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Thursday
Jan302014

Benjamin Hutcherson: A Good Steward

Benjamin Hutcherson, wise steward, college graduate, artist and CBC-Chicago student.
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Just out of high school, Benjamin Hutcherson was unsure of his future. He made the wise decision to move forward with his college education as inexpensively as possible. Intent on managing his limited finances well, he chose to attend a small community college near his home, just south of Chicago. At age 20, during his two years at South Suburban College, he came across Andrew's Gospel Truth program on television. Benjamin happened to tune in to an episode mid-way through Andrew's teaching on Financial Stewardship—a series that would radically change Benjamin's future.

Although Benjamin had stumbled across The Gospel Truth quite by accident, he recognized Andrew from his childhood. Benjamin's dad, Bruce, would often listen to Andrew, and sometimes he would have the whole family (Benjamin has five brothers and a sister) sit down Benjamin with his father, Bruce, and his mother, Thomesa, during his time at the community college.
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to listen to a particularly impactful part of a message. Benjamin said, "I had a lot of respect for Andrew. The primary thing I remember learning from him back then was the importance of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. It was in May 2011 that I began actively listening to Andrew’s teachings on my own."

Benjamin was on board with being a good steward of finances, but Andrew's teaching brought something new to Benjamin's attention. He said, "What really impacted me from Andrew’s Financial Stewardship teaching was when he taught from the parable of the unjust steward in Luke 16. I realized that the primary and highest use of my finances is not for my physical necessities, Benjamin (far right) and some of his family. (Click to enlarge)but rather, to make an eternal difference in the lives of other people by sowing into the Kingdom of God."

When he was attending the community college, Benjamin paid for school out of pocket. While his wages, working for a large office supply store weren't high, he was able to tithe as well as cover his college costs. He knew that if he wanted to earn a four-year degree, he would have to transfer to a larger full-time college or university, and he knew his expenses would be significantly higher. As he considered what to do, he continued to listen to Andrew's teachings. He listened to the Financial Stewardship series repeatedly and meditated on the principles he was learning. He also studied Andrew's, How to Receive God's Best,Spirit, Soul & Body, and The Lord met Benjamin's needs even when Benjamin came up short on his end. During his last semester, his school costs were higher, and he actually worked less because of travel. Here he celebrates his 22nd birthday. (Click to enlarge)You've Already Got It.

After deciding to continue his education, Benjamin prayed about what school to attend and how to cover his expenses. Although he could have gotten some financial assistance in the form of college loans, both through the school and through his parents, he chose not to borrow any money. Having seen how so many college students had racked up mountains of debt, he decided that he did not want to take out a student loan or allow his parents to get one for him. "All of those specific teachings were foundational in my decision to go to college debt free. I continued to meditate on those principles," Benjamin said. "I just considered financial debt as bondage and as a curse as described in Deuteronomy 28. I believed that the borrower is servant to the lender as it says in Proverbs 22:7. I didn’t want that for me or my family," he said.

Benjamin pursued his degree in Film & Video with a focus on traditional animation. This is a Character Visualization project from 2012.
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Benjamin's passion for art, drawing and animation to be precise, led him to attend Columbia College in Chicago. His tuition costs leapt from $1,600 per year to $10,000 per semester, plus books, materials and a $150 per month Metra train ticket—a staggering increase. "I did not have a clue as to how I was going to pay for Columbia. So, I registered without knowing how I was going to receive the money. I resolved that either God would pay for it or I would just drop out, simple as that," Benjamin recalled frankly.

Benjamin mediated on the Word and took comfort in the Scriptures about Abraham, and how he simply believed God. "I told myself, 'I don’t care what my bank account says, what my Benjamin and his mother Thomesa, after graduation from Columbia College in Chicago...debt free.
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college advisors say, what my parents say, or what anybody else has to say. I’m going to trust God, and He’s going to provide for me.'"

Although Benjamin refused to borrow money, he did apply for several scholarships, but he never received any of the funding. He said that one of the things Andrew's teaching inspired him to do was give freely. He had always tithed, but had never really sowed into offerings or special projects. Benjamin learned that even though giving may seem like you are moving away from your financial goals, it actually works the opposite way—it moves you closer to your goals. "What liberated me to give so radically was this: Since with my personal money alone, I could never afford to pay to go to college, I would just give as much as I pleased because even if I saved it Today Bruce, Thomesa, Benjamin and his brother Rueben are all studying at CBC-Chicago. (Click to enlarge)all, it would never be enough anyway." Benjamin gave extra to his church and to other ministries, tsunami relief organizations, and he became one of Andrew's Foundation Builders for the new CBC-Colorado campus. Sometimes Benjamin would give away half his paycheck. With regard to his Foundation Builder partnership he said, "I figured that since I wanted to go to school, I should sow a financial seed that would help other people go."

Benjamin learned to trust God and rest in Him. He gave freely, and he received freely. Each semester began the same way; Benjamin would start classes without any idea where his funds would come from, and the provision would come. Even for his last semester, during Benjamin and his brother Rueben, enjoying the 2013 Christmas party at CBC-Chicago. (Click to enlarge)which he incurred higher than normal tuition and book fees, and he actually worked less hours at his job, the provision still came. "When I look back, I think to myself, 'How in the world did I manage to do that every month?' It was an absolute miracle because whenever I try to figure it out mathematically it doesn’t make sense. So I just stop trying to figure it out," Benjamin said.

Benjamin not only earned his degree in Film & Video with a concentration in traditional animation, but he did it with straight A’s and perfect attendance, and he graduated with honors. He did it all debt free!

The summer after he graduated, having not heard back from the places to which he applied for work, Benjamin laid his cards on the table before God and declared that he was willing to put his animation dreams on hold, to do whatever God wanted him to do. To his surprise, God used Andrew's program again to help guide Benjamin. After Benjamin's declaration, he came across Andrew's, How to Find, Follow, and Fulfill God’s Will series on the Gospel Truth. It was the first time Benjamin had ever heard the teaching, and a short time later, he knew that going to Charis Bible College in Chicago was God’s next step for him.

Today Benjamin, his brother Rueben, his mother Thomesa and his dad, Bruce, all attend CBC-Chicago. And of course, Benjamin is attending debt free.

Reader Comments (10)

What an inspiration!! Well Done Benjamin :)

January 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAngie

Benjamin, You are a true inspiration. I am so happy to have the opportunity to know you and be within your range of influence. You exude peace and wisdom. You are already a man that God is using mightily. What a wonderful testimony for hearing, following and trusting God. Thank you for sharing how God has provided for you and led you to where He wants you to be. I can't wait to see what He has for you as you grow even more under His guidance. You are Blessed.

February 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Buishas

Truly Benjamin you are an awesome young man of God ! I could never say enough good things about this family as they attend school together ,worship together, and are such a delight to be around. I have been very blessed by each one of you .God Bless you Mom and Dad for raising such wonderful young men.

February 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarolynn Markiewicz

Hi Benjamin, what a blessing this testimony was to me. Me and my family are planning on attending to CBC this fall, we are led by God and this was a real encouragement to me as we are to face some financial difficulties. But we know that God has promised us to provide for us and it is awesome to see how God works. Thank you Jesus!
You are blessed!

February 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

Hello Benjamin,what a BLESSED testimony. How great it is to your strong faith in our only provider, God. Thank you for sharing how you happened to tune into the anointed teachings of Andrew Wommacks Ministry. May God continue to BLESS you and your family.

PS: My wife Melissa and I are taking our first classes, (on line), from Charis Bible Colledge-Colorado. We live in Central New York. What a joy!!!

"Jesus is Lord"

May 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBob McGregor

This just helped me! I moved to Chicago in April to attend Joseph Business School ( www.jbs.edu ). I'm almost finished with the course at JBS, and was debating on whether or not I would continue with my plans to attend Columbia College to finish my degree in Fashion Design. I have an associates degree from a community college too. I do not have any school debt from any of the colleges I've attended. Reading this reassured me! If God paid my tuition before he can do it again! Thank you for sharing this. I came across this article on Facebook.

October 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCrissy

I Am Inspired By This Awesome Testimony. Benjamin, Thank You For Sharing This With Us. I Am A Lover Of Andrew's Teaching But Have Limited Access Them.

October 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVICTOR PROSPER IBRAHIM

This testimony is truly helpful to us in our journey to go and study at Charis Bible College - Colorado. Thank you for such an example of living by faith!!

November 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNellie du Toit

Benjamin, thank you so much for sharing your story! I'm 16, and have started college classes. Because I'm underage, my school district pays for the majority of my classes at the moment. However, I've worried about how I'm gonna pay for "real" college AND Bible college on my own. God's now given me three things to stand on:
1) The Word says ALL my needs are met according to His riches and glory. That settles it right there. I won't worry about finances because the Word says it's 100% a non-issue in my life.
2) God didn't ask me to pay for college, and He certainly didn't ask me to pay for Bible college--He asked me to believe for it!
3) Your testimony--I'm not crazy! If you can stand on the Word and receive from our Father the funds for college (while supporting the kingdom) I can too!! (And so can anyone reading this!)

Thanks for the encouragement. God bless you, brother!

November 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

am encouraged by your experience Benjamin , thanks for sharing this. I will take these materials more seriously for i believe that the word of God is surely alive.

July 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Muyamba

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