Use Whathu Got!

Life was so unfair, thought Elaina. She sat with her hands over her head (typical African tragedy pose). Why didn’t God save Tade from the accident? Wasn’t he a real man of God?

Feelings of grief, shame and anxiety kept flooding her heart. The sky had been dark grey since Tade, Elaina’s husband died 3 weeks ago. She was trying to be strong for the kids but it was so hard. Tade had served on staff at one of the popular Pentecostal churches and though at first, Elaina thought that being a pastor wouldn’t pay the bills, she had supported her husband’s calling and helped to make ends meet. He regularly went on mission trips but the last one was different. He didn’t come back.

Her boys, aged 9 and 6, were only just coming to terms with the loss when she received the notice from the building manager. The bills had started pouring in and her small online gift store wouldn’t able to stand under the weight. She had burial arrangements to see to and the kids needed to go back to school. It was all too much! She couldn’t bear the burden alone but her husband was an only child and his parents had died long before she met him. Elaina’s own estranged family was the definition of dysfunctional, so no help there.

She went back to the church, the only solid anchor she could find right now. Scrambling to leave the kids with a neighbour, Elaina was able to meet up with the lead pastor in charge of missions and told him her story.

“Madam, I’m so sorry for your loss. Pastor Tade was extremely dedicated; a shining light to us and each community he visited reported huge success. The church is taking care of all the burial arrangements. Apart from that, how may I help you? These piling bills and notice of eviction can’t be swept under the rug. I’ll take a leaf from Prophet Elisha’s book and ask, what do you have in your house?”

Elaina laughed dryly and instantly answered ‘nothing’. But on second thoughts, she remembered her small, online gift store. PWO sat with her for two hours and hatched out a recovery plan.

The basics: Borrow, Serve, Sell. It was almost the end-of-year, peak season for personal and corporate gifts, so this had to work. The hardest part was reaching out to her family (who were more like strangers) and a few friends. With the funds raised, Elaina sourced materials, bought gift supplies, locked down a branding deal with her long-time printing press and aggressively canvassed orders via door-to-door and social media marketing.

Elaina served more orders in a month than she had ever received in 18 months of starting the business. PWO had advised her to ensure perfect accounting and she was amazed at the overflow of profits! She had discussed instalment repayments so the rent, car lease and even school fees were written off within 6 months. Elaina expanded the business with more knowledge and is on her way to being a mogul.

Are you stuck in a financial rut like Elaina? What (talents, resources or connections) do you have in your hand? Take a few bold steps today and see your world change for the better! Please share this article and have a great #WomanWednesday

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