May 30, 2003
January 1980DO 860
—Complied from classes by Emmanuel Provisioner, Megiddo French, Gideon Valor & Elias Burnfree—and Dad!
1. A PROVISIONER IS ... A PIONEER! "Pioneers must have vision—vision to see what no one else can see: Faith—faith to believe things no one else believes: Initiative—the initiative to be the first one to try it: & courage—the guts to see it through!" (B:5.)
2. THIS IS WHAT PROVISIONING IS! It's pioneering, & if you are a real provisioner you are going to be a pioneer—not someone who is content with the way things are‚ but someone who wants to see God move, to put Him & His Word to the test! "Prove Me now herewith, saith the Lord God of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of Heaven & pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it." (Mal.3:10.)
3. GOD IS LOOKING FOR MEN OF FAITH TO DO THE "WENTING" & expect God to do the rest. Just as a whole new world opened up to us when we believed the Word & received Spiritual Salvation, so when we stand on the Word concerning our physical salvation & welfare, new horizons open up to us as we enter into the exciting world of living by faith!—Because you know you can't do it, so it has to be God!
4. PROVISIONING IS LIKE SINGING! YOU HAVE TO BE INSPIRED! If there is one thing that you have to be, it's inspired! People are going to have to see that there is something different about you, that you're not like all the others. Your main job is to inspire their faith in God & you.
5. "IT'S OUR FAITH THAT THEY LOVE! It's our faith that inspires their faith. If we lose faith, they won't have faith. They won't be inspired or believe in us if we don't believe in ourselves. ... It's when we have the Spirit, when we know we're nothing, & that all we have is God, that those people love us the most. They want that Spirit, it's the opposite of the world. They want us to be Don Quixote's, they want to capture that crazy spirit." ("Pioneering, Popularity & Persecution," 23,40.)
6. YOUR JOB IS NOT TO GO OUT & TRY TO TALK PEOPLE INTO GIVING THINGS TO US, but rather to inspire them by sharing with them what God is doing through His Children, really wooing & winning them. Without the Spirit & real inspiration, they will probably think you are just another charity or "do good" group. The thing that makes us different from anybody else is that we have the Spirit! And it is only the Spirit that is going to inspire them to really make an effort & sacrifice & share their material wealth with us.
7. "YOU'VE GOT TO MOVE THEM, make them mad, sad or glad, drive them to a decision, spur them to action, emote them into emotion by the Spirit! It's the Spirit, it's the Spirit!" (328:54.)
8. A PROVISIONER IS ... A MAN OF PRAYER & FAITH! "The Lord leaves a lot up to us; if we stir ourselves‚ then God will stir Himself. An awful lot depends on us‚ our faith & our prayer & what we want done. ... He wants us to show concern & pray about it & be specific about it. If you really believe, every prayer is heard & answered. But if you don't pray, it's not done." (302:2,3)—In every country or city the situation is bound to be different, so God has to supply different things in different ways. However, there is one thing you need wherever you go, & that is faith.
9. WHEN YOU HAVE A NEED, THE FIRST THING TO REMIND YOURSELF is that no matter where you are, God somehow has to & wants to supply all your needs "according to His riches in Glory." This takes standing on the Rock of the Word by really claiming those promises & truly trusting God. Provisioning is a great ministry for really learning faith!
10. IF WE WANT TO ASSIGN THE PROVISIONING MINISTRY TO A PART OF THE SPIRITUAL BODY‚ it would have to take the place of the hands. Our job is to claim God's Word & reach out & receive. However‚ God has many different & sometimes seemingly crazy ways of supplying our needs, so to really bring forth fruit, a provisioner must really hear from the Lord & be led directly by the Spirit. "The Earth is the Lord's & the fullness thereof." (Ps.24:1.) He has promised us the world, but we will only actually receive as much as we have faith for. You always have time to pray & ask God, "Now God, what do you want me to do?" Desperate prayer that is full of faith is the most powerful weapon we have & can radically alter any situation or heart. Provisioning is a terrific testimony to the power of prayer & that the Lord loves us & wants to supply all our needs as we specifically claim His promises & believe.
11. THE BEST THING TO DO BEFORE YOU WORK ON ANY NEED IS TO REALLY GET A VISION FOR IT yourself. Know in your heart that it is God's will, & then claim some verse, get inspired & attack! Fight the battle first in the Spirit‚ & then the physical will just fall into place. PTL! This is very important.
12. A PROVISIONER IS ... AN AMBASSADOR! Provisioners must be ambassadors also, reaching & bringing the sample of God's Family to the rich & influential, who are the most spiritually neglected. Much of our ministry consists of meeting & ministering to & winning these important kings & officers of the System‚ teaching them how to live by teaching them how to give. To make any kind of headway‚ you are going to have to win some of these kings, who cannot only help you materially, but can supply protection just in being associated with you.
13. "IF THERE IS ANY POOR LITTLE COLONY that's starving to death, there's something wrong! God usually supplies His Children abundantly! If they had it, they wasted it, or didn't share it as they should have when they had it, or they weren't diligent in their provisioning, they didn't seek & find, ask & receive or obey the Lord. Most of all they probably didn't honour & cultivate their kings & queens & minister to them spiritually, share their spiritual riches with them, their System friends‚ so the friends can share their material riches with them.
14. "IF THEY'RE WITNESSING, MAYBE THEY'RE NOT WITNESSING TO THE RIGHT PEOPLE. They're being selfish & too proud to go to the most poor of all spiritually, the ones that need us the most & are the hardest to reach—the rich—& share their spiritual wealth, so the rich could in turn share their material blessings with them. They're pretending to be so humble, living in poverty, but they're too proud, if they're not sharing their spiritual riches with the spiritually impoverished materially rich. Therefore they themselves are starving materially because they are selfish spiritually! (211:29,30.)
15. "WE STILL DON'T HAVE OUR LITERAL KINGDOM YET, we haven't arrived at the Promised Land yet & we are still dependent upon our kings & we need them, & would be sunk without them. We'll probably always have to deal with kings, so you might as well get used to it." (212:52.)
16. AS MOST BUSINESSMEN ARE JUST THAT—MEN—GIRLS OFTEN GET THE BEST REACTION. There is nothing like the irresistible charm of a beautiful happy woman. Dad talked about FFing & provisioning long ago in "Use It!": "... The Lord even used the Kings of Philistia & Egypt to provide for him (Abraham) & protect him, by letting them fall in love with his wife. They were good to him because his so-called sister was so beautiful, & the Lord used Sara's beauty as a tool to get their support, when Abraham needed it ... (Esther) had to be willing to become a Queen of the System in order to protect the children of God! What an assignment!" (27:3,12)
17. FFing PROVIDES A FANTASTIC WAY TO REALLY MINISTER TO PROVISIONING CONTACTS, & to even get through to their hearts & not just their goods. "FFing has already won us many friends & supporters & kings & queens & the favourable influence & protection of powerful personalities as well as many new disciples. ... Who knows? When all other avenues of influence & witnessing are closed to us, this may be our only remaining means of spreading the Word & supporting the work." (501:48,49.)
18. A PROVISIONER IS ... A SHEPHERD. "... You must spend time with them (kings) that they may see your good works & glorify your Father which is in Heaven. You must do anything you have to do to win them: Wash their feet or clothes, or cook, or stand in for an employee that's sick, or answer the phone to show you are concerned about them & not just their kingdom.
19. "KINGS & QUEENS THAT YOU ONLY SEE WHEN YOU NEED THEM are not going to be your kings & queens very long. The thing that will shock them is when they see you're interested not only in their kingdom or their money, but in them!" (212:58,59.)
20. A REAL PROVISIONER HAS A SHEPHERD'S HEART. He will be in contact with people in all sections of business who help us, & he will be taking a personal responsibility for the spiritual welfare of each of these "sheep."
21. IT'S ONLY BECAUSE WE MINISTER TO THEM OF OUR SPIRITUAL RICHES, that we can expect to receive their material riches. The most important thing we can do is to show them that we sincerely love & appreciate them. Not everyone can understand strong doctrine, but everyone understands love. In ministering to your System friends you can manifest your love to them in many small ways‚ such as remembering their birthday, giving them flowers, having them to dinner etc. "We love Him because He first loved us." We are really having a love affair in the Spirit with these people, so whatever it takes to win them, do it! Remember, most of these people are living behind the Green Door & are literally love–starved!—"Do you know the key to every heart? Try love & you can't fail‚ for God is love & it's impossible for Him to fail!" ("World Conquest Through Love‚" 151:11–13.)
22. A PROVISIONER IS DILIGENT, DETERMINED & THE SERVANT OF ALL. "Seest thou a man diligent in business? He shall stand before kings, he shall not stand before mean men." (Pro.22:29.) "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much, & he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon‚ who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's‚ who shall give you that which is your own? (Luke 16:10-12.)
23. THE BEST PROVISIONERS ARE THOSE WHO REALLY HAVE A BURDEN TO SEE THE JOB DONE NO MATTER WHAT it takes. We rarely stumble over the hills, but rather the pebbles, so provisioners have to learn to be diligent with the multitude of details concerning his handling of God's business affairs. Experience is a good teacher, but ultimately your faithfulness with these little things will be determined by the love you have for the Lord, the Family & others.
24. A PROVISIONER IS NOT A BLUE-COLLAR WORKER who punches in & punches out, doing only what is required of him, but rather he is a white-collar worker with a real sense of responsibility concerning the welfare of God's Children. He is not content until he can say "Mission accomplished!"—no matter what it costs him personally.
25. "WE ARE GOD'S ARMY AIR CORPS! ... created to burn out on His altar of sacrifice, to die that others might live. We can only offer you an invitation to come & die with us, to die to the flesh that you might live in the Spirit." (31:24.)
26. AN INSPIRED, FULL-OF-FAITH PROVISIONER IS A CONSTANT SOURCE OF INSPIRATION to those around him, not only because of the material benefits, but because everyone sees that God is supernaturally directly blessing. When a person is really fulfilling his ministry, he is a lot like the "Man Who Played God." He sees the needs of those around him, knows he has the means to meet them (his faith) & does it, giving God all the glory! Hallelujah! A provisioner is the servant of all!
27. A PROVISIONER IS ... A DON QUIXOTE. "It was crazy Don Quixote faith that started this movement. It was God's Spirit‚ & God's Spirit is pretty crazy!" ("Pioneering, Popularity & Persecution," 38.)
28. ALTHOUGH YOU MIGHT HAVE ALL OF THE NECESSARY TOOLS etc. to help you in your ministry, if you don't have crazy faith you'll miss the key & blessing of provisioning. "Faith to the world is absurd, it's the most ridiculous thing to them." Beneath that nice suit & pleasant exterior there must be a Don Quixote heart, dreaming the impossible dream, willing to continue no matter what mistakes we make, fully persuaded that it's better to be "happy in Jesus, than sane as the Devil & sad." The System will always tell you that what you are doing is impossible, that you might as well quit, curse God & die.—Don't let them get you! Stay dropped out of the doubts of the Devil by staying close to the Lord & His Word. "For we live in a world of madness where all are insane but we. I'll take my world full of gladness though you call it fantasy." (198:38.)
29. SOME PRACTICAL TIPS ON "HOW TO": As a skeleton is to the body, so is organisation to provisioning. Without organisation & a vision, you won't make much progress.
30. SOME TOOLS TO HELP YOU GET ORGANISED: (a) A Contact Notebook: It is very important that you note every telephone call, appointment or pickup made. You can record them all in a large, well kept, neat notebook, using different colours for each (blue for telephone calls, red for pickups, etc.)
| COMPANY | ADDRESS | TELEPHONE | ITEM | COMMENTS | TO DO | DONE |
Note at the beginning, the date & your name.
Company—Be accurate—always obtain the name & position of the person with whom you spoke.
Address—For pickups & appointments. Be accurate!
Item—This helps you to review rapidly, & see all the work done on any particular item.
Comments—A few words on what happened‚ their attitude, your impression. Note while it is fresh in your mind.
To Do—was a letter requested, do you have an appointment, a pickup? Note it, do it, & check it off!
31. (b) An Agenda Notebook: This is a personal notebook to list all your responsibilities each day. You will need a page for each day, & divide it into three sections: To See, To Telephone, To Write. Get in the habit of writing everything down, including needs.
32. (c) A File Card Box: A filing system‚ using a 3 x 5 card for each contact who donates‚ will permit you to keep an accurate history of each contact. A card should include all important information concerning the contact‚ including when contacted & by whom, what he gave, what lit he received, his attitude, when he can give again, etc. These cards can be filed according to major classifications. We would also suggest that you use an accordion file to keep copies of all your correspondence as a double check against sending someone the same letter twice.
NAME AND POSITION
COMMENTS ON CONTACT
| DATE | DONATION | LIT. CORRESPONDENCE | COMMENTS | RECEIVED |
33. THE MAIN THING IS TO BE DILIGENT TO RECORD EVERYTHING, keep your records up-to-date, & then use them. It's worthwhile to be organised. "It's God's business‚ thank God, but it's business." (301A:5.)
34. (d) A TELEPHONE can make the job a lot quicker & may become a necessity. Even public telephones can be used. We have provisioned six or more hours a day from a public phone!
35. (e) LITERATURE—You will definitely need PR brochures, & good lit for the System that will explain your work & make a good impression on businessmen that you meet. "Love Is News" can work very well. (Or see "Personal Notes," 88:36–38, "Pictures," 104:31–33, & "Letters III," 53:12 on tips from Dad on putting together your PR brochure.)
36. (f) A LITTLE SIMPLE PHOTOBOOK or album is very good to have. A picture is worth a thousand words & can really help people to see & understand & believe what you're saying. This is especially good for you, as you can explain your work directly from the pictures. Dad tells you all you need to know about putting together a photo album in the Letter, "Pictures," 104.
37. (g) YOU WILL NEED A TYPEWRITER if at all possible, to make your correspondence more formal & business like.
38. (h) EVERY PROVISIONER WILL NEED SOME GOOD CLOTHES kept clean & ironed. Remember as you are getting these items together that, as Dad has said, the System loves success & will support a group that looks & is successful. However, they will hardly ever give anything to the poor or "fly-by-night."
39. WHO SHOULD PROVISION?—ANYONE with the burden & willingness to do it can provision. There are some people however, who just seem to have a special talent for PR & meeting the System, so these are usually the best ones to try first. As Dad has said,
40. "PEOPLE GIVE TO PERSONALITIES MUCH MORE FREELY THAN TO ORGANISATIONS." ("What To‚" 332A: 1-15.) So you need someone with a lot of love & who can be likeable & pleasant. A boy-girl team usually works very well. He can add the important "business" side while she adds that "personal touch" that really hooks them.
41. PROVISIONING SCHEDULE: If you have a lot of needs, & you will be provisioning full-time for a week or so, you of course need to plan a good daily & weekly schedule. It's important to try to be on a similar schedule to the System, so that when they are working you are working, & when they are taking a break, you are taking a break. This will help you to get the most out of each provisioning day.
42. IT IS IMPORTANT, THOUGH, NOT TO ROB YOURSELF OF THE SPIRITUAL STRENGTH YOU NEED just for the sake of keeping the System schedule. You have to really pray & balance your contact with the System with time in the Word in order to do the best possible job.
43. IT WILL ALSO HELP YOU TO MAKE MUCH BETTER USE OF YOUR TIME IF YOU PLAN YOUR OVERALL DAYS. For example, you could study over your entire needs list & pick out the priorities. You estimate that it will take two days of solid work on the phone, so you tentatively plan to stay home Monday & Tuesday & then plan to make appointments, pickups or collect your provisionments on Wednesday & Thursday.
44. INVESTIGATION: A LITTLE SPIRIT-LED INVESTIGATION OF YOUR NEED & WHERE IT'S AVAILABLE CAN SAVE YOU HOURS. Squeeze—don't jerk! A good working knowledge of exactly what you need will enable you to talk shop with your potential donors, & save needless mistakes.
45. DON'T JUST GO RUNNING INTO THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF SOME BIG CORPORATION & ASK FOR SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT EVEN SURE HE HAS. Check around & get as much information as possible. The business pages of your telephone directory are good to study.
46. YOUR INVESTIGATION WILL BE LIKE FOLLOWING A TRAIL. Ask questions, "Seek & ye shall find," search out the matter carefully. Always take notes.
47. IF SOMEONE DOESN'T HAVE WHAT YOU NEED, ASK HIM WHO DOES. Try to get as much information as possible from each person you talk to. Time & again we found that by asking people questions, it was almost like having the oracles of God opened unto us. Other businessmen have led us not only to the right place, but right to God's man. PTL!
48. WHERE TO LOOK?: A LARGE PART OF YOUR JOB IS LOCATING THE DESIRED ITEM, the people who have it & are capable of giving it. In general, you will find that the people who can most easily help are the manufacturers & wholesale dealers. They are often in the position of being able to give in abundance. Having located the suitable companies, save time & go to the top, contacting the President or one of the directors, someone who has the authority to give. This is not always easy, as they are often surrounded by "hatchet men" whose job is to protect their boss. But don't get discouraged!
49. IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO FIND OUT THE BOSS'S NAME BEFORE YOU CALL. Many libraries have business directories where this information is listed, or you can call a competitor & get his name from them! You can even call & talk to a salesman of the same company first, & get the boss's name from him. This way you can also find out if that company has the specific product that you need.
50. TRY & GET HIS PERSONAL NAME, PRESENTING YOURSELF AS SOMEONE IMPORTANT, which you certainly are if you are God's child & provisioning for His Kingdom! If all else fails‚ ask for his personal secretary, test her to see if she is receptive, pour your heart out & win her. A convinced secretary can often win her boss. If it is a large company, the Commercial Director or Publicity Director can often decide. In any case, you want to make sure your petition reaches the top & is not lost in the shuffle.
51. THERE ARE THREE BASIC METHODS OF CONTACTING THE PEOPLE IN THE SYSTEM who can help you:
(a) Telephone—the easiest & quickest.
(b) Appointment—the most personal & powerful.
(c) Paper—letters—the most precise & official.
52. TELEPHONE PROVISIONING IS PERHAPS THE EASIEST & FASTEST WAY of getting results. Let your fingers do the walking through the yellow pages! In our work, about 90% of our contacts are made initially by telephone. Also, very few bosses or executives will receive anyone who simply walks in off the street & asks to see them without an appointment. We, too‚ do not have time to run around town trying to see people that we are not even sure will see us or help. Our time is precious & so is theirs.
53. WHEN YOU HAVE A NEED, go to the yellow pages & locate all the companies dealing in your need. It is very important to stay in prayer, as God often has funny ways of showing you who to phone. Don't be afraid to call many companies. It's "pick & shovel" & you have to work at it.
54. TELEPHONING IS HAND–TO-HAND COMBAT & you have to be ready for anything & know how to explain yourself concisely & accurately.
55. YOU WILL SOUND MORE LIKE THE BOSS IS EXPECTING YOUR CALL already if you can ask for him by name, which may help his secretary to put you right through to him. If she asks, "What is your call concerning?" You can say, "An important order" or "It's concerning a special order for a television" (or whatever you want to provision) or "I just talked to Mr. Brown in sales & he said I should talk to the boss." So remember‚ God can do miracles on the phone!
56. WHEN YOU GET THROUGH TO THE BOSS, INTRODUCE YOURSELF‚ & give a little explanation of
(a) who we are,
(b) our ministry in general,
(c) what the specific need is &
(d) why you need it, &
(e) ask him if he will help by donating it.
This should not take more than roughly 1 1/2 minutes. (My TV pitch was one minute!)
57. YOU SHOULD BE CONCISE & CLEAR & DELIVER YOUR SOUL, but at the same time try to be personal & break the ice & not sound like a robot. Also, offer to come & see him if he would like to see you. A good sales pitch over the phone, delivered with humility & conviction, can work wonders. Be concise, & ready to furnish him with all the necessary details of your need.
58. THERE ARE ALL SORTS OF PRESENTATIONS‚ BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING, is to be sincere‚ from your heart to his heart!
59. IF HE SAYS YES, THANK HIM SINCERELY & MAKE THE NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS to pick up the goods. He might, if he is not sure, or has to consult with his colleagues, ask you to write him a letter explaining what you just told him on the phone. This is a very common business practise & is by no means a negative reply.
60. IF HE SAYS MAYBE, BUT DOESN'T ASK FOR A LETTER, VOLUNTEER TO SEND HIM ONE, NEVER UNDERESTIMATE PAPER POWER! The System thrives on it & they are accustomed to seeing everything in black & white. Letters can go places & see people that we can never hope to see.
61. IF HE SAYS NO, THANK HIM POLITELY & HANG UP. Remember, love never fails. Note: Of course not everyone is going to be open to us, & you will meet those who may be hostile. Even if you are tempted to blast them, you would be better to just say sincerely "Goodbye," when you are absolutely certain they do not want to help. You will only create enemies by pushing people who are closed, & may hurt the whole work. Remember who you represent!
62. YOU WILL FIND IN TELEPHONE PROVISIONING that, as you do it more & more, it is like a muscle that will become stronger & stronger. Telephone provisioning requires you to be really "tuned in," as the only way you can discern what type of person he is is by his voice & the little things he says. However, with a little faith you will find that it will bear tremendous fruit. We have found that normally the best time to reach the boss in his office is in the morning.
63. AT THE END OF A DAY OF TELEPHONING‚ you will probably have several different contacts to follow up. You must be faithful to bring each one to a decision: "I will help you," or "I will not help you." Head each one to a decision. In all this, stay continually on the offensive. Be faithful in calling back at agreed hours. Be ready to propose an hour & a date for an appointment. Your boldness will convince him of the urgency of the need. Some of the people that you contact by phone will give you an appointment to see them & explain more fully. Always encourage this, as a personal encounter is the most personal & powerful way of ministering to people. It also shows you are sincere & have nothing to hide.
64. APPOINTMENTS: THESE USUALLY COME AS A RESULT OF YOUR TELEPHONE CALLS & provisioning letters in which you offered to come & see them. Most important executives who have the power to help you will want to meet you personally so that they can know for sure who & what they are giving to. Even here, definite appointments can be made over the phone which will save you hours. A few things that you will want to remember:
65. BE ON TIME!—It is good to call a few hours ahead of time & confirm with his secretary that you are coming as planned. Also, if you see you cannot possibly make it, or will be late, phone ahead & apologise, but remember, this may cause you to lose his good will.
66. BE CLEAN, WELL DRESSED & TAKE SUITABLE PR MATERIAL, "Love Is News," photo album, etc. Also, in many cases, children are a tremendous asset.
67. YOU SHOULD ALSO REMEMBER THAT BUSINESSMEN ARE USUALLY VERY BUSY, & won't take time to listen to a lot of double talk. In fact, they can quickly get very impatient with people who "hem & haw" around. Therefore, for your first contact, it is important to have planned out in advance what you are going to say so that you can get right to the point quickly.
68. IT'S IMPORTANT TO BE VERY POLITE, WARM & FRIENDLY. Right away you could shake hands & say "Good afternoon, sir. I'm sure you're really busy, but I'll try to take only a minute of your valuable time."
69. GIVE YOUR NAME & DESCRIBE YOUR WORK IN A WAY THEY CAN RELATE TO. "My name is John Jones & I work with the FOL. We've worked here in your city for several months now offering help to lonely people both young & old. We often visit hospitals, prisons, orphanages, etc."
70. THEN EXPLAIN EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED & WHY YOU NEED IT. For example, "Right now we are in the process of fixing up a reception room in our house. We have been in a desperate need of a room for talking with the people who come to us for help. It's important though that we have a nice place, because it helps people to be much more relaxed. Specifically we need a couch & a chair set, preferably something in green, as another firm has just supplied a green carpet." Finally ask if he could donate it‚ since your work is voluntary.
71. IT'S IMPORTANT TO KEEP IT VERY SMOOTH & FLOWING to give them confidence in you. Also see "Personal Answers II," 67:74 about playing up any good recognition you've had from the local authorities, etc. It's also good to mention other companies that have helped you. This little sales pitch should only take about one minute or so.
72. ALWAYS LOOK FOR A MANNER TO "BREAK THE ICE." Speak to the real man‚ his heart. Don't be hesitant to give various testimonies to impress him that we are reaching people, & that the solution we have works!
73. REMEMBER TO BE HONEST & STRAIGHT FORWARD & HAVE GOOD EYE CONTACT as you talk. Never lie! You will get caught almost every time, & end up being a bad testimony. ... Dad has pointed this out in many Letters.
74. HIS REACTION: Now that you've really put him on the spot‚ several different things could happen. Most people say yes, some say no & others react in many different ways.
75. IF HE SAYS YES, REALLY THANK HIM FOR HIS HELP, & THEN POLITELY ARRANGE A TIME FOR YOU TO PICK UP THE GOODS & get all & any information that you might need: The firm's address, names of workers you'll meet when picking up, etc. Really show him your appreciation by being very diligent about all these details. You can also encourage him to call on you if he ever needs help.
76. IF HE DEFINITELY SAYS NO‚ BE POLITE ANYWAY. Thank him for taking his time to at least talk to you. People say no for a lot of different reasons. Who knows, maybe because you were polite, even though he turned you down, he might actually help next time‚ but don't continue begging & pleading & completely aggravate him.
77. THERE'S ALWAYS THE MAN THAT DOESN'T SAY YES, & MAYBE EVEN SAYS NO, BUT NOT REALLY. He is thinking about what you said, & will probably ask you some questions before making up his mind. Here is where you really have to get on the attack‚ & positively & firmly answer his questions & contend for the faith & go in & claim the land. The letters "Public Relations" & "The Truth vs. 112 Lies" are a couple of good Letters to read on the subject of answering questions.
78. PAPER-LETTERS: ONE OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAYS OF HANDLING the necessary correspondence entailed is to create general form letters to cover most of your day to day situations. There are three general letters that you will find yourself using frequently:
79. (a) LETTER OF REQUEST: This is sent following a phone call, when they have asked for a formal request. Do it the same day. It should contain a paragraph explaining who we are, another on the project we are specifically engaged in & a third stating the precise item that we are in need of. Always offer to go see him, & mention that you are capable of picking up the item yourself. This sometimes makes a big difference. When you have sent the letter, wait a few days & phone to see if there is an answer yet. Never underestimate the power of a letter! It goes places & sees people you can't!
80. (b) LETTER OF ENCOURAGEMENT: This is sent directly following a favourable appointment or telephone call (even if you have not received a donation yet). Thank him for his interest, explain a little more our work & reaffirm our need. This is to keep our "foot in the door" while he decides how to help us.
81. (c) THANK YOU LETTER: This is of utmost importance to the welfare of your Home. It should be typed or neatly written on letterhead paper or nice stationary & contain a word of thanks, mentioning the article by name, a paragraph explaining our work in general & perhaps another more specifically about your area. Thank you letters are very important, as they show your contacts that you really care & appreciate their help. But be sure to send it right away.
82. THINGS YOU PUT OFF UNTIL TOMORROW OFTEN NEVER GET DONE.—Or if they get done‚ your poor contact gets his thank you note weeks later after he has pretty well forgotten you, & certainly wouldn't want to help again. Don't forget that your local Home mail ministry can be a very important part of your provisioning by sharing your needs with family, relatives & sheep. See Letter 197:19-23.
83. IN ALL YOUR LETTERS, IF YOU ARE ABLE‚ ENCLOSE A "LOVE IS NEWS," A PRAYER LETTER OR EVEN PHOTOS of the work in your area. Make sure that your letters are neat & tidy & your spelling is correct, as they are your public relations image.
84. ALSO, EVERY TWO MONTHS OR SO, YOU COULD COMPOSE A NEWSLETTER & send it to everyone who has helped you. This will keep you in contact with them & will show them that you are concerned with them, & not just their goods.
85. PICKUPS: NOW THAT YOU HAVE BEEN FAITHFUL IN ALL THIS, you are going to start receiving letters, phone calls saying that various items are awaiting you at various locations. These pickups should be made as soon as possible, as it shows people we are really sincere. You will probably need a vehicle, so you should plan ahead to either borrow, rent or provision the use of a car or van.
86. A GOOD WAY TO SAVE TIME IS TO GROUP YOUR PICKUPS, to make four or five at a time. You need a good detailed city map, & should plan your exact route before you leave the Home. Always call & confirm when you are coming & that the item is ready.—Be on time!
87. FOR EACH PICKUP, YOU SHOULD KNOW THE NAME OF THE MAN who has authorised it. Even though the item is "promised," don't let your guard down, as the devil will often try to "close the door."
88. WHEN YOU ARRIVE, CHECK THE AREA OUT DISCREETLY to see how else they can help us. If you are really on the ball, you will often come back with more than expected. However, don't push people too much or they might be discouraged to give in the future. Be thankful for whatever they give you, & leave them with literature.
89. THE COMMERCIAL SYSTEM IS SO COMPLICATED that it often makes mistakes that we can profit from. Here are some examples:
90. CLOTHING—IN MANY COUNTRIES, styles change two or three times a year. At the end of each "season" most clothing manufacturers & dealers are left with "end of series," which they try to sell at a discount. You can get some fantastic clothes & literally save hundreds of dollars!
91. YOGURTS—IN MANY COUNTRIES they are very popular. Often when they are shipped‚ some are damaged. For instance‚ they are packaged in fours—if one pot is damaged‚ they throw them all out. Go to the director & ask if they can put them aside, & you can pass at an agreed hour to pick them up. Offer to draw up an official release form‚ discharging his company from any responsibility.
92. FRUITS & VEGETABLES—IN MAJOR TOWNS‚ there is usually a wholesale market that supplies the retailers. A few hours‚ or a day once a week, should easily supply all your needs. ... It is easy to see the boss. Be faithful to minister to them.
93. CANNED GOODS—GO TO LARGE SUPERMARKETS. They have an enormous amount of damaged goods.
94. GRAIN—WE HAVE FOUND THAT THIS IS DELICIOUS especially ground, when it is like wheat germ. Take your own sacks & go to farmers, or to co-ops. Store in a dry, well ventilated area.
95. IF YOU ARE REALLY BEING DILIGENT IN YOUR MINISTRY, you will have an abundance of certain items‚ often fresh fruit & vegetables. Be sure to give them away to other Homes, the poor or charities. It is a tremendous testimony!
96. TIME IS SHORT!—"AND WE MUST WORK EVEN HARDER & FASTER NOW, for the Lord has shown us the time is even shorter & it's later than you think! ... Like a dying candle, the Lord showed me the lights of the world are soon to flicker out & there will be great darkness throughout the Earth‚ & there shall be great agony of soul which shall grieve the heart of thy father.—And there shall be great weeping & wailing & gnashing of teeth throughout the Earth!" (307A:26.)
97. AS WE ARE ALL AWARE, IN MANY PARTS OF THE WORLD, we still enjoy a considerable amount of freedom. However, this is soon to end, & this is why it is so important that we take advantage of it to get as much done as possible. Conditions will never be so favourable again for provisioning, & it is certain that if we do not take advantage of this opportunity now, we will deeply regret it. The vision is not just to provision for your little Home of six people, with all the needs you have, especially survival. But we should be thinking & praying big & going to the people who can really give & help the whole work in each country & around the world!
98. DON'T LIMIT GOD! Even if for some reason they can't give their product, always ask for financial donations to help our overseas missions-Use it! In our personal experiences, we have found that every time we got desperate with God & were diligent in seeking a need, He always supplied. "Ye have not, because ye ask not."
99. CONCLUSION: DON'T EVER GET DISCOURAGED, even if six people have turned you down, praise God, & don't give up. "The trying your faith worketh patience," Jam.1:3. Keep expecting & God will supply. It's His Word, & it cannot fail!
100. HE HAS MANY WAYS TO SUPPLY, BUT THE PRINCIPAL IS ALWAYS THE SAME: You must go & meet the people who have the power to help you, & inspire them to do so. You have to work & do the "wenting."—Follow God! (See Letter 317A:23.)
101. YOUR SUCCESSFUL & FAITHFUL PROVISIONING CAN TRULY TRANSFORM THE LIFE OF YOUR HOME, those around you & even the other Homes near you. We often like to compare this ministry to the cover of the Letter "Flesh or Spirit" where we see the strong, muscular, know-it-all man running & trying so hard in his own strength‚ barely making it, while the young, skinny spiritual "hippie" is floating by‚ trusting God & going much farther than man could ever hope to. Your Home can be one of the two, depending on where your faith rests.
102. IT IS ESSENTIAL TO REMEMBER in all your provisioning that you do not treat these people as just contacts & "what can we get out of them," but rather as sheep & as friends that need to be ministered to, if you expect them to help you.—Love Never Fails!
103. WE DO NOT BY ANY MEANS WANT TO LIMIT ANY ONE TO A CERTAIN SET WAY, methods or ideas‚ but rather we would hope to inspire each one of you to go farther & do more than has ever been done before to help reach the world with the message of God's Love. Happy provisioning!
104. SUGGESTED READING: M, 4, 27, 51A‚ 73, 74‚ 87‚ 104, 142‚ 171, 211, 212, 215, 302, 303A, 313, 314A, 317, 335A, 384‚ 502, 565, 598, 633, 700, 703.
105. VERSES ON PROVISIONING: Ex.12:35,36; Ps.2:8; 23:1; 33:19; 34:9,10; 37:3,25; Pr.8:21; 10:4; 14:26; 21:1; 22:25; 25:15; Mt.6:33; 7:7-11; Mk.9:23; 10:27; Jn.14:12-14; 15:7; Pr.13:22; Ro.10:17.
106. TIPS ON PROVISIONING A G.P. LIT PROJECT: As most Homes are now printing their own GP lit, we want to outline briefly the basic steps involved in provisioning a GP lit. Through personal experience we have found that the Lord has been more than willing to open the floodgates of Heaven & provide contacts to print more free lit than we could ever have hoped to pay for, thus enabling us to burn free in giving out the Wonder Working Words that the world is waiting for. It just takes a little faith, strong conviction that these are God's Words, & the desire to shoot for the stars & not settle for second best. Read "Birthday Warning" to really remind you of the vision!
107. IN MOST SITUATIONS THE PROVISIONING OF A G.P. PROJECT CONSISTS OF FOUR BASIC STEPS: First, provisioning suitable paper. Second finding someone to do the photo work. Third‚ finding a printer to print the lit & fourth, someone to fold it & staple if necessary.
108. YOU CAN EITHER PROVISION EACH ONE OF THESE STEPS SEPARATELY‚ OR THE WHOLE PROJECT from one printer. This latter alternative is relatively simple‚ but for the benefit of those who are not in the position to do this, we would like to outline the basic procedure involved in provisioning the four steps separately.
109. REMEMBER THAT THE FIRMS INVOLVED IN THESE FOUR PHASES USUALLY DO BUSINESS WITH EACH OTHER & KNOW EACH OTHER, somewhat like a small community. Therefore‚ if you find a printer who is willing to help you‚ it is very worthwhile to mention to the paper company that Mr. Printer has agreed to do the printing, when you call, since they probably know each other, & Mr. Paperman may well help you because of that. It's like a snowball, once it gets going it's easier to keep going. "Nothing succeeds like success!"
110. ALSO‚ DO NOT SELL YOURSELF SHORT ON QUALITY just because you are asking for something for free. If your faith is strong & you ask with conviction‚ the finished result should be just as good quality as if you had paid for it. Our lit is our "image" by which many people judge us, so it should be as good quality as the original. Professionals in the printing business will respect you if you expect a high standard in quality.
111. PAPER: THE FIRST THING YOU NEED TO DECIDE IS EXACTLY WHICH LETTERS YOU WANT TO PRINT & how many. Before making your final choice you will need to know the standard size of paper that most paper companies sell in your area. (For example, in one place the standard size is 45 cm by 64 cm, which we found is just the right size to put four 8–pagers on with no waste.) Paper is expensive, so you should try to set up your project so that you never waste any.—Use it all. (4-pg. Komix now are best!)
112. AFTER YOU HAVE DECIDED TO PRINT, for example, four 8-pagers, 10,000 copies of each, you can phone the paper company & explain your work. then explain your need, "We want to print four different pamphlets, 15 cm by 11 cm, 8-pages each, 10,000 copies of each. (These sizes are just an example.) Could you help us with some offset paper size 45 cm by 64 cm, 10,000 sheets?" (In printing jargon, one ream is 500 sheets, so here you'd say "20 reams.")
113. IN GENERAL, THE MINIMUM WEIGHT OR THICKNESS OF THE PAPER FOR THE LETTERS SHOULD BE ABOUT 50 GRAMS. When you find someone who agrees to help you, arrange for the pickup or delivery. Beware of storing paper at home, as the wrong temperature or humidity can render it unfit for printing! If you are not sure how to measure & calculate the size of paper you will need you might be better to provision a printer first (or at least consult one) & get an estimate on what size your paper & films should be.
114. PRINTER: BEFORE YOU GIVE A PRINTER YOUR SALES PITCH, ask him if his presses can print the size of paper that you are planning to use. Some printers are very small & can only do one 6-pager at a time. However, if he seems nice & only has a small machine, you can ask him if in the future you had a small job, would he do it for you? This way‚ even if some printers can't do your main big job, you can always refer to them for small special jobs such as difficult language printing‚ business cards, letterhead paper, prayer letters, etc. The possibilities are endless!
115. WHEN YOU FIND A PRINTER WHO HAS A BIG ENOUGH PRESS, explain your work & printing project, then ask, "Mr. Paperman has donated the paper. If we get the photo work done, will you print it for us?" When you find someone who will help you, ask him if you can visit & show him the pamphlets, so you know exactly what to tell the photoman.
116. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO CONSULT YOUR PRINTER on all the details, as he is the professional & knows all the little pitfalls that you don't. Take him the original of what you plan to print & ask, "Is this good enough quality? What size should the photoman shoot the films for each page, so that it will fit on the donated paper? What other information do we need to give the photoman?" Be sure you have a clear understanding with him, & you know exactly what your project is going to require & that it will fit on the paper with no waste. A good point to remember is that if your entire project is one or two cm too big for the paper, the photoman can shrink the original a tiny amount to make it fit.
117. PHOTO WORK: WHEN YOU HAVE THIS ALL ARRANGED, CALL UP A COMPANY THAT DOES PHOTO WORK & explain to him that Mr. Paperman & Mr. Printer are already helping you, & could he please do (in this case) 32-pages of black–&-white photo work‚ & tell him the size of each page (whatever the printer told you they should be). Most printers prefer positives rather than negatives. Ask yours‚ & then ask the photoman for whatever is preferred.
118. WHEN YOU FIND ONE THAT AGREES, take him the originals of your Letters & make sure that attached to it is a note specifying exactly what size the film should be according to what the printer said. It is just as easy for the photoman to shrink your original a bit as to shoot them the actual size‚ so he will be happy to do it as long as you tell him the exact size you need. (He can enlarge it too!)
119. THEN WHEN YOU HAVE THE FILMS READY, take them to the printer & lay them out together with him, so that there is no possibility of him putting the back of one Letter on the front of another. This has happened & he might be sorry‚ but sorry doesn't fix it & certainly does not replace the waste of paper. As you are not paying, he is not obligated to redo it.
120. MAKE SURE THAT THERE IS NO POSSIBILITY OF ANYTHING GOING WRONG. The Enemy certainly doesn't want these Letters to get out, so be sure to pray over each step, & check every detail yourself.
121. AT THE BEGINNING YOU SHOULD ASK THE PRINTER WHEN THE LIT WILL BE READY. If he is a good contact, he will appreciate the fact that you have a deadline too, & will do his best to get it done on time. Beware of printers who are vague, as you might end up waiting months for your "free" lit. According to your faith be it done unto you.—Remember, you never stumble over mountains, only pebbles!
122. KEEP YOUR FILMS when the printing project is finished‚ as they are expensive & you can share them with other Homes (or re-use!)
123. STAPLING & FOLDING: WHEN THE LIT IS PRINTED, the printer will probably be able to cut it, & may be even fold it. If not, this is another step, but usually it is not hard to get this last step done. Most of our GP pubs are designed so that they don't need a staple, but this is not hard to get done if you need it.
124. THIS MIGHT ALL SOUND VERY TECHNICAL TO YOU if you don't know much about printing, but you will find that after you have provisioned one GP lit project, not only will your faith be tremendously increased to provision more & more along this line, but you will also learn very quickly all the technicalities involved. The main thing is to be careful about details & consult with the professionals each step of the way, because they know best. Don't hesitate to ask questions if you don't understand things. People will appreciate your interest. Learn all you can while you can!
[OTHER] TIPS ON ... PROVISIONING:
125. SOME OF THE HOMES IN OUR FAMILY ARE IN SITUATIONS WHERE THEY MUST REMAIN SELAH. For various reasons, they cannot litness, witness or operate openly, but we would like to include a few tips & experiences that we have found useful in provisioning in these situations. Of course, circumstances vary greatly, & so do tactics, but we hope that this will be a help to you, & encourage you to step out by faith whenever possible.
126. FOR YOUR SECURITY SAKE‚ YOU WILL HAVE TO AVOID GIVING THE APPEARANCE THAT YOU ARE PART OF A BIG "ORGANISATION." Thus it is very important to be very personal & loving with all your contacts‚ so that they will have confidence in you & know personally who they are giving to.
127. CHILDREN ARE A REAL BLESSING IN SELAH PROVISIONING & can melt the hardest hearts. Instead of using "Love Is News," etc., use a little photo album with pictures of what you & your family do. Really add the personal touch in whatever way you can, whether it be baking cakes, the children writing thank you notes‚ etc. ... Also, don't be discouraged if you don't have a typewriter. Handwritten letters on nice stationary can be just as effective‚ & very personal.
128. ... For your mailing address, it is always better to use a P.O. box‚ if possible.
129. WHAT IF PEOPLE ASK YOU WHERE YOU LIVE? It is not always because they are nosey, but sometimes they are just interested. It is, after all‚ a perfectly legitimate question if he is planning on helping you. If you hem & haw around, they might think you are a phoney, so be prepared to answer these kinds of questions before you start.
130. YOU CAN ALWAYS ANSWER, "WE LIVE IN OR NEAR SUCH-&-SUCH AN AREA," giving the general area of where you live‚ "But we get all our mail at our P.O. box." You can even say (if it is the case) that you don't have a permanent address yet, as you just arrived, & that is why you need help.
131. IF THERE ARE A FEW HOMES IN YOUR AREA, you could decide amongst yourselves if one could be a GP address. ...
132. ONE THING THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER IS TO AVOID TELLING ANY SORT OF WEIRD STORY because you are so "Selah." The Lord will only bless your efforts if you stick to the truth ... — [but be] "all things to all men." Don't compromise your testimony for material gain. You can easily let them know somewhere in your conversation that you have the Lord & are trying to live a Godly life. They'll almost always respect you for it as long as you don't become preachy & they may want to see you again if they realise you can help them in difficult areas of their daily life. You may be able to slip things into your conversation with them that you've learned from the Bible & the Letters that may be just the answer they are looking for. Start right where they're at & be human & sincerely interested in their needs as well.
133. IF YOU ARE TRYING TO PROVISION A LARGE OR COSTLY ITEM, it's sometimes better to ask the boss for an appointment on the phone, rather than telling him everything right away. Once you get to see & talk & lightly witness to him, it will be very hard for him to say no.
134. AS YOU ARE IN A RATHER DELICATE SITUATION, YOU WILL HAVE TO PRAY VERY SPECIFICALLY & believe that the Lord can raise up someone who will help without being to inquisitive. If you find that someone is being too nosey, it is perhaps better to try somewhere else. Remember‚ you are looking for God's man!
135. IN NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES IT WOULD BE BETTER TO AVOID PROVISIONING IN YOUR IMMEDIATE NEIGHBOURHOOD or area of town. It is generally better to do whatever shopping you have to in the local area to earn the good will of your neighbours, unless you are buying in such abnormally large quantities that it would make them suspicious of who you are. Big cities are good to provision in, as you probably will not see your contacts outside of their offices.
137. ONE GOOD WAY OF OBTAINING NEEDED HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, ETC., IS TO PLACE AN AD in the paper, or on local supermarket bulletin boards etc. Even if you don't mention that you want it free, if worded right, people will often realise that you need help. If you don't have a phone, you can always ask a fish or friend to let you use his for the day or so when people will be calling. Also, check out the Salvation Army & other local charities to see if they can help. (Even churches!)
138. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ABOUT SELAH PROVISIONING IS TO BE PRAYERFUL & SPIRIT-LED in all that you do. Even if you cannot associate yourself with a group, you can in many countries present yourself as a group of families doing missionary work. This has been successful in a number of cases.—There are all sorts of possibilities which desperate prayer & faith will help you discover.
139. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO BE HONEST, OPEN, LOVING & PERSONAL WITH PEOPLE. If you are faithful to in some way slip in the message, the Lord will bless your efforts more than you ever dreamed possible! (AMEN! Happy provisioning!)
140. P.S. IN THE RARE EVENT THAT YOU CANNOT PROVISION your regular needs for free, you can always ask wholesale dealers, etc., to sell them to you at cost price. One way to make this even more worthwhile is to combine your weekly buying with other Homes in your area (as we used to do). You will often find that many "unprovisionable" items can be bought at considerable saving below the store price when you buy in quantity from a wholesaler.