Every life is unique, with a story to tell.
The beauty of this life we live is that experiences others have gone through can give us renewed hope and energy. Many times in my life I have been greatly encouraged by the people I have interacted with. Today I’d like to share one life story that reminds me sometimes all you need is to take a step of faith and use the little you have in your hand.
The 50 shilling (about 0.6 dollars) miracle
A dear lady once sat with a group of young women and was asked to speak. This woman is now an accomplished business woman, singer and songwriter who travels the world over. Naturally the women, me included, wanted to know how she got there. What she told us left us amazed. She told us of how when she was young, her mother had to leave her and her younger brother alone at home, traveling for many weeks to distant cities to try an earn an income. She told us of days she and her brother went without food, till one day her brother collapsed and she knew that she had to do something about it. Being only twelve years of age, she could not get any kind of job and the local store could not allow her to take any more goods on credit. The local store owner, being a kind-hearted man, gave her just enough for one meal and a fifty Kenya shillings note as it was all he had.
She then went home and made a meal for herself and her brother,immensely grateful for this act of kindness. The next question was what to do with the little money the shopkeeper had given her. At this point, she had no way of knowing when her mother was coming back, as they were too poor to afford a mobile phone or a landline. She did not even know where exactly her mother was. If she and her brother were to survive, she would have to start making some money.
This little girl, armed with nothing but her faith that God would see her through and the fifty shillings note, went to the open air market and bought a packet of onions and tomatoes, reasoning that the average Kenyan uses these two ingredients to make a basic meal, so she could resell them and make a little more money.
And so the young girl went back home, spread her little shuka (a traditional sash) outside the house near the path and started selling her wares. Now you can imagine the sight; a little girl in the twilight hour asking passers-by to buy her wares. Anything could have happened to her but God kept watch and gave her favor. She sold everything and made double the money that evening and every other evening for two weeks until her mother returned.
There, her love of entrepreneurship was born. Her little business continued to thrive, with help from her mother, and it became their livelihood.
Over the years the young girl grew, honing her business skill and building her faith in God. She now sat before us, an accomplished role model we could look up to. There were tears in her eyes as she told us this story, as she remembered the man who helped her when she was on the verge of helplessness. The man who was the turning point in her life. She reminded us that what to us is little, will be much in someone elses eyes. So be encouraged today, keep giving and helping in your own little way; it might make a world of difference in somebody’s life.