I spent this past weekend teaching at West Palm Beach, Fla., First. I had the privilege of tagging along with one of my staff members, Kenny Hindenburg. Kenny was training a large group of students and adults as they prepared to serve in Panama.

Kenny started serving with our ministry as a student and has grown up through the ranks to become one of our top trainers and leaders. This summer, he and his fiancée, Whitney, will lead a team serving for five weeks in the country of Latvia. This July, Kenny and Whitney will be married only one week after they return from the mission field.

To catch our return flight to Tulsa, Kenny and I had to get up at 4:30 Monday morning. We boarded the plane and enjoyed the trip to Dallas where we would catch a connecting flight to Tulsa. When we arrived at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport (DFW), we checked the monitor and saw that our next flight was on time. We sat down in front of a television and watched the news showing the devastation of the tornado that hit Joplin, Mo. The newscaster then displayed the weather map with storm cells still lurking.

At that point, I knew we were in trouble. Before long, they began to announce delays in our departure. Next, the word “Cancelled” appeared across the screen beside our flight and many more.

The thousands of people at DFW were suddenly stranded, confused and upset. People formed long lines only to learn no flights would go out until the next day. An elderly gentleman told us he had been in the airport since the night before. Sure enough, the agent told Kenny and me we had the privilege of taking the next available flight . . . more than 30 hours later.

Since Kenny and I both lead teams around the world, we’re used to developing alternate plans. We took out our cell phones and began making calls. No problem, we thought. We’d get a rental car and make the four-and-a-half-hour drive home. Imagine our shock to learn DFW had no more rental cars! How can one of the largest airports in the world be out of cars?

I started calling friends in the Dallas area. If we were going to be stranded, I knew we didn’t want to spend the night in the airport. Kenny called the head of a rental car company in Tulsa and struck gold. We had to catch a taxi cab to obtain it, but we got the one remaining rental car north of the airport in Grapevine, Texas.

As Kenny and I drove home, we enjoyed an incredible conversation about his upcoming marriage. We had time to discuss many aspects of married life. He shared about how he had planned for his and Whitney’s financial future long before their relationship grew serious. Since he knew he would have a wife one day, he started preparing years ago.

I have such great admiration for this young man. Whitney will be blessed by a husband who has worked on their future long before he knew she would become part of it.

Few of today’s young adults understand that being a spiritual, well-informed follower of Christ includes being financially responsible. Our spiritual life correlates directly with our financial integrity. I fear we’ve created a generation that believes money comes from machines and someone else will take care of them when it runs out. Some of the most wonderful Christ-followers I know have lost their ministries and testimonies because of a lack of financial integrity.

Parents, I encourage you to teach, model and guide your children to use their financial resources to prepare for the future while they are still young.

If you don’t, you may someday receive a letter like this:

Dear Dad,
$chool i$ really great. I am making lot$ of friend$ and $tudying very hard. My fir$t cla$$ is $cience. With all my $tuff, I $imply can’t think of anything I need, $o if you would like, you can ju$t $end me a card, a$ I would love to hear from you. $ee you $oon!
Your $on, $amuel

The Reply:

Dear Son,
I kNOw that astroNOmy, ecoNOmics, and oceaNOgraphy are eNOugh to keep even an hoNOr student busy. Do NOt forget that the pursuit of kNOwledge is a NOble task, and you can never study eNOugh. KNOw I am proud of you.

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much” (Luke 16:10).

Helping your children to understand $piritual re$pon$ibility pay$ big dividend$. Way to go, Kenny!

Congratulation$ to you and Whitney on laying a $trong foundation for your marriage.

Walker Moore is president of AweStar Ministries in Tulsa, P.O. Box 470265, Tulsa 74147, e-mail walker@awestar.org, phone 800/AWESTAR (293-7827)