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Find Us Faithful

Article Type: Life Stories

The Savvy Giving of Jim and Pat Van Drunen for Kingdom Impact

“We planned our wedding in three weeks once Jim was drafted,” says Pat Van Drunen, recalling the whirlwind beginning of her marriage to husband, Jim. They met two weeks prior to their graduation from Michigan State University, Pat with a degree in nursing and Jim in economics. They were married eight months later.

The Van Drunens began their life together stationed with the U.S. Army at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Jim served two years in the Finance Corps as the assistant to the Comptroller of the Army, and Pat became head nurse at the base hospital, quickly rising to the rank of Captain.

Central to their marriage was a shared commitment to serve and honor the Lord in every facet of their lives, including with their finances.

“One of the first things we did was set up a separate checking account for our ‘first fruits,’” recalls Pat. “We called it the J&P Kingdom Account,” adds Jim.

More than four decades later, this commitment remains unwavering – though their giving methods have evolved as their resources have grown. Upon returning home from the military, Jim took over ownership of a family lumber business. Since then, he has been owner or partner in multiple companies, and is currently involved in managing various assets.

“It’s imperative for Christian donors to give smart,” explains Jim. For the Van Drunens, this has entailed the tax-wise giving of land through Barnabas Foundation’s Stewards Fund (donor-advised fund), and also IRA gifts to their chosen Kingdom causes.

But Jim and Pat’s faith-driven generosity goes beyond dollars and cents.

“I don’t believe monetary giving is the fulfillment or entirety of what God expects of us,” says Jim. “I think He expects us to give the most precious thing we have, and that’s our time.”

Jim frequently lends his expertise in finance and administration to a number of Christian nonprofits. Both Jim and Pat regularly travel to Myanmar where Pat teaches classes on community health to women who travel from very remote villages. Jim also focuses his time on financial and administrative duties at the Biblical Reformed Seminary which he and Pat both helped start 22 years ago.

With their eyes fixed on eternity, Jim and Pat have established an estate plan to ensure their God-given resources continue to be used wisely well beyond their lifetimes.

“Decisions have to be made by the people responsible for the assets that we’ve been blessed with,” explains Jim. “I don’t think those decisions are deferrable. It’s our responsibility, our covenantal duty. So we’ve counseled our children and put a framework in place to ensure that assets continue to be stewarded properly and well when we meet the Lord.”

“I think that’s the biggest thing for both of us,” concludes Pat. “This is not our money or our property. It’s the Lord’s. We’re just taking care of it right now, and we want to be faithful.”

To learn more about giving through your will and other smart and powerful ways to give, contact Barnabas Foundation at 1.888.448.3040 or info@BarnabasFoundation.com.