God's Help in an Important Business Deal

Seemingly impassible business obstacles are resolved.

By Cathy Raffles, IL

Categories: Abundance, Guidance

In 2001, we had been at our new location for a couple years with a new group of employees who were more challenged with day-to-day life issues and education. One of my largest customers doubled their order because we were going to be on the cover of their catalogue. The way it works is that they ship us their containers, and we fill them with our toffee. That year, the tins were hand-hammered silver. But there were a lot of delays. We had a huge volume to make. We had to increase the staff. Then, September 11 happened. As a result, all these tins got stuck in the ocean for a month. By the time the tins got to us, they were unusable; they had rusted. So now we were backed up. We had to send them back and wait for new ones, which did get shipped. This customer was vital to our business, but it wasn't a company that would remember the next year why we couldn't meet the deadlines. I didn't know what the solution was. I just really listened to God and knew that God would unfold the way.

I needed another 6000 feet of warehouse space for about four weeks and didn't know how I was going to find it, which I had to do within three weeks. But I did know that God would provide. The temporary warehouse space needed to have some type of coolers or cooling system and docks which could accommodate very large semi-trucks. It seemed an impossible situation. I prayed for God's guidance, to hear the voice, "This is the way walk ye in it" (Isa 30:21). There was a for lease sign on a building just a block away from our facility. The building was huge -- much larger than anything we could use, but I thought to call and see if we could lease out just a portion of the space. It turned out a beverage distributor had just moved out. The space had big coolers and the large docks we needed. Even though it was an unusual request, the lessor agreed to the very temporary terms. It was right down the street from my office, and I was able to lease it at a reasonable price.

The next thing I needed to do was find a staff. At the time, all logic seemed contrary to this decision, but it seemed right to put a certain woman who was only 19 in charge of the warehouse, so I did. She was responsible for staffing it, which she did with people I didn't know at the time. A couple of weeks in, I got a call from the manager of the warehouse. He had stopped over to see the operations and couldn't believe how well-managed it was, how well this 19-year-old woman was doing. I had been praying daily for the safety of my business and employees. I was translating all the work that was being done into spiritual terms or ideas -- seeing that the candy we make becomes gifts for others, that every part of the manufacturing process is a blessing. We were able to keep the schedule.

The interesting part of the story for me is about the woman, who still works for me. I got a Christmas letter from her telling me that that was a turning point in her life. No one had ever trusted her before. It gave her confidence to get her GED and to take college classes. I could never have put her in that position had I not trusted in someone higher than myself, had I not trusted in God. This experience proved to me that when we humbly turn to God and listen, our needs can be met, and we are blessed.