Growing up as a child, I would often hear the old song, ‘Little is much when God is in it’. Sanctified women with many stories to tell about ‘The Faith’, would shake tambourines, nod their holy hats, and repeat the chorus assiduously, sowing ‘seeds of faith’ in me from my toddler years. Of course, I could only sing along with them as I had no clue what the words meant until I was much older, and began to have my own experiences and encounters; and heard from my own contemporaries of how God had provided for them and blessed them when they gave Him their very last – their five loaves and two fish lunches; their last two cents in the offering plate; prepared a meal with the last bit of flour and a little oil to feed His servants.
Daddy Divided the Land
It took just twenty-six minutes and fifty-three seconds of a WhatsApp conversation with Sister Marie Golding of Spanish Town, St. Catherine, for her to confirm God’s promise that when He’s placed at the forefront of one’s life; His government in heaven will support and/or expand exponentially, the efforts of that individual to make an honest living.
Sister Golding is a member of the 1st. Vision Apostolic Ministries located on Job Lane in Spanish Town. The woman of God explained to me how she started her farming business many years ago and how the Lord has sustained her and her immediate family through it, even to this day. Marie’s dad owned a big farm in Job Lane. He divided it among his children and each one decided to grow different agricultural crops on their portion, including vegetables.
She was accustomed to farming, but not to God. The older she grew, it seemed the more problematic her life became, making her increasingly frustrated with the path she was treading. While she pursued accounting and business studies, she felt as though these were preparing her to become just another employee. Financial independence and a business-owner mentality were beckoning her and she eventually mustered courage and made strides in that direction.
Fighting Man and God
Still not saved, Marie would travel across Jamaica, selling ground provisions and a variety of vegetables, becoming well-known in Falmouth, St. Ann and May Pen. Always seeking to expand and try out new ideas, a chicken farm was forged by the young entrepreneur and things seemed to be going quite well…at least for a while…until she began experiencing frequent domestic disputes with her partner.
All to Jesus I Surrender
The fights left her so tired and worn that one day, her cup ran over. She made the bold decision to walk away and to serve God, but the good life she thought she would’ve experienced, completely eluded her; things turned haywire. By this time, she had switched financial gear and had diverted into what became her main stream of income: selling avocado or what we Jamaicans call ‘pear’, but it was a rocky road.
The devil will never see us making a step for Christ and not try to make things difficult. Afterall, his agenda is to sift us as wheat and keep us in darkness, on a path to eternal damnation. Sister Marie recounts how hard it was to find clothes back in the day! There were times when the cupboards were empty, but the good thing about this Christian journey is that God never rejects a broken spirit and a contrite heart. Having committed her life to God and determined that she would not let go, Sister Golding began to see God moving people to help her. Her pastor was one of the first persons to provide clothes – not just for her, but for her children as well – so they could attend Sunday service.
“What was it that strengthened your relationship with the Lord the most?” I asked.
“My unswerving belief in prayer” she responded. Poor in pocket; she resolved to focus on her quiet time with the Lord. Admittedly, these moments were largely not quiet at all for she would so often be broken, that all she could do was wail in the presence of the Lord.
It was God who helped her through these painful periods of her life, and she is now able to say that had it not been for the Lord on her side, that pear business would not be where it is today.
Little turnover in Business; but big on God’s Battlefield
She shared that during pear season, she would make an average of ten thousand dollars per week after sales, which would be just enough to cover some expenses. This did not deter her from participating in prayer meetings, street evangelism and other outreach programs; her passion for the things of God only increased.
Reaping ‘Pear’ Success
While COVID-19 has proven disastrous for most business owners, as it has meant fewer persons shopping; Sister Golding said this past pear season was the best in the history of her avocado business as it skyrocketed, and she earned fifty to seventy thousand dollars in profit!
The touching part of this story for me, was when Sister Marie made it clear that during her own financial hardships, she tried in many ways to share with others even when it was her last. Now, she is reaping not just pears, but also the blessings and the favour of God in relation to her business. She beamed broadly when she relayed how she was even able to replace old furniture, long past their prime in her home, and she is now rejoicing because she has seen the hand of the Lord in her ‘little’ business.
‘Little is much when God is in it’ – the song rang in my head as I listened to the powerful testimony of how God transformed a small business into a pedestal for financial freedom. Sister Marie has been saved for seventeen years and has no regrets. To my young people who have interests in starting a small business, I say “Go for it! Putting God first, doing His work and making an honest living, are all the right ingredients for success. No matter how small or mediocre your idea may seem, little is much when God is in it. Indeed, the sky is the limit.”