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The 700 Club

Enduring Hard Lessons and Discovering a Blessing for Life

Amy Reid - 700 Club Producer

28-year-old Wil Burke is a go-getter! In 2017, he started his own business selling electronics.

“I've always kind of had this, like, entrepreneurial itch. I actually got network connections with people who would buy electronics stateside and ship them internationally.”

As a pastor’s kid, Wil knew he should be tithing, but the more he earned, the harder it became to tithe.

“My priorities started slipping a little bit. I started not going to church as much, got a fancy apartment I couldn’t really afford. I stopped, you know, tithing. I wasn't reading my Bible.”

Then, in late 2018, Wil took out a loan to invest in a business deal with his main supplier. The deal went bad and Wil was left thousands of dollars in debt.

“It was this really dark time in my life. I had to break the lease on my apartment, move back in with my parents. That's not what you want to do when you're 27. I was pretty, pretty discouraged.”

Wil started doing freelance web design and decided to begin tithing from his small income.  

“I really, like, put my nose to the grindstone. I was consistent with my tithing. I started making money again. And I'm, like, ‘This is great!’”

Plus, his former business associate returned his investment.

"I took it as like a confirmation of, like, okay, like, ‘I've taken care of you, I've cleaned up after your mess.’”  

Wil spent the rest of 2019 working to pay-off debt and saving to attend grad school. He took his first course online that fall and made plans to relocate to become a full-time student.

"I was high stepping into 2020, man. I'm like, ‘This is it! This is my year.’”

Then, the night before the move, Wil got sick.

“I had contracted Covid, and for the next ten days my fever went to, like, 103, 104. I was in constant pain, coughing.”

While he was recovering, Wil’s bank account was hacked.

“I couldn't sleep at night. I'm in constant pain. I can't leave. I'm not talking to God. I was done. I was mad.”

Wil also stopped tithing but there was one bright spot. During that time, Wil’s mom started turning on The 700 Club each morning.

“It was such an encouragement and I came to really enjoy it. It was a really healing experience for me.”

Wil decided to start giving again and became a CBN Partner.

“Seeing all the things that CBN does through Operation Blessing, Orphan's Promise. Things that are close to my heart, sustainable solutions for impoverished communities. What you're giving actually goes to these incredible causes. I was just, like, I've got to be a part of this.”

Over the next few months, Wil’s bank recouped 75 percent of his money. Wil continued rebuilding his business while working on his degree online. Since then, he’s recovered both physically and financially.

“My business has exploded. I actually hired my first employee recently. I'm in a better position than I was before I (quote marks w/fingers) "knew" what I was doing, and so it's impossible for me to not be grateful.”

Now, Wil looks forward to the future. He also encourages others to trust God with their tithes.

“You're giving that in anticipation that the Lord's gonna multiply that in ways that you don't understand. God'll do it for you, too. You just have to trust in Him.”

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