The Kingdom Investor

60 - Opening Our Hearts and Home to Adoption | Ravonne John

March 28, 2023 Daniel White Episode 60
The Kingdom Investor
60 - Opening Our Hearts and Home to Adoption | Ravonne John
Show Notes Transcript

Adoption is a beautiful way of showing generosity and compassion toward those in need. By opening our hearts and homes to adoption, we are living out God's call to care for each other and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Adoption can be a challenging journey, but the rewards of providing a loving home and family to a child in need are immeasurable.

In this episode, we sit down with Ravonne John, a real estate investor/agent, wife, and mother of two boys. She shares their journey of welcoming their son through adoption and encourages others to be open to different possibilities in life. She also talks about generosity, tithing, and offering and how we can invest toward the Kingdom. Hear the inspiring story of a life dedicated to being faithful, doing the right thing, and giving back to others. 

Key Points From This Episode: 

  • Ravonne shares her background and personal story.
  • How did Ravonne and her husband, Matt, get into real estate investing?
  • Ravonne talks about their successful real estate deals and how blessed and answered their prayers in miraculous ways.
  • Ravonne shares their adoption story.
  • Ravonne reflects on the lessons learned from the adoption experience and how adoption is tied to generosity.
  • How would Ravonne want to be remembered?
  • Ravonne differentiates tithing from offering and how we can invest toward the kingdom. 
  • Ravonne highlights the importance of being faithful, doing the right thing, and sharing one's blessings.
  • Ravonne answers the mentor-minute questions.


“We've been adopted into the family of God; that's how it all works together.”

“Adoption is an opportunity for generosity. It opens up your mind and your heart to love somebody that you would never have had the opportunity to love before.”

“We are not meant to be apart. The Lord wants us to be elevated and to be living a full life and I think God can do that in a person's life through adoption.” 

“If you're in real estate, expect to evaluate 100 deals. And then once you get to number 101, you can go ahead and purchase and then do another 100, and you'll know that you're on the right path.”

“Never forget what it's like to be the little guy.”

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Urban Cottage Realty

Ravonne John on LinkedIn


Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

As Long As We Both Shall Live: Experience the Marriage You've Always Wanted by Dr. Gary Smalley, Ted Cunningham 

The Kingdom Investor Podcast on LinkedIn

About Ravonne John

Ravonne John is a real estate investor serving the Northwest Arkansas area with Urban Cottage Realty. She has experience with new builds, land purchases, foreclosures, and residential and commercial rentals. Ravonne is a wife and mom to two boys. As an adoptive parent and previous foster mom, she is an advocate for adoption and foster care.



ANNOUNCER: Imagine taking your generosity to the next level, impacting more lives, and leaving a godly legacy for generations to come. Get ideas and strategies to do just that when you listen to these personal stories from high-level Kingdom champions.

The Kingdom Investor Podcast showcases business leaders who have moved from success to significance, sharing how they use worldly wealth for kingdom impact. Discover how they grew in generosity, impacted more lives, and built godly legacies. You'll find motivation, inspiration, and practical steps to grow as a Kingdom Investor.

Daniel White (DW):  Hello, and welcome to The Kingdom Investor Podcast. This is your host, Daniel White. Thanks for joining us as we interview Ravonne John. Ravonne is an adoptive mom and real estate investor. And in this episode, she shares her story about how they ended up with two gas stations and two kids and how generosity has shaped their lives. If you enjoy the show, help us reach more listeners by sharing with your friends. And now without further ado, let's get right into the show.


DW: Ravonne John, welcome to The Kingdom Investor Podcast. How are you doing today?

Ravonne John (RJ): I'm great. Thanks for having me.


DW:  Awesome. Thanks for coming. So I was wondering if you could share just a little bit about who you are and where you're coming to us from so our audience knows.


RJ:  Yeah, well, I am the mom of two boys and married to my love of my life. Absolutely the best husband ever. So I'll give Matt major props. We live currently in Arkansas, in the northwest Arkansas area. Matt and I've been married for about 10 years, we'll be 10 years this fall. Rowan my oldest son is seven. He's our biological son. And then we have an adopted son, Simeon and I don't say that as like separating them out. I'm so grateful that I had him and we can talk about that later. But, yeah, I'm currently a real estate agent in northwest Arkansas with Urban Cottage Realty. And I've been in real estate, doing real estate, I guess for about seven-ish years. But then, I've been working as a real estate agent for about 18 months.


DW:  Nice. Nice. Okay. Do you mind praying for us before we get started?


RJ:  Yeah, absolutely. Father God, we thank You today. God, thank you for your goodness, Lord, we thank you for your presence. Father, we thank you that the name of Jesus, it binds winds, Lord, and it brings goodness to our lives. Lord, we ask that you bless this time together. God, we pray that you would be honored and glorified in every word that is spoken, in every moment of this time. God, we love you. It's in Jesus' name, we pray.


DW:  Amen. All right, Ravonne would you share your story or just give us a little bit of background and kind of unpack that a little bit?


RJ:  Yeah, so I actually have a background in medicine. I am a nurse practitioner. And I've been working as a nurse practitioner. I had been working in 2000. It's been a long time, it was like 14 years as a nurse practitioner or something. So a long time. But I've recently transitioned to being full-time in real estate. So that's pretty exciting. But I guess our story kind of starts back when we were living in Oklahoma. My husband's family, they have a lot of an entrepreneurial spirit. Often they put up shop and furniture resale stores and games, and game stores and all these different skateboard stores. I mean, his dad is a genius and constantly revolving the business to make it to where it's what people want. He’s very, very smart. But my husband and I kind of got interested in real estate and we have looked at I don't know if people have ever said anything about that but it's a really great resource for people looking for information about real estate, and real estate investing. 

RJ:  And my husband has a friend who has 300 doors at the time and he's reached out to him and said hey, we're interested in real estate, what do we need to do to get started? And the first thing he says is read Rich Dad Poor Dad. So immediately we're on Amazon, you know, buying this book and reading it. It's a very easy read, and we understand why he recommended this book. It's very clear. So we look at this and we're like, okay, what do we do? And the biggest thing that I would say our hurdle was is like jumping in with both feet, you know, because it's scary, whatever you're thinking about, I'm putting like, my hard-earned money at my job into this piece of real estate that I'm not living in so I'm not protecting it. And it's just very, you know, so we decided our first deal was going to be a foreclosure deal. So we put in this offer on a foreclosure home. It got rejected, get ready to be rejected if you want to go into real estate. So we got rejected. And then they came back just a couple weeks later and said, hey, you know what, are you still open to that price? And we said, yeah, we were. 

RJ:  So, we, all of a sudden, became owners of a foreclosure home first time ever. And at the time, I had a newborn at home. And so my husband was working his regular 40-hour week job and would work all day and then go over to the house at night and work on cleaning it up and making it livable for somebody. And we actually took that opportunity. Even though this was our first opportunity to ever be in real estate other than owning our own home, we took that opportunity to bless a family in our church. It was one of our pastors who needed a place to live this family. And we said, hey, we can give you a discount on your rent. 

RJ:  Now, clearly, we still kind of be able to make our payments and all these things. But we just took that opportunity to say why don't you take a discount, and then it was just really good for their family at that time. So, we fast forward two and a half years. And we go into us moving from Arkansas, or from Oklahoma to Arkansas. We've been here almost five years now. And we love northwest Arkansas and say it's the bee's knees, you know, it's wonderful. And, but doing long-distance landlord stuff without having some sort of agency or group that's supporting you, it was a little bit nerve-racking. I just didn't want to be exposed like that, you know, if the, if there's a water leak, I don't want to be like, I'll be there in two hours, you know. So we decided to go ahead and sell that property. So we did a little bit of rehab on it and then sold the property. I don't know that we made very much money on that. But we gained a heck of a lot of experience. You know, we learned a lot. And I will say if nothing else, jump in with both feet and just try not to go negative on your first deal and you'll be really great. 

RJ: So we took that, we sold it, we had the money that we basically invested into it plus what other you know, what had been paying over the time. And we said, what are we gonna do next? And so for some reason, the Lord decided to lead us toward a commercial path. So we decided to buy, you know, after evaluating, I will say if you're, if you're in real estate, expect to evaluate 100 deals. And then once you get to number 101, you can go ahead and purchase and then do another 100. And you'll know that you're on the right path. So you know, you're like searching and looking and doing all these things that you think it's going to work. And then you're like, the numbers don't work, the numbers don't work, and then they do and then go, okay, great. 

RJ: So we're looking at that, we're looking at making a massive purchase, and I'm talking, you know, for us, you know, we're not, we're not rich people, we didn't come from a lot of money. And so when you start saying over a million dollar purchase price for these properties, or these commercial properties, you start freaking out a little bit and you look at the numbers, and you say if they default too, so do I. So it's really scary to do that. But we've had to get really inventive with how we were going to make this work. 

RJ: So we said, well, who in our family would be willing to invest in us, and let us have some money, if you will. It's like, you know, funding this project with us. And so we took personal loans from a couple of members of our family. We have them pull it out of something like a CD that wasn't paying them hardly anything. And we said, we will, we will make you more money. We'll pay whatever cancellation fees you have for your CD or whatever money you have there. And we'll pay you better than what you're getting. And that way, it was a win-win for everybody. We have the capital that we needed to purchase these properties. And then our family members were actually making more off of that as well. So we went from there. And then we said, well, now we have to find a bank who's willing to take this money that we have accumulated and let us run us down. And most commercial deals require 20% or 25% down, very rarely are you gonna find less than that. 

RJ: Well, we found a couple of banks that were willing to do 15%. We made a lot of calls, went to a lot of appointments, got rejected a lot of times and just kept going, you know. So, we did that. And then we actually negotiated down our interest rate, and our closing costs and things like that and got them to literally close on this deal in 30 days. It was insane. And the day of closing, my husband pulls up his cell phone and does, I don't even know he did this until after we leverage later. But, he pulls up his cell phone and he looks into it and says, “I believe that the Lord is gonna bless our family through this. I believe that God is working in this at this moment to make this the blessing for our family and for the future.” And no truer words were said than whenever he spoke that. It was February 14 of 2020 when we closed on these properties, which if anybody knows anything about recent history, was just a couple of weeks before the pandemic hit, and everybody was told, you no longer have to pay your rent, and you no longer have to do, you know, everybody's not going to be traveling anymore. 

RJ: So the fact that we have invested in gas stations looks like it could be a really dire situation. But our tenant kept paying and we're so blessed by that. We ended up doing triple net leases, which I don't know if people are familiar with that structure. But that's where the tenant actually pays the taxes, insurance, and then maintenance along with their regular rent payment. So it was kind of a hands-off approach for us because we had a couple of small kids. And we're looking at this and thinking this is a pretty big deal. 

RJ: So we were able to get all of these things kind of working together to make that go in. And then even a month afterward, if you remember, all of a sudden the interest rates started dropping, right? So there's a pretty big drop that occurred right there right after. And the first thing that you think in your mind, which everybody was thinking, oh, well, I need to refi my house. Well, we're thinking, we've got this over a million dollar loan, we need to refinance this loan, how do we make this happen? So we actually went to our bank and said, hey, any chance you guys can basically just drop the interest rate since we're about 30 days out? And they said, yes. They said, yeah, like, they'll let you do $150 payment, we'll redo the loan to where it's, you know, half percent last, which was $500 in interest per month less. It was just all God, you know. 

RJ: So anyway, we have these properties for so long and then we see how these interest rates are going down? Well, with a commercial property, that's a triple net lease, everything is very dependent on what the interest rate is. Because if the interest rate is really close to your capitalization rate, which is how much you're making off your money, then you're not, you know, the price is pretty set. But if the interest rate goes down, then you can demand a higher price and a lower cap rate. So I hope that makes sense for people. I know that can be a little confusing. But, so we're looking at this, and we're saying, oh, my gosh, this actually this, this works this, we can sell them and make more money than we ever thought was possible. Again, you know, go back to where Matt's doing this video saying, we believe the Lord is gonna bless us. And so we were able to in the last year, sell those two properties at a significantly lower cap rate, and the Lord just completely, completely blessed us, completely blessed us. And I can't say enough about that.


DW:  Wow, that's incredible. So can you share more about the adoption story and how you have learned through that experience, and just share about that maybe?


RJ: Yeah, you know, one of my favorite things to talk about was our adoption story, because it just has the hand of God all over it. So if anybody has been in adoption, or had fertility issues, or even thought about any of this, I just want to say to you in this moment that God sees you, and he hears you, and that he's working on your behalf, and that he does fulfill the desires of your heart. And it may not be the way that you traditionally thought, because I think everybody goes into these moments with these expectations of what you think your family is going to look like or what your life is going to look like. All these things change over time. And we have to reset our expectations. So I'll preface it with that. 

RJ:  So we have been waiting for a baby for three years. We found out during our pregnancy with our oldest son that my husband and I are both carriers of the cystic fibrosis gene. And we had no idea. Nobody in our family on either side had ever had cystic fibrosis. And it's just a regular check that they do on the mom. And the mom since she’s positive and they check the dad. Actually, 1 in 27,000 people has this genetic defect. Well, ours wasn't just like, oh, a little bit off, we had a 100% match. So we were playing Russian roulette. And we had a 25% chance of having a child that probably didn't make it past the age of 21. So it was a really scary time in our pregnancy. And we took two weeks of mourning. And then we had a Shadrach Meshach and Abednego situation where we said you know what, God, you can protect Rowan. At that point, we knew it was a boy and so we knew his name is Rowan. We know that you can protect Rowan. But even if you don't, we will still praise you. 

RJ: We said this is our moment. This is our moment to praise you. And so we just took that perspective and praise the Lord. Rowan's a carrier like us so he doesn't have any issues. So now six months later, we're saying if we want to have our own six months old, we went ahead and applied with DHS to try to get a baby. And then we eventually were told by DHS that's never gonna happen. And so, a year later, we applied with our private adoption agency adoption center hope and they are absolutely phenomenal. 

RJ: And we waited another two years to get a call that we were going to be, we were being chosen as an adoptive family. And I think everybody has this experience, and they think that it's going to be nowhere, it's whole rainbows and hearts and flowers. It's gonna be so beautiful. And you think that you're going to get the call because normally they would call you when she's entering her third trimester and like this opportunity to meet mom and meet the family and have all these really beautiful moments. And ours was, it's 9:30 at night, we're doing Bible story with our son, hey, mom's in labor, do you want this child? And we're like, oh, okay, well, we've been waiting three years, we're preparing for this. But at the same time, like, okay, so we're like, give us five seconds to pray about it. 

RJ: We were surprised when we were told that she was, the mom was addicted to heroin at the time. And that's a pretty big pill to swallow whenever you consider your child being born addicted to a drug, and you just don't anticipate that being the case. You just don't. And we prayed about it. And the Lord gave us confirmation. And so that was like us at 9:30 at night. The next morning, I was on a plane by 6:30 in the morning, with all my stuff. We didn't know if it was a boy. We didn't know if it was a girl. We didn't really know where we're gonna stay. I'm calling my friends in LA being like, hey, any chance I can stay with you for an unknown amount of time? All these crazy things. And I mean, the Lord just places people in your life and things in your life, to make them work out perfectly. Like we think it's, we think it's just a coincidence. And really, it's that the Lord has placed these things perfectly in your life.

RJ: So I've worked with somebody previously at church camp, and he lives in LA with his wife and family. And so we were, you know, they were open to us staying in their home while we were there. And it happened to be, that happened to be 20 minutes from the hospital, which if you've ever lived in LA, you know, everything is a minimum of an hour in standstill traffic. So anyway, we go from there to the hospital, or I go meet the baby's mom. And she and grandma are very sweet people and we have a really great connection. And we get to the hospital and we were you know, doing our preparation and his aunt, Simeon's aunt, is like grilling me about who are you taking our, you know, our child from our family, you know, all these things. 

RJ: And we get pulled aside by the NICU director and he says, I just want to let you know what's going to happen with this baby who's being born addicted to heroin. It's not going to be pretty, he's going to have vomiting and diarrhea and fever and tremors. And he's gonna need physical therapy to learn how to sit up. He's gonna have all these emotional issues later, he's gonna have all these problems, you know? And he's like, I don't sugarcoat it. And Matt looked directly at his face and said, you know what, we really appreciate that you shared your expertise with us, but we believe that in the name of Jesus, he's going to be healed. And we walked away from that meeting with that nurse practitioner thinking that we were absolutely crazy. It wasn't 24 hours after Simeon was born that we started hearing "we've never seen". We've never seen a baby not have vomiting. We've never seen a baby not have diarrhea. We've never seen a baby not have the fevers. We've never seen a baby be so consolable.  Usually they have a high-pitched scream and are extremely inconsolable. Simeon never had any of that. He did have some rigidity that he had to work out but he’s on the fast track. They told us it was gonna be two to three months in the hospital. He was discharged in 13 days. If anyone knows anything about government bureaucracy, you know that paperwork does not move quickly. 

RJ: Well, Simeon's, it was approved before it was ever supposed to even be submitted. Like, I mean, it was just thing after thing after thing where we can say, only by God did this happen. So that was our, I mean, that's the small part, I guess of his story. We have some really cool words spoken over him that we believe that God is really going to work in his life, that he's going to be in leadership. and that he and he and Rowan are best friends. I mean, they fight because they're brothers, but they're best friends at the same time. So we just really believe that God's gonna work in that. 

RJ:  And in the midst of having Simeon be our baby, we also did foster care. And so I always love to put a plug in for foster care. I think a lot of people think, you know, I can't do it. And I'll say, You know what, I really wasn't made for foster care. I'll be honest with you. I'm not the best foster mom, but you know what we can support foster families who maybe need a weekend away or need a night away and need a babysitter. or something like that, you know, you can rally around these people who are doing adoption or foster care and just have a major impact on their lives.


DW:  Wow, that is an incredible story. Thank you for sharing that with us. That's really inspiring and just glorifying to God. So, how has God transformed you and your husband through that process?


RJ: Through which process, man? 

DW: I guess both of them? 

RJ: You know, I will say that, on the whole, I think, with our adoption, with everything, honestly, I mean, I think that we've had these moments where you come up to a door, right? And you're like, number one, do I walk through? I don't know. Number two, is there another window? Because I don't think I want to go through the door. Like there are just these different things that happen in life, and nothing is easy, nothing is simple. And you have to be creative with how you're living your life. Like it's never just going to be a cakewalk, there are going to be struggles in your life. But where do you lean whenever you're struggling? Like, are you leaning on your spouse which is going to topple over? Or are you leaning into the Lord and allowing Him to guide you, because I feel like, um, you know, we've had to learn an incredible amount of patience just being parents in general. Being patient, though, doesn't necessarily have to just do with being in a family and stuff, right? It can be patient with your children, patient with your spouse, patient, and waiting for the right deal to come along, patient for the banks to get back to you. Like, I mean, there are just so many things where you have to just step back and slow down. And if you know anything about me, if you ever, if you ever meet me in person, 

you will know that I'm like a 100% go-getter. And so that has been a long learning curve for me. And I'm still learning that. But I definitely know that I've seen patience and persistence be the major undertone of things that we're learning. Yeah, I think connections are super important so you can really meet people and get to know them. I think that a personal touch is the biggest thing that you can do as a real estate agent. You know, I can show you a million houses but if I can't tell you how it works for you, personally, it doesn't matter. And so if you can be personal with people, but I think that opens a lot of doors.


DW:  So what do you think is the biggest thing that you guys have learned going through the adoption process?

RJ:  I would say that it never looks the way you think it's gonna look. It never looks the way you think it's gonna look. You know, I mean, if I am brutally honest and transparent, I will say that it was a little tough for me to say, I am spending a lot of money for a child that might be in foster care. And that sounds absolutely horrible. And I recognize that and I just want to be very transparent. But here's the deal, every child is made in the image of God, and every child is worthy of love. So what does it matter where they came from, in the beginning? It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter the color of the skin, what kind of family situation that they came out of, what kind of lifestyle that they lived. Any of that stuff, it doesn't matter, because everybody's worthy of love. And so if we can, like, bring that forward, you know, and like, really love people the way that Christ loves us, it's going to be completely transformational for our world and for our families.


DW: Yeah. So can you share a little bit about how generosity and adoption really tie together?


RJ:  Yeah, wow. Okay. So, I think about generosity and adoption, as this opportunity to love somebody that you would never have the opportunity to love before. And it requires you to open up your mind and open up your heart to more than one person. I think that we assumed that foster care and adoption both only require you to love one person, or maybe a sibling set or something like that. But that's not the case. There's a whole family of people that you get introduced to and I will say, for Simeon's family. I love them. Like I truly love them, and I'm so grateful for them. One of Simeon's aunt and I, we talk almost every week and we FaceTime together with the kids so that they can see each other because I see this as an opportunity to grow our family and not be so closed off.

RJ:   And so there's that aspect of generosity to where you're actually giving more of yourself maybe than you thought you're gonna have to. But it's so great. I mean, it's just, I mean, we've been adopted into the family of God right like that's, that's how it all works together. And I know that I hope I don't sound like too Jesus-y and I don't mean it that way, like, it's just true. It's who we are. We are not meant to be just apart people like the Lord wants us to be elevated and to be living out a full life. And I think that God can do that in every person's life. And adoption is one of those things where you can just rip off the band-aid and like go full in.

DW: Yeah, yeah. If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?


RJ:  Oh, man, that's a tough one. I would hope that I would be one of the people that's most like one of the happiest people that you meet, like one of the most joyful people, but also as a person who would always stop and pray for you. So I even had an instance this week where my son does something called mileage club, they run around for 30 minutes. They're on a field, and the parents are invited to come. And so I go, and I just felt the Lord telling me as I was praying, I was out there early. And so I was like, prayer walking their area being like, oh, my gosh, you guys need Jesus. And you know, I just felt the Lord telling me, you need to go pray for this woman. And so I just went over and I was like, hey, can I pray for you? And she, like, just expressed a whole bunch of things that were going on in our life that she needed prayer for. And I'm like, man, this is the, like, these are the things that I live for is whenever you can just be like, hey, can I pray for you because, like, I know that you need it. Like, I know that you need the Lord to intervene here, and there's nothing that I can do personally. But there's something that God can do in you and through you. 


DW:  Yeah, that's really good. Really helpful. So before we enter the mentor minute, is there anything else that you'd like to share with our audience?


RJ:  Yeah, you know, I kind of forgot a couple of things. When I was telling our story. You know, this whole, this whole podcast, of course, I'm thinking of investor, like, how can you be investing toward the kingdom and what does generosity look like? And that, and I just thought about that. But, you know, during this full time with our gas stations and owning them, you know, we're very faithful to tithe. Like 100% I believe that you should be tithing. And I think that there's a lot of confusion in the Christian church as far as what tithing and offerings are. And we think that tithing and offering are the same thing. No, they're absolutely different. So tithe is that 10% requirement that the Lord tells us to give back to him because everything that we have is his. 

RJ: And then the offering is something that we give in addition to the tithe. So, um, when we were looking at selling our gas stations, one of them was under contract, and one of them was not yet and we said to the Lord, we're like, God, we need you here. Like, we can't do this by ourselves. But we are going to be giving this offering, so above and beyond our tithe in faith that you God would move and work in a miraculous way. And I think it might have been the next week that we went under contract like it was just incredible. Saying that every time you give that God's gonna, like, 100%, come in on that, you know, but we did that in faith and stepped out in faith, knowing that God was going to do that, knowing that God was going to answer in some way. 

RJ: And I will say that because of real estate, the Lord has blessed us in ways that we never thought. We were able to be more generous this year, this past year in 2022 than we have ever been before. And I mean, when I tell you that God blesses us enough that we could give more than we ever dreamed or imagined, we're looking at the numbers on the sheet as we're doing our taxes in January. And we're like, oh, my gosh. Like, is that, is that actually possible? Because you're just faithful, you're faithful, you keep doing the right thing. 

RJ: And you look down, and all of a sudden, you're like, oh, my gosh, God, what have you done in this last year, that has blessed me enough to be able to be this generous and to be this much in for your kingdom? And so yeah, I mean, I just love it. And our prayer now is really moving forward and saying, okay, God, do it again. Do it bigger, do it better. How can we be your servants enough that we are, we're stepping with you and, being more generous and having these opportunities to open our home more? You know, I mean, we've been the kind of people that if somebody needs a place to stay, and they call us, they're probably going to be sleeping in our guest room next week. You know, we've had multiple people stay with us for a month or more, because we just felt like, this is what God has for us. We've been very blessed. 

The home that we have is beautiful, and we love it. But it's not just for us. It's for other people, too. 

DW:  So what areas do you guys give to?


RJ:  So we give to our church specifically. And our church also does something called Christmas at Northwest. It is a pretty phenomenal thing they do. They give Christmas away to people. So like, where your family would maybe wake up and normally, you know, maybe you have gifts under the tree. Some of these families don't do that. They can't. So we give Christmas to a family. This year, we had a family that moved here out of the, forgive me, I can't think of the word, where they are... refugees or refugee situation. And we were able to give them a car from our church. Like we give away multiple cars every year. We give away gifts to single moms every year. Like they're and we're not talking like you're gonna get some little cheapy thing from Dollar General. We're talking you're getting a really nice Michael Kors handbag and Ninja Airfryer type thing you know. 

RJ:  So our church really practices generosity. And I love that. So we give to them. And then we also give to Fellowship of Christian Athletes. We have a church in Kansas City, that's a startup church that we support. We work with Compassion International doing children, helping children there with their needs. In fact, my husband told me whenever we, when we were dating, he was or after we got married, he goes, I have to tell you something. I was like, okay, what's that? He said, I have a kid. And I was like, weeh! He's like, (garbled speech). Alright, you're freaking me out for a minute. But I mean, you know, so there are a lot of different things. And then whatever we feel led, we give even more, than we do to support (inaudible) world which is Convoy of Hope. So they're currently you know, we just have those earthquakes around the globe, there have been multiple trips in Syria. So, they're on boots on the ground, giving out water and baby formula and things like that. So we give to those different ministries. So they're just a lot of different places. 


DW:  Yeah. Yeah, that's, that's awesome. And it's really cool to hear that because God has put different passions in everyone's heart to give to different areas. And so I think that's really neat to hear some of that. So let's move into the mentor minutes. And I've got three questions here. The first one is who is the most influential person that you know, and how have they impacted you?


RJ:  Oh, you know, I would say the most influential person that I know, is probably my dad. I'm gonna get tearful, sorry. I'm so grateful for him. He's battling cancer right now. But he's doing well. And we're believing that the Lord is going to heal him 100%. But, you know, the thing that I always saw growing up was that he had his Bible out in front of him. And he was reading the word, studying the Word and he will, he's very opinionated just like me, I'll be honest. But, you know, we learned so much from watching him just be a good steward of his money and being, you know, willing to really just sit down with me and teach me different things throughout the years. I mean, you're just, I don't know, I just think that he's a wonderful, wonderful human being, and I'm so grateful that he's mine.


DW:  What book or podcast would you recommend for our listeners?


RJ:  "Rich Dad Poor Dad", 100%. It's the number one book that I'm going to recommend to people who are interested in real estate at all, I think that it is just phenomenal. And then the other one that I always recommend which has nothing to do with real estate but everything to do with managing expectations in your relationships is "As Long As We Both Shall Live". It's by Ted Cunningham and Gary Smalley, a fabulous book. There's an 80-question quiz that you're supposed to take with your significant other. And it says, what did you expect on this? And what did you get? And I recommend that you retake it every so often because things will change. But I also recommend no more than five questions at a time because they can get deep and you (garbled speech). It's like, for instance, one that we've done is, we will have children. That's number one in the book is, we will have children. And like I said before, you think that it's going to be easy, but then you all of a sudden realize, well, I've had a miscarriage or I got pregnant, I didn't mean to either before marriage, or maybe you aren't married and you had a child more than you can afford or you got pregnant really easily once but now you can get pregnant again, or whatever it happens to be. There's just so many different things that can pop up. And so just managing those expectations is really a great thing.


DW:  Yeah, that's really helpful. And then what is the greatest lesson in leadership that you've learned?


RJ:  The greatest lesson in leadership is never forget what it's like to be the little guy. Never forget that. Because everybody, nobody really starts at the top. Most people start at the bottom and work their way to the top. But if you get to the top, and then you're treating people like you've always been there, and that's not true. Number one, it's hypocrisy. And people see through that. Number two, and you will get further if you can honor and love people that are below you and help raise them up to be great leaders.  I'll give you one more thing because I think it's so good. My husband actually taught me this, and it's to celebrate the wins of everybody. So that is not just for the wins that you have personally, but it can be professionally. And even if somebody rises up faster than you in the workplace, celebrating the win-win, and just being grateful for what they've accomplished, and not being jealous about it. But just 

being supportive. I think that's such a good thing.

DW:  All right, how can we be praying for you and your family? 


RJ:  Oh, let me, I'm dying over here because my younger son is not potty trained yet. I need him to poop in the potty. But seriously, I mean, that is serious. But at the same time, I think for my dad's healing, that's really where we're at right now. We're really just praying for that. And then we're just praying that the Lord would like explode my real estate business. We're praying, I pray over my boys every night that they would have the heart of David to love the Lord, the wisdom of Solomon, and the strength of Samson. So I'm just praying that, that's a consistent prayer of mine. So I will always welcome any of that from your listeners.


DW:  Yeah. All right. Well, let's pray now. God, I thank you for Ravonne and just how she is seeking you and pursuing you and willing to step out in faith and pursue you. Even when it's hard, even when it takes sacrifice. God, I thank you for their adoption, and just their family and their generosity. God, I pray that you would watch over their business and that you would bless them. Bless them as they pursue you. God, I pray that you would watch over our listeners and help them to be encouraged by this and that they would answer and obey you in your calling. In Christ's name, I pray. Amen. 

RJ: Amen. 

DW: Thank you so much for coming on. It was so great to meet you and, and to get to know your story. And then thank you guys for listening to another episode of The Kingdom Investor podcast. We'll catch you next time. Take care.




ANNNOUNCER: What if you could take your generosity to the next level, impacting more lives in your community and around the world, creating a godly legacy for generations to come?

Now you can. Your first step is crafting your kingdom investing thesis. Reserve your spot in our next online workshop where we guide you through the process of discovering your passions, create a strategic plan and connect you to opportunities that will help you fulfill your God-given calling as a kingdom investor. Register today by clicking the link in the show notes. 

Thanks for listening. Don't forget to subscribe and we'll see you next time for another episode of The Kingdom Investor Podcast.