One Hundred Trips Around the Sun

18_07 Cook Family 1
Marvin, Martha, and Mark Cook

Special note: Marvin Cook ​​​did not make it to see 100 years, as this article anticipated. At 99 years and 8 months of age, he passed away on January 14, 2019 in the same home where he was born. We thank God for the almost century of Marvin's impact on earth for God's Kingdom.

There’s something about 100 years. It was 100 years ago this month, November 11, 1918, that the armistice was signed to end World War I, “the war that would end all wars.”

Now try to imagine what life will be like 100 years from now. Will George Jetson’s flying car become a reality? How will computer technology evolve, when you consider the evolution that has taken place in just the past twenty years? Will the “Big Brother” of Orwell’s 1984 become a reality in 2118? There are smooth little babies being born today who will be wrinkled 100-year-olds who will live to see those changes—for better or for worse.

What would it be like to live to be 100 years old? Marvin Cook will be able to answer that question in just five short months. Marvin and his wife, Martha, have been CDF Capital investors for over 20 years, but that is just one-fifth of Marvin’s storied life. A blip on the proverbial radar of time.

Marvin is a cautious investor. Marvin was a mere 10-year-old boy living on the family farm when the Great Depression hit the United States. From that he learned the value of a dollar. In fact, he learned the value of a penny. So when Marvin’s son Mark, a stockbroker and also a CDF Capital investor, encouraged his folks to invest in CDF in the mid-1990s, the Cooks were understandably cautious. Their family farm had been the source of their security for 100 years!

The state of Ohio recognizes Century Farms, farms that have been in the family for more than 100 years, and the Cook Family Farm is a part of that registry. As I sat and spoke with Marvin recently, we were in the room in which he was born—the family kitchen. That afternoon he had been out on the tractor, mowing hay in the back forty. It’s hard to keep a good man down.

The Cooks were understandably cautious. Their family farm had been the source of their security for 100 years!

Marvin with Brad Dupray in 2006

Marvin and Martha like the idea that their hard-earned dollars are going to work for a principled calling. There just aren’t many places you can invest where you know exactly what your dollars are doing. But, as committed believers, the Cook family likes seeing their dollars working to help churches grow. And what Marvin has found out in this last 20 percent of his lifetime is that his money has grown too, not open to the whims of the market.

This week Marvin celebrates his 100th Thanksgiving, that noble American holiday whose primary festivity is designed to stop and give thanks to God for the bounty He has provided to us. This Thursday Marvin and Martha will bow their heads and thank the Lord for the dedicated believers who have preceded them, those who built a family foundation on Christ. They will thank Him for the generations moving forward who will continue the Cook family legacy. They will thank their heavenly Father for His provision in their lives, for the farm and the finances and the faith that has sustained them.

As Marvin prepares to celebrate that 100th birthday, we will all be celebrating another holiday. A day when we celebrate new birth for all Christians. Marvin reaches the mark on Easter Sunday 2019. What a day to celebrate!

Changing Times—Same Need

The world has changed in many ways over the decades, but here is one thing that remains the same: churches still need financial resources in order to grow. At CDF Capital, we are committed to helping Christians steward their resources well so that, together, we can help churches grow. When you entrust your resources to CDF Capital, your investment grows—and so do churches across the country.