Four years ago, I went into business together with a former classmate. He had a piece of land in Johor and with my experience in farming, we turned it into two beautiful vegetable and papaya farms. I travelled weekly and felt excited that it was the business God was calling me into. We even started a trading arm back in KL to start supplying these fresh produce to supermarkets.
When the lockdowns hit, nobody could travel interstate. Gradually, the farm deteriorated even though we tried managing it remotely. The workers were slacking and the crops spoiled. We were losing money and my partner suggested we call it off and close down the farms. But I was stubborn and felt I could still make it work. I pumped in even more money, using the savings I had set aside for my son’s education.
I asked God for direction and felt the Holy Spirit telling me to do profit-sharing with my workers. I proposed the plan to them and things improved. They became more motivated, cleaned up the unused land and built more areas for planting. I was so confident that it would work. I even gave testimony about this in church, but little did I know that soon, the workers started slacking again. At that time I was questioning why God gave me a solution that didn’t seem to work.
Sales were bad and there were disputes among the workers themselves. I realised my efforts were not working and I wasn’t sure what was going on anymore. I was running out of funds and I turned to God and said, “God, I really need some answers!” Finally, I came to a point of surrender. When the lockdown lifted, I quickly went down to Johor with the acceptance of closing down.
I brought some friends with me, and lo and behold, the land was looking so much better! It was all cleaned up and it had huge potential. One friend said on the spot that he would take over the whole operation – including the workers – and I could go back to be based in KL with my family, which is what I’ve always wanted. He even said he would compensate me for part of what I had already invested in the farms and pay in monthly instalments.
I came home to KL with huge relief. This money would be sufficient to recover my son’s education fund. Now, our trading arm has grown from a small office to a two-storey building, with a cold room triple in size. When the farm wasn’t working out, we had pivoted to selling frozen chicken and seafood. Now, by God’s grace, business has been really good and growing, even in the face of the pandemic!
My testimony is that when God gives you a dream, He never drops you. I thought He had let me down, but all the while he was preparing me to be back in KL for a less intensive but bigger potential business. We didn’t pull through with the farm, but He had big plans for us even though we didn’t see it at the time.
Sometimes we make our own decisions without realising what God has in store for us. It’s very human to use our normal survival instincts, which is what I did to salvage the business. But today I have learnt to fully depend on God. I realised that what I went through was but a part of the journey to strengthen and build my trust and faith in Him. All glory to Him!
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