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Boat Business Faces "Walk on Water" Faith Test

Bill and Launa are devoted to their boat business, and began tithing out of obedience. When the recession hit, they nearly lost everything and their obedience was tested. Read Transcript

NARRATOR: The Hewes family of Colville, Washington

have been making high quality fishing

boats for almost 70 years.

Owners Bill and Launa Hewes credit their company's success

to family and faith.

Our priority is to honor God first.

NARRATOR: That hasn't always been easy.

Bill and Launa have tithed off their personal income

since 2007.

But that decision was tested when the economy slid

into a recession, and people cut back on luxury items

like boats.

By 2009, their family business was in trouble.

The first thing we did as owners

was take a 25% cut in pay.

We were producing 18 boats a week,

and we went down to three boats a week.

NARRATOR: The company was forced to lay off dozens of employees.

But it was still running a deficit.

So 80 more were let go.

Later, the Hewes discovered that an employee had stolen

from the company, and defrauded them out

of one million dollars.

LAUNA HEWES: As we did the financials,

we realized that that loss is why we

had to do the 80 people layoff.

And it was devastating.

NARRATOR: Through it all, the Hewes

were faithful, and continued tithing.

But they knew they needed a miracle to save their company.

LAUNA HEWES: We were rock bottom, and we prayed.

God, we're going to give you--

you pull us out of this, you help us, you direct us,

you give us the wisdom we need to turn this around.

And if not, give us the wisdom to know what to do next.

And it wasn't 24 hours later before things

started turning around.

Things that had to be God.

NARRATOR: They also noticed an immediate upswing

in their business.

Money would come in unexpectedly.

NARRATOR: As God blessed them, the Hewes

increased their giving to ministries such as CBN.

LAUNA HEWES: They have a worldwide mission that

makes me feel like I'm helping.

I like to know that we're helping here at home

in the United States, but we're also

helping in other countries, and around the world

as God has asked us all to do.

NARRATOR: Since that time, Hewes Marine Company

has posted nearly $20 million in sales.

They also hired back some of their workers,

and now have 133 employees.

LAUNA HEWES: We're the first boat business

to pull up out of the recession.

Since then, our business has been number one the Pacific


Two years ago, we finished a 20,000 foot expansion

on the building, and became debt-free at the same time.

NARRATOR: The Hewes say putting God first

was the key to their success.

God blessed the business so much.

We literally paid off the debt for the expansion

before the bank even finished the paperwork.

I see the world now as the sky's the limit, you know?

If we're doing what God wants us to do,

nothing is going to hold us back.

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