our world matches the word of Jesus, then there's no one that we can hate. There's no one that we can discriminate against, there's no one that we can refuse to give to. And that's really when audacious generosity is now allowed to be demonstrated through our hands, when there's no more barriers.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah. So, Kevin, what is the, for somebody that feels like they have nothing? They can't really give? much? They can't, they feel like they can't be a generous person, because they just don't have it to give it? What's the first step that they can do?

Kevin White:

Well, I would say, fortunately, I know, I know, your intent and what you're getting at as far as a Christian, believing that, but but really, if we're thinking we have nothing, then then really, we need to go back and study our theology about the person of Jesus and just the reality of the presence of God, because we're talking about being imparted by the one who owns everything. And everything has been made by Him and for Him. And so yes, you're exactly right, it is possible to feel very limited, right, and our capacity to give, but God has no limit, and his capacity to give. And so really, audacious generosity is not about accounting for your bank account. It's about opening up your hands, and letting God flow through your hands, bringing heaven to earth. And then you take in as many people to heaven with you, when you when you go, and just committing up front. So, you know, there's been one of the thing verses, as I wrote was, was just that teaching, you have not because you ask not and when you ask you ask with ill motives, that you may use it on your own pleasures? Well, the opposite of that verse is absolutely as true as the warning that that verse gives to us. If you ask God, then you can expect to have what you are asking. But you ask God with the proper motives that you will use what he puts into your hands for the purposes of God. And there's no limit to what I mean, Matthew 711, if you be an evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who asked him. So it's the collide of those two verses that really opened up the door to audacious generosity. And you're right, we're all at times going to feel butt naked with nothing that we can give. But audacious generosity is just simply opening up your hands. And the last three words of the book is open your hands, that's good. And I just find freedom in that it's not about open your bank account, open your wallet. It's not about you know, one person being able to financially do more than the other. Every one of us, obviously, if we're physically limited, then, you know, we can misunderstand the point of open your hands, but spiritually, we can all live open handedly. Amen. That's something we can all do. Amen.

John Matarazzo:

And that that's so important. And I'm glad that you took that time to really explain that because as people were listening, I don't want people to feel that there's nothing that we have, you know, there's, there's always something and you said at the beginning that you felt like you were broken and in bondage. But God brought you to a place where you had freedom in Christ. And these these three different sections of your book talk about being free setting yourself resetting, Godfrey, and so that you can bless others. You know, normally I wait a little bit later, but this seems like the right time to ask this. You know, Kevin, would you just talk to somebody, maybe just pray for them right now that feels like I just can't do this. I don't understand this. I don't feel like I feel like there's that that thing missing in my life. Could you just minister just take a couple of minutes and just minister to that person and pray for them? Yeah,

Kevin White:

yeah. So I just want to speak, a word of encouragement that you can be a channel by which God moves his resources from heaven on to the earth. It doesn't depend upon your financial wealth, your education level, your your social status. It just depends upon your availability. The only thing God lacks is our availability. And it's not that that he can't move unless we are obedient. If we refuse, and we rebel against God, he can always use someone else. We're we're always replaceable. But he has chosen to love us. He's chosen to invite us and to his work. And I just want to pray that over you, Heavenly Father, I just want to speak to every person in the audience and pray over them, that they'll be given grace to just see the vision of them being a pipeline, nothing more than that, just a simple, a simple channel by which you move your resources from heaven, onto Earth, that you extend your presence into the lives of other people, and that we would not be a dam, we would not know a spirit of greed, but that we would know a spirit of generosity, the same characteristic of Almighty God would just be unleashed into every member of the audience now, and those still to come listening in to this episode, in the years ahead, Father, that your grace would just flow that they would experience this courage and this freedom to to live with audacious generosity is really just setting you free to be who you who you are. We love you and praise you in Jesus name. Amen.

John Matarazzo:

Amen. Thank you for that, Kevin, I really appreciate that. I know that my listeners do as well. You know, the theme of this podcast is, you know, along the way, and how Jesus has been walking with us, but we weren't aware in that moment, just like the disciples on the road to omegas until they sat down at the table, and Jesus bless the food and broke the bread, and then poof, he was gone. And then they turned to each other. And then Luke 24, verse 32, they turned to each other and said, weren't our hearts burning within us along the way, as he was revealing the scriptures to us? So Kevin, what is a moment in your life that you can look back now? And you can say, you know what, I didn't feel Jesus right, then I didn't realize it. But I look back, and I realized that he really was there.

Unknown:

Mm hmm. Yeah.

Kevin White:

We talked about it in the episode. Yeah. But that moment of being dismissed by that church, that I had bled and sweated and teared, for for three years. And really, in that moment, I felt so betrayed, it was like, just that God had turned his face, and looked away, as that vote was taken. And as as the result came in, that I was being dismissed, I had been fired from from that, from that place of ministry. I look back after that, and I saw that God was right there. And he was working in spite of me, in spite of the brokenness in my life, and, and he would really was answering the prayers that I was pouring my heart out to him, for the peace of God and for the presence of God, the power of God. But But I, I was really ignorant to the value of the presence of God. And thank God, you know, unfortunately, it took a trip all the way 8000 miles away, to really for that to come full circle, and, and really have have that kind of Revelation. But thank God that that he was allowing me to pray then, in the midst of a sense of betrayal, prayer that was being answered, and the healing that came the freedom that came that we obviously discussed on the episode. Yeah, he was there the whole time.

John Matarazzo:

Yeah. You know, it's, it's great that we can know that God never leaves us or never forsakes us. But sometimes we wish that we could just kind of be more aware of it in that moment. And, you know, I love asking this question, Kevin, if you could go back in time, and visit maybe that 12 or 13 year old version of yourself, and sit down with yourself and give that younger version of yourself a little piece of advice, or just some wisdom? What age would you visit? And what would you tell yourself?

Kevin White:

Great question. And I really appreciate the opportunity to answer this. And I feel like by the grace of God, I've been able to see a window into the answer, and that is just discipling my own children to hear God speak. And I would say to 12 year old Kevin, that God is an ever present help and time of need. And that really his gift to us is the is his own presence. They'll never be a car or an airplane, any material possession that will ever out value the presence of God in our life. And so the experience of that presence is really when we can begin to hear him speak. speak words of love and words of affirmation and words of guidance and words of correction and and rebuke and restoration and reconciliation and on and on and on, but just really ministering to that 12 year old Kevin, that our God absolutely speaks if we're if we're willing to, to give him freedom to impress upon us from the Holy Spirit within what his guidance is his wisdom for us,

John Matarazzo:

how do you think that 12 year old Kevin would have responded to that?

Kevin White:

Well, knowing that broken place in my life and the period of loneliness, I think I would have really received that with worship and with praise. I, you know, I hope I would at least

John Matarazzo:

Yeah, yeah, I think we all hope that we would respond differently, or we respond with an open heart and mind. You know, Kevin, it's been an honor to have you on this program and to talk about your life and the audacious generosity, how to experience receive and give more than you ever thought possible. How do people get ahold of you, Kevin? Because I don't want I don't want people to say, Oh, that was great that I listened to it. But now I gotta do something about it. How can people find you?

Unknown:

Yeah,

Kevin White:

we've tried to make it as easy as possible. I have a website, Kevin white.us. Obviously, the book is available in paperback, hardback ebook, and audio book around the world, every store most likely a search for and it'll be right there.

John Matarazzo:

And what kind of things can we find on your website.

Kevin White:

So you will find my blog, you'll find two podcasts shows that I host, you'll find books. They're starting with audacious generosity, but a few others that are coming out in 2021. accomplishments to audacious generosity. You'll also find the charities that I talked about in the book, I'm still the Founder and Executive Director of Global hope, India. And so there's a direct link right there. But then you also find what I call the generosity award project, of really awarding unsung heroes from around the world, gifts of generosity, small gifts to just so into their ministry. And so they tell their story on the generosity award.com and the the viewers, the visitors to the site, I'll vote, and then based upon that, we're able to share gifts of generosity to their ministries, and fulfilling the Great Commission around the world. That's

John Matarazzo:

really cool. So make sure you check out Kevin white.us. And I'll be putting links to all this stuff in the show notes, as always. So Kevin, thank you so much for just allowing me to have a glimpse into your life and to join you along your way. Thank

Kevin White:

you, privileges all mine.

John Matarazzo:

I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Kevin white, he had a quote that I want to replay for you about audacious generosity,

Kevin White:

going back to john 316, For God so loved the world. And so if our world that we are willing to love is any different from the world of Jesus, then we've got some growing still to do. And when when our world matches the word of Jesus, then there's no one that we can hate. There's no one that we can discriminate against, there's no one that we can refuse to give to. And that's really when audacious generosity is now allowed to be demonstrated through our hands. When there's no more barriers we need to make our world

John Matarazzo:

match the world of Jesus, there is no one that we can hate, discriminate against or refuse to give to. So let's take down the barriers in our lives so that we can be the hands and feet of Jesus to this world. I'll be providing a link to Kevin's book, website and podcast in the show notes. Thank you for listening to along the way. If you've enjoyed joining me along my way, please share this with a friend who you think will be encouraged by this podcast. Also, please rate and review along the way on iTunes. That helps more people discover along the way. And subscribe to this podcast wherever you're listening. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram and on my website along the way dot media. I hope that you've enjoyed this part of my journey. And may you realize when Jesus is walking with you along your way. Along the way is honored to be part of the charisma Podcast Network. You can find tons of spirit filled content from their vast catalogue of podcasts, including my Monday through Friday news stories for the charisma news podcast. Go to CPN shows.com to see the full list and latest episodes