Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Flat (01/03/13)
TITLE: The Flat Dilemma
By Ken Ebright
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A gray-haired man strolled out of the office. "I'm Johnny Mortenson. Would you like something to drink?"
Will got up and shook Johnny's hand. "No, that's fine."
Both men sat down in the office. Johnny got out a notepad. "How can I help you?"
"I'm Pastor Will, I have been appointed by the United Baptist Church of America to start a relief agency for our denomination. We want to help the needy and share the love of Jesus. To get things going we’re going to need to start a fundraising campaign. We want to send an appeal to the homes of each of our five million members. Our churches will help reinforce our campaign. I'd like to know what you can do for us?"
Johnny wrote something on his notepad. "We specialize in a direct mail campaign with major charities. Apex will do all the printing from the appeal letter to envelopes which includes address labels. Then we would put it into a flat and mail it."
The pastor held up his finger motioning Johnny to stop. "What's a flat?"
"Pastor, that's a good question. A flat is a carton that they put the mail into. A flat hold's about 800 pieces. We have a company that will process the mail and debit it to your account. My concern for you is that you will not get much of a response from five million homes. When we do this for charities we're sending mail to two hundred million homes. This may not be worth it for your denomination."
"The Lord has really blessed our church body. We have very generous people. I have faith that people will see the need and contribute."
Johnny extended him a business card with a written statement. "Okay, I never went to church; I don't know about this Jesus thing. You say he's faithful and has blessed your church body. If that’s what you believe, that's great. I still think you’re wasting your time and effort. Here’s what we'll do. I’ll have the flats sent to your headquarters. It will save you the cost of having the processing company opening the mail. I'll call you in a few weeks to see how you're doing. If you get flooded with mail, give me a call." Johnny held out the card.
Will stood up, took the card and shook Johnny's hand. "Let's do it."
Johnny accompanied Will as they both walked out of the office. "We'll get started on it right away."
Two weeks later Johnny called. "How many flats have you received?"
Pastor Will pushed the button for the speaker phone and slit open a envelope.
"My staff and I are in the process of opening one flat. We have received $2000 in donations so far."
"You should have gotten more mail than that. I told you you're wasting your money. I knew it, Jesus is just a fable."
"Johnny, I trust the Lord he's real. I believe that he'll provide."
"Okay, it's your money."
A week later, Will walked into Johnny‘s office. "What's going on, Pastor Will?"
Pastor Will sat down. "I think I'll need that processing company."
Johnny had a smirk on his face and leaned back. "Why's that?"
"In the past few days we have gotten 50 flats."
Johnny sat up in his chair. "You're kidding. I guess there is a Jesus after all."
Pastor Will's face beamed. "The Lord is faithful and true."
Johnny took a deep breath and exhaled. "I don’t know what to say, I am not very religious."
Pastor Will stood up. "Jesus loves you. He died to save your sins. Have you ever considered asking him into your life?"
Johnny stared off into the distance. "I don't know. I never thought you would succeed. Maybe I'll have to give him a try."
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