On a weekend Journey of Generosity, God can change everything
Bruce Kusmin didn’t grow up in a Christian home. Raised Jewish, he married his wife Carolyn (who was raised Catholic), and the two jumped into their life together without a strong commitment to either religion. Soon, they were busy building a business, Mariner Wealth Advisors, and raising a family. Faith was not a priority.
But God had plans for Bruce and Carolyn. Through the business world, God placed someone in Bruce’s path who had recently come to know Christ. The two men formed a friendship that ultimately led Bruce to a personal relationship with the Lord. This unexpected relationship was the spark that ignited Bruce’s generosity journey with NCF.
When God’s plan prevails
To Bruce, being generous meant bidding on auction items at a charity event. The couple didn’t plan their giving. And when they did give, it was always prompted by Carolyn and typically attached to receiving something in return for the donation, like tickets to sporting events. As Bruce met and surrounded himself with more believers, he began learning about what it meant to be a steward of all God had given him.
Right around this time, friends of Bruce and Carolyn started The Global Orphan Project, an organization dedicated to housing and feeding orphaned and abandoned children. They began supporting that organization with their time and finances in a new and substantial way.
“My wife was always generous; she now had a willing partner,” Bruce says.
A weekend JOG changed everything
Through a newfound community of givers, Bruce and Carolyn met their great friends, Rod and Shelly. Rod and Shelly were veterans of biblical stewardship, and the couples began engaging in candid conversations about radical generosity.
In October 2019, Rod and Shelly invited the Kusmins to attend a Journey of Generosity (JOG). Rod and Shelly hosted the retreat, and the National Christian Foundation provided the facilitator. A JOG is a solicitation-free gathering with like-minded people looking to maximize their impact and live life the full life Jesus promises.
“What was most impactful for me was the time we were given as a couple to discuss the JOG content and what we heard from other attendees,” Bruce shares. “It changed the way we looked at giving. We’d always had a heart to give to organizations we were personally involved with, and through the JOG, we learned how to implement what we’d been thinking about for years.”
From passive giving to radical generosity
The Kusmin’s already had a Giving Fund (a donor-advised Fund – or DAF – at NCF) that they treated pretty passively. Their JOG experience accelerated the idea of considering their Fund like a fourth child. They now contribute yearly to a Giving Fund set up for each of their children to encourage a legacy of generosity. Their succession plan also designates 25 percent of their wealth to go directly toward their Fund and predetermined organizations.
Today, Bruce and Carolyn are diligent about sticking to a financial finish line and giving the rest back to God in ways he places on their hearts. They love Impact Investing and send grants to charities from their Fund to make a tangible difference for the causes they love.
Now, Bruce is a member of the board of directors of the Global Orphan Project. He has made more than 25 trips with his family to Haiti as an ambassador. He also gives his time and finances to several other organizations within his community.
Journeying together in generosity
Bruce is passionate about walking with others toward biblical generosity. “Because of my professional financial-planning background, it’s easy for me to talk money and share my personal story with people,” Bruce says. “So many people want to be charitable but don’t understand what that could look like or are fearful that it requires changing their lifestyle. I want to help them understand that being generous doesn’t take away from your life; it improves it.”
“Attending the JOG with NCF changed everything for us,” Bruce says. “We now have people in our lives who hold us accountable for stewarding all God has given us. Without that accountability, it’s easy to fall back into selfishness.”
Interested in attending a JOG? Get in touch to see when we are gathering next or go here to learn more and join an online JOG.