Ted Boers was born in the Netherlands in 1946. His parents immigrated to Canada in 1952. As was the case with most immigrant families, Ted’s family experienced relative poverty for many years. However, since most of his peers were in a similar situation, the experience of poverty was not particularly traumatic. Ted came to the United States in 1964 to attend Calvin College in Grand Rapids Michigan. One semester was prepaid as a result of a summer job and a small scholarship and he had $20 in his pocket that his mother had given him.
Ted started his business career while still in college, selling everything from strawberries to encyclopedias and a legal pepper spray that could be used for self-defense. During his college years he also worked for the Fatman International Private Detective Agency putting a healthy fear into straying husbands.
It was at Calvin College that Ted met Jan who was from Highland, Indiana. They married in 1968. During the next eight years three children were born who in turn have added eight delightful grandchildren to the family.
Upon graduating from Calvin College, Ted went to work for a large Insurance Company. The corporate world felt constraining so he left after five years. This turned out to be a false start into his own entrepreneurial career so he returned to the same insurance company for five more years. This time he left for good, starting seven different businesses over a period of twenty-five years. Today he continues to be the majority owner of two of these businesses.
Ted learned that starting businesses was difficult and time consuming but he also learned that once the business was on its’ feet it could be very rewarding and liberating. That is what he wanted; time to do what he wanted to do. As he evaluated his options, it became clear that what he really wanted to do was to help other people who had not been as fortunate as he had been.
By 1993 Ted had accomplished his goal of freedom of time. He bought his first sailboat, which he and Jan enjoy sailing on Lake Michigan and he started a financial counseling ministry at his local church. This ministry gave Ted the opportunity to council many couples who were struggling with their finances and it led to various opportunities for public speaking in local churches as well as churches throughout the United States and Canada. After ten years of focus on stewardship and financial counseling, Ted wrote a book in an attempt to share what he had learned about stewardship and finance. The book is called Three Simple Rules… Guaranteed to Improve Your Financial Situation.
By the year 2000, Ted’s journey had evolved from helping local people with their finances to wondering about poverty issues on an international scale. That raised the question of who are the poor of the 21st century? It was that question that started the journey described in this book.