Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children

 

God Can Do a Lot With a Little

Rod and Karen Arnold


"I met Rod when he came through my check-out line," said Karen, with a blushing smile. She had worked at Safeway Grocery Store in Siloam Springs, AR since high school, but that day as she was checking out groceries, she was instantly attracted to the 80’s rock band guitarist with his cart full of food. As they struck up a conversation, she gave him his total and to Rod’s embarrassment, he was short on cash. Laughing, Karen said, "So…I told him he could just come back the next day!"

"It really was love at first sight," said Rod. "I asked her if she wanted to go driving around later that night and she said, ‘yes.’" Rod didn’t have a car at the time so his friend dropped him off at the grocery store and Karen drove.

After they were married, they moved to the neighboring town of Colcord, Oklahoma. They both had gone through a wild and rebellious stage in their lives, but after the birth of their first child, Karen got involved again in church. She had been raised in a Christian home, but Rod hadn’t. "I kept asking him to go with me to church and finally one day he did," she said.

Rod was saved, joined the church and quickly began to really grow in his faith. A few years later, he was asked to supply preach. He continued to fill in at several small churches in the area. In October of 1999, he felt called to serve as the bi-vocational pastor of Faith Baptist, Tahlequah. "I’ve never had seminary," said Rod. "I’m just a country boy who loves preaching about Jesus!"

In 2004, Rod accepted the position of bi-vocational pastor at First Baptist, Watts, while working hard at their business, Arnold Sheet Metal. A few months ago the couple decided to downsize the company to make more time for the church. "We’re really trusting the Lord—it was time to give more to the ministry," said Rod.

The small town church has been blessed since the Arnolds arrived two years ago. They have had steady growth, not just in numbers, but in the addition of ministries to their community. "God is so good to us—we just don’t deserve it!" said Karen. The couple is excited about their church’s potential to impact the community of Watts.

This year the Arnolds established an estate plan with The Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma. "We both were burdened knowing we needed to take care of a will for our children and our family," said Karen, mother of Krista, 16; Elisha, 12; and Corbin, 10. "We were guilty of saying we didn’t have anything…but what we do have we want our kids to have and we wanted to leave some for ministry causes.

"If we have any advice to other families, it’s ‘do it now!’" said Rod.

Rod and Karen—who was adopted when she was three months old—have left Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children and their church in their will. "I’m so excited to know that even though I have little, God can do a lot with it," she said. "Even after we pass on, God will continue to use what He has blessed us with.

Rod encourages other couples to act now in establishing their estate plan. "The Foundation helps Oklahoma Baptists prepare for the unexpected," he said. "The Foundation had our best interest at heart…understanding our desire to glorify God…and helping us prepare for our family’s future."

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