Dynamic Steward: How did you join the Adventist Church?
Valère Marouvin: My wife, Thérèse, and I were introduced to the Adventist faith by church members during their door-to-door visits. We were baptized in 1964. Our three children were thus born in an Adventist home.
DS: When did you start being an active member?
VM: Right after my baptism! I have served the Lord in various capacities within the local church. Since 1976 I have functioned as a volunteer Stewardship Ministries director at my local conference, Réunion Conference in the Indian Ocean Union.
DS: What was your stewardship strategy for the local church?
VM: In those days I was a member of the church in Saint-Denis, the capital city of Réunion Island. We set up a stewardship committee for the church which had two objectives: To raise church members’ awareness of systematic generosity, and to address the disastrous financial condition of most churches.
Our basic approach was to visit families in their homes and teach and encourage them in biblical stewardship.
DS: What has contributed to your long-term commitment to stewardship ministry?
VM: In 1980 I was called to supervise the construction of a new church in a neighborhood of Saint-Denis called Moufia. I volunteered to care for the newly founded community of 29 members. From the start, my objective was to establish a stewardship ministry among this new group of believers. As a result, the church was built solely with the help and funds provided by the members.
Once the construction was completed, I realized that this was the winning strategy . A church at work grows in all aspects. My experience with the Moufia church had confirmed the equation: time + talents + finances = stewardship.
DS: Would you share about your personal experience as a steward of God’s resources?
VM: In my personal life I have had to face several difficult situations. However, God had always answered my prayers, sometimes in unexpected ways. When I teach and train others in stewardship, I always refer to God’s powerful interventions on my behalf as a means of encouragement.
I can think of one particular family situation that decisively encouraged me to live as a faithful steward. It is related to my daughter Claudine. She decided to pursue theological studies at the Adventist seminary in Mauritius in 1980. At first it seemed financially impossible for our family to support her expenses. However, Jacques Doukhan, director of the seminary, while visiting our island, offered her the possibility of working on a part-time basis at the institution to cover her fees. The door was opened. Unfortunately, some locals protested her appointment, and the institution retracted their offer.
At this point I was struggling with a narrow and unpleasant choice: either I paid for her classes, or she had to come back home. My financial obligations already included the school fees of my two other children, a mortgage, and new car expenses.
Facing this dilemma, I chose to kneel and talk to God, with the conviction that Claudine should be able to continue.The text of Malachi 3:10 flashed through my mind: “ ‘Try Me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘if I will not open for you the windows of heaven’ ” (NKJV).
Yielding to the prompting of the Spirit, I made a commitment to the Lord: “I bring to You not only one tithe, but also a second tithe (as offering).”
God answered my prayer miraculously. A bank agreed to finance Claudine’s studies. At work, as a public officer, I was offered overtime work. Even the car dealer sold me a new car with a monthly payment plan, something not common in those days.
I am convinced that Christian stewardship is about the relationship between human and God.
DS: What is the outcome of your many years of stewardship ministry in your local church?
VM: All the founding members of Moufia church embraced the biblical principle of stewardship. Others who joined the church later did the same. Currently, 85 percent of the church’s membership follows the Christian stewardship guidelines. Eight families are giving a second tithe (10 percent). Average offerings per family in the Moufia church constitute 7.8 percent of the family income. Many give 10 percent or more. God has blessed my ministry through the faithfulness and generosity of my brothers and sisters.
DS: Any final word?
VM: For many years I have regularly taught and encouraged church members to adopt biblical stewardship principles. I still stand for the stewardship message at the age of 84. It brings me great joy to see that my small church in Moufia, with its 41 members, is bringing regular offerings at an amount more typical of a big church. It can happen everywhere. Faithful stewardship is promoted by the continuous engagement of leaders to teach by word and example.
Valère Marouvin has served a volunteer stewardship director for his local church and Reunion Conference (SID) since 1976. In November 2021, at the age of 84, he was asked to serve as the conference director for another term. In 1960 he married Thérèse Abriska (deceased in 2015) and is the father of three and grandfather of four.
Testimonies of church members.
“After attending stewardship seminars by Valère Marouvin and hearing his testimony about God’s faithfulness, I concluded that my family needed to improve how we manage the financial resources God entrusts us with. My wife and I then decided to give the same percentage [10 percent] of offerings as tithes. It has been 10 years since we have engaged in such practice. We have never lacked anything. God has blessed us abundantly.
“But God also showed me that such a practice does not make me a generous person. Jesus is truly generous, for He has given everything up for me. Luke reports His words: ‘When you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, “We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do” ’ (Luke 17:10, NKJV). I blessed the Lord for the privilege of simply being a faithful servant in His house.” » (Eliot J. Robert)
2. “We give glory to our God, who has never ceased to bless us in every aspect of our lives.
“When we got married, 22 years ago, our incomes were very low and unpredictable, because of employment insecurity. However, we were always able to pull through the difficult circumstances. We saw God working in our lives. He remained faithful to His promise in Malachi 3:10. With confidence we invite each and every one to take God at His word and see
that the Lord is good!” (Dany and Nicolas Basquaise)