We are thankful. Ron and I are thankful to a God who listens to our prayers, honors our fasting, and cares to give us above and beyond what we could ever ask for or imagine. (Eph 3:20)
As most of you know, along with the ministry of The Mill House, we also have a small business we call “Joyful Confections”. ”Joyful Confections was born out of a simple scone recipe and God’s calling on my life to give to the woman and infants in Mali, West Africa. A video in church, a friend innocently handing me an “Alliance Life Magazine” ( a publication of our denomination, The Christian and Missionary Alliance), and a scone recipe were the catalysts to God’s calling on my life and Ron’s. Not only those 3 simple incidents, but a friend who serves at Koutiala Hospital where our giving goes, and a young wonderful friend who worked one summer at the hospital delivering and caring for these precious babies of God, confirmed this calling to me.
In the beginning, I prayed for a commercial kitchen to be able to make more scones plus it would give me the opportunity to ship anywhere in the United States. God quickly closed that door when a kitchen became available, the price was right, but the space was not any better than my own kitchen for multiple people to be able to bake and work. That door was basically slammed shut and I was truly at peace with the outcome. I knew in my heart it would be very difficult to divide my days between the inn and a kitchen down the street.
As the scone business from my kitchen grew, we had the opportunity to purchase fudge making equipment from a store that was going out of business. We were able to purchase the equipment and remodel our outside room into a fudge making room. With Ron wanting to be at the inn full time, we really believed it was his ticket out of health care reform!! Well, God had different plans.
We took a week off last winter to pray about the fudge and scones of ”Joyful Confections”. We spent quiet time in prayer, reading together, and also budgeting to get an idea of what we would need for him to “retire” from health care. After returning home we fasted for 40 days. We met with a close pastor friend and his wife to discuss our future plans. The one conclusion we came to from that week with the Lord and our fast was we needed to put “Joyful Confections” into his hands. We needed to be giving as much as we could to the hospital and trust God to take care of the rest! All the while, God was working in interesting ways….
Weeks after our spiritual retreat, Ron was given the opportunity to be at home full time. Because of confidentiality, I can’t share the particulars of the event, but God worked in a way that we would never have expected.
Since we have surrendered “Joyful Confections” to him our business has really taken off. My passion for giving to these sweet babies has grown. God opened up a new opportunity for my scones to be sold at a new store in Grand Rapids called “Savvy Ave’”, The owner takes no money from the sales and all the profits go to Mali. Olde Gilead Country Store, also in Grand Rapids, is carrying our fudge. We have 2 new opportunities for fudge fund raisers. One with a local school district orchestra, and the other with an inner city church. Its just a win-win for the babies and for the organizations holding the fund raisers.
I look back over the last few years and see how God has worked. If I would have rented a kitchen, not only would I be overwhelmed and not able to take excellent care of my inn guests, but the cost of the rent would have meant less money to give to Koutiala Hospital!
I’m a happy camper, or should I say baker and fudgemaker, at the end of the day I know I can handle what God has entrusted to me, I don’t need to be the star or have a fancy storefront. I just need a simple kitchen and a fudge kettle, oh and most of all a wonderful Godly husband, and a Heavenly Father who listens to prayers.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7