Archo* had not attended school, but his desire for God had motivated him to learn to read the Bible. For Archo, coming to the small business training was a stretching experience. When he opened the calculator provided to help in record keeping, Archo put it to his ear as if it were a cell phone.
Archo identified simple watch repair – changing the band, battery or crystal – as the skills he could develop into a business. His business plan was approved, and he began the trip home when he heard God speak to him: “Don’t fix watches; no one in your family can help you. You will only be looking at the faces of watches – not peoples’ faces. Don’t fix watches!”
Upon arriving home, Archo shared about the training, his business plan, and what he heard God saying to him on the way home. Archo, his wife and daughter prayed together, asking God what business they should do. In time, they decided to empty a front bedroom so they could sell groceries to their neighbors and friends through the front window.
Eight months later, the training team returned to prepare a new group of trainees. The local leader had asked Archo to share his story and encourage the trainees. “Before going through the training, I borrowed money from family and friends all the time for school fees and even just to live.” Archo explained that at the training, he decided to start a watch repair business to provide for his family and for ministry. “On my way home from the training, God told me, ‘Don’t fix watches!’ Instead, we prayed as a family and felt led to start a small grocery.”
At this point, Archo’s smile widens from ear to ear. “I want to tell you that through this shop, God has supplied all of my family’s needs. I have not borrowed any money since opening the shop. I buy goods and work in the shop, and my wife and daughter also take turns in the shop. My daughter is very good at math, and she keeps all the financial records. We decided that, in order to save money, we would each put one coin into our savings can each night. In just eight months, we have saved the equivalent of $30 USD².”
Archo praises God for both growing the church he serves, and for providing him with a business that meets his family’s needs, even enabling them to save. The burden of poverty has been lifted off Archo’s shoulders.
*Name has been changed for security purposes.
² The average annual income in this country is around $200 USD.