His sister, a missionary, challenged him to make a real difference for Christ. LeTourneau was confused and felt guilty because he thought that he would have to become a missionary and give up what he wanted to do—move dirt. Finally, he yielded his will to the Lord and prayed, “Lord, if You’ll help me, I’ll do anything You want me to do.” LeTourneau knew his prayer was answered, because he was overcome with joy.
The next day, he met with his pastor to seek direction. After praying together for some time, the pastor finally said, “R.G., the Lord needs preachers and missionaries, but God needs businessmen, too.”
LeTourneau was stunned. If God needed businessmen, he could easily find a better one than a dirt mover buried under a mountain of debt. Finally he reasoned, Well, if that’s what God wants me to be, I’ll be His businessman. From that day on, he was in business with God.
LeTourneau began to tinker with earth-moving machinery, and proved to be extraordinarily innovative. He started manufacturing heavy construction machinery, and the company became enormously successful. In 1935, at the suggestion of his wife, they decided to give 90 percent of the company’s profits to the Lord. LeTourneau explained this decision: “It’s not how much of my money I give to God, but how much of God’s money I keep for myself.”
During World War II, his company built 70 percent of all earth-moving equipment used by the Allies. He registered more than 300 patents, and there isn't a piece of heavy construction equipment manufactured today that did not find its origin on R.G. LeTourneau’s drafting table.