Photo by Lindley O'Brien
Help Others Grow

A Generous CFO who is Changing the World

Liz Hartwell November 21, 2016

Marilyn is quietly changing the world.

When you first meet Marilyn, you notice she is interested in people. She is a learner at heart. Marilyn connects people and deeply loves the Lord.

Although she is quiet and unassuming, Marilyn is also the CFO of a family-run corporation in Southeast Asia. She and her family got involved in Cru, launched a movement of generosity in their country and are influencing the world.

Marilyn was first captivated by Cru's vision at an event in Australia. She went along with her son and his wife in 2003. While there, they heard from a couple who owns a small business in Minnesota who had invested a huge sum of money in kingdom work. After hearing the couple’s story, Marilyn and her family decided to make a commitment to give a similar amount to advance the Great Commission in their country. They wanted to be generous and to see their country changed for Christ.

When they returned to their country in Southeast Asia, they gathered fellow businessmen and women together to join them in funding Cru in their country. So, they connected with friends and business people they knew who were also Christians. Through relationships and influence God had already given her, Marilyn was able to gather many friends in her country to discuss giving to God’s kingdom.

Soon, they grew to a core group of 6, with 60 other people involved. Through their efforts, the work of Cru in their country has become completely locally funded.

For some time, they thought their main contribution was to invest their money in kingdom work. Then one day, Marilyn said to Cru staff members, “I want you to train us in how to do evangelism. Shame on you that you’ve not given us training.” Immediately after being trained, Marilyn shared Christ with some of her friends and one became a believer.

As they saw God at work, Marilyn and her family took it even further, creating a conference that has served as a catalyst for a global movement of generosity. Working with Cru staff members from many other countries, they invited businessmen and women from around the region.

At the conference, they explained that their vision was to “ignite movements of generous life partners across the world.” Eighty-six delegates came from across Southeast Asia and even as far away as Kenya. They cast vision to business leaders so they could start movements in their countries.

Within two months, delegates from Cambodia, Kenya, Zambia and other countries held their first follow-up meetings in their own countries, and invited family and peers to join together with them.

God is using Marilyn, a godly and influential businesswoman, to help change the world. Through her involvement, which started in Australia, a movement of generosity began in her country. The partnership has resulted not just in funding the work of Cru in her country, but also is igniting a global movement of generosity as ministry partners get excited to invest in eternity.

Although you may not have the resources or influence that Marilyn does, God has given you influence and resources for a reason. Ask God to translate that to expose people to the gospel. Pray toward that. Whether you give $100 or $1 million, your investment can help fulfill the Great Commission.

Consider asking the same questions that the delegates at the conference asked:

  • How can we create a movement of generosity in our country (or community)?

  • Who do we know that could be a part of this?

  • What are projects that need funding?

To get started on projects within Cru that need funding, consider investing in:


See also:


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Marilyn’s name has been changed for security reasons.

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