In 1990 Randy Alcorn was pastor of a large church he had planted in Oregon. He loved his ministry, and anticipated spending the rest of his life pastoring that church.
He was also involved with a crisis pregnancy center, and began participating in peaceful, nonviolent rescues at abortion clinics. Like many others, he was arrested and jailed for a period of time.
Unlike many others, however, two abortion clinics brought successful civil suits against him; one judgment was for $8.4 million.
When Randy said he could not in good conscience turn over any money to a clinic that would use those resources to perform more abortions, the clinics went to court again, and managed to assess a writ of garnishment against his church – meaning they would have to turn over part of his salary each month to the abortion clinic. Randy’s salary would be used to pay for abortions.
Randy could not let this happen. So he resigned from the church. Furthermore, knowing that the writ of garnishment would be served to any employer who paid him more than minimum wage, Randy decided he could not work for more. For the last 14 years, Randy has worked for minimum wage.
Was this a terrible tragedy?
Randy says, “It was one of the best things that ever happened to us.” Why does he say this?
This trouble led Randy to set up a non-profit corporation, Eternal Perspective Ministries, that receives royalties from his books. And Randy writes that shortly after so doing, “Royalties suddenly increased. Our ministry has been able to give away about 90 percent of those royalties to missions, famine relief, and pro-life work. In the last 3 years, by God’s grace, we’ve given more than $500,000. . . . I don’t go to bed at night feeling that I’ve “sacrificed” that money. I go to bed feeling joy, because there’s nothing like giving. . . . Giving infuses life with joy. It interjects an eternal dimension into even the most ordinary day. That’s just one reason you couldn’t pay me enough not to give.” Randy is a cheerful giver.