Talen Photo Web

When Giving Gets Real

Ed and Shirley Talen and the Stewards Fund

When Ed Talen first tithed as a 13-year-old paperboy, it had nothing to do with faith. “My parents told me I had to,” he recalls.

But that lesson of generosity took root in his heart and life over the years, through growing trust in God’s provision.

“As time went along, that giving became real,” he says, “because I found out God honors that.”

It was a lesson that continued into his marriage with Shirley, and into their roles as parents.

“In our married life, we went through some very difficult, challenging times,” Ed remembers. “But we still believed that all we had was God's, and that we should return part of it to Him.”

As their children grew, enrolling them in Ontario Christian Schools was an easy decision for Ed and Shirley.

“What you teach your kids when they’re young stays with them,” he says. “And if that teaching is based on Scripture? It stays with them for life.”

Ed and Shirley remember a time when their children’s school asked for a financial commitment, and the Lord prompted their hearts to give. Believing in the importance of Christian education, they took a leap of faith.

“We prayed about it, and we made a commitment not knowing where the money would come from,” recalls Ed. “Every time we made a commitment, something would occur, and we’d get just the amount.”

This became the pattern for the Talens, not only committing their financial support to the school, but also their lives to furthering Kingdom causes. They saw the Lord provide, and they wanted to do more.

“When I sold our business, we came up with a lump sum, and we wanted to be a part of what God was doing with it,” says Ed. “But we didn’t want to give it away that day.” They wanted to take their time to determine how best to direct their funds.

It was then that Ed and Shirley established a Stewards Fund, Barnabas Foundation’s donor-advised fund, to grow their charitable giving.

“It’s helpful in providing us time to think, assess and pray about where the gifts should go,” says Ed. “It provides the flexibility to meet an unexpected need and the consistency of regular gifts. We are very thankful for the support in our giving process through the Stewards Fund.”

The Talens provide faithful support to a variety of causes, knowing that when the Lord prompts them to give, He’ll also provide the means.

It’s a lesson of faith and generosity they’ve learned over a lifetime.

To learn more about our Stewards Fund and other giving options, contact Barnabas Foundation at 1.888.448.3040 or info@BarnabasFoundation.com.