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Surviving a Financial Disaster

Renee struggled to keep going due to her failing business and her husband’s job loss. Then she learned a strategy for weathering a financial crisis and coming out much better than before. Find out what she did. Read Transcript


NARRATOR: Renee Santoro is one of the most successful

real estate agents in Charlotte, North Carolina.

RENEE SANTORO: Finding people homes is my favorite thing.

Oh, it's so fulfilling because it's the American dream,

and you're a part of it.

NARRATOR: But in the recession of 2008,

the real estate industry was hit hard.

Housing prices plummeted, and home sales

dried up leaving Renee and other realtors scraping

to make a living.

RENEE SANTORO: I call them the dark ages.

Everything was dead for a while around here.

I mean, real estate just came to a halt.

The phones stopped ringing.

My husband didn't have a job.

We lost our whole pension.

So we ended up eating canned food, lived as frugally

as we could.

With the money that we had, we payed our mortgage.

NARRATOR: They use credit cards for food and other living

expenses.

RENEE SANTORO: I was having anxiety more and more,

not sleeping.

It wasn't happy.

It was just getting through the day.

NARRATOR: Then, Renee suffered another setback.

Her beloved father died.

RENEE SANTORO: Our life at the time

was just becoming unbearable.

I was at the end of my rope.

NARRATOR: That's when Renee decided

to reach out to God for help.

It was at the point when I cried out,

Jesus, where are you?

NARRATOR: Renee rededicated her life to Jesus Christ

and started going to church.

Renee also began watching the 700 Club for encouragement.

That's where she learned about tithing and giving offerings.

RENEE SANTORO: I learned that he gives us so much.

He gave his life.

And all we can do is at least what we make to be a steward.

If we work and get a paycheck, we certainly

should give our part.

NARRATOR: So Renee started tithing on every commission

check and in 2010, joined the 700 Club.

By the end of that year--

RENEE SANTORO: I started to see things.

So my husband got a job.

He made more money than before.

Every time I gave out, my phone rang,

and I got another customer, and I was doing another closing.

The more I tithed, the more my business grows.

NARRATOR: Soon, Renee decided to double her pledge to CBN.

I watched the 700 Club, and I started

crying every time I saw people in third world countries.

And you see where your money goes

to these little orphans that touched my soul,

and they dug wells.

NARRATOR: By 2012, Rene's real estate sales had doubled,

and she received a promotion to her company's relocation.

In 2015, her commissions doubled again,

and she's paid almost all of her credit card debt.

RENEE SANTORO: Tithing has changed my life,

because I have seen the joy and also the provisions

that he has given me.

And it's only for God's glory, but it's more than that.

It's more for fulfilling to be a giver than a taker.

I was blessed more than I can imagine.

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