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Little is much when God is in it my encounter.

Jacob N.B Parley
 The author, Jacob N.B Parley is a journalist by profession.
The author, Jacob N.B Parley is a journalist by profession.

An old adage that I consider being one of the wise sayings in religion-believing societies is: “Little is much when God is in it.”

Yes, indeed, such old adage teaches a lot of lesions when it comes to how individuals can cope with the challenges of Life.

Actually, when it comes to what one needs to establish a business to make him, or her excel in life, there are several schools of thought.

One of such schools of thought is the need to earn a sustainable sum of money to begin with. Along the same argument, there are people who believe that the growth of such business depends on how much the person accrues per day in terms of profit-making.

No one is an island:

Before proceeding with this article, let me make it clear that no one is an island; meaning that there is no one who can single-handedly assemble everything he needs in life without the input of others.

Yes, someone may start a venture all by himself, but in most cases, such venture can be accomplished with a combination of other factors. One of such factors is seeking assistance from others to begin. For instance, it is either through a bank loan, God’s intervention, or assistance from someone else to enable an individual start a desired venture, be it business, to realize his dream in life.

99-year old market woman turns the page:

The Press Union of Liberia (PUL), in line with a decision taken in 2009 to decentralize its activities, took the celebration of the 2015 World Press Freedom Day to Grand Gedeh County in the southeastern Liberia.

For people who are quick to forget, or those who may have no knowledge about the PUL’s decentralization plan, I was then serving as Vice President of the Union when the idea was born in 2009. The plan’s actualization began in the same year in Bong County, where we celebrated one of the Union’s anniversaries.

I joined my colleagues to travel to Zwedru, the provincial Capital of Grand Gedeh County, where the PUL’s 2015 Anniversary activities were held from May 1-4. While we were in Zwedru, I took up time to visit a number of places to chase the news, particularly focusing on the health and education sectors of the county.

Besides being divided into groups and subsequently assigned by the leadership of the Press Union to go on the field to compile reports on development and related issues in the county, I personally took off time to look at the lives of market women, particularly the elderly, who seem to be making frantic efforts to make ends meet, amidst the Ebola crisis at the time.

While walking through Zwedru General Market, I saw an elderly woman, who later identified herself as Rebecca Nayou of Tofueh Town.

She traced her relationship to one of the prominent citizens of Grand Gedeh County, the late Dr. Harry T.F. Nayou. Sitting at a small market table containing pepper, wrapped salt, peanuts, butter, bottles of red palm oil, bitter balls and magic cub, etc, I saw sadness in the 99-year old Rebecca Nayou’s face.
It took me a few minutes to decide whether she was going to receive me with happiness, since she was not actually looking happy.

Two things registered on my mind as I attempted making an intelligent guess of what was actually responsible for her unpleasant facial expression: Either customers were not buying from her or, maybe, she has some unsettled domestic problems, I said to myself.

Finally, I walked to her table and greeted her with a smile, and as God would have it, she did likewise.

After introducing myself, I started asking her to explain how she was coping with her business in the midst of   many young people involved in the local trade. Some of the young folks whom I saw there were seen at one point walking to customers and trying to persuade such customers to buy from them.

“My son,  thank you for coming, but all that thing they doing can’t worry me, because I know that God can bring me customers every day,’’ she said, with a smile. “God self (Himself) know that me… I be ‘oldma’ (old lady), I not get strength to run, I not get husband, no one child self, or somebody   that will look in my face and give me five cents,” she remarked.

From small table market to a house owner:

I took a sigh upon disclosure by the  99-year old market woman that she was able to build a four-bedroom house out of her daily income of around  $400.00 Liberian Dollars ( an equivalent of US$5.00).

Though the four-bed room house may not be up to standard, I must admit that she has done well by at least securing somewhere to dwell after her daily hustling in the market.

I took the sigh not because the old lady’s revelation was miraculous, but simply because there are a lot of people in our society now-a-days who think that to build a house requires running two large stores, or owning a fleet of commercial cars or being a diamond broker.

“My son, this small market that God gave it to me and that the same God can give me good idea to sell and do something good with the small money I can get when I sell,” she also noted.

When you look around, you will see some people with plenty money, but they can’t do any good thing with the money they get. But when God self give it to you, he will make it grow in your hands to do something good with it,” Ma-Rebecca further observed.

After the interview, she took me to her house about five minutes’ walk away from the Zwedru Market.

Upon reaching there, she said: “My son, here my little house. I not say that money people’s house, but that the one God helped me with.

I happy, because I get this. Other people make all the big money in the market more than me, but some of them still renting,” she bragged a little.

I saw the house, and those of you who are reading this article have an opportunity to take a look at this 99-year old market woman’s little structure. During our interaction, I observed that Ma-Rebecca Nayou repeatedly mentioned the name of God in nearly every word she uttered.

No skills to read and write:

Ma-Rebecca told me that she did not have the opportunity to attend school, but said God has given her the idea to sell. “Let me tell you my son, me I not go to school, but my own of book that this small market that God bless me  with and I happy every day. So, I thank Him for that,” she concluded.

Well, I am not an Angel to determine her closeness to God, neither am I clothed with the authority to prepare any spiritual report card for her, but I believe is that she is an elderly woman of unlimited faith in God, backed by determination, focus and a sense of appreciation to her unseen creator, who controls the universe and cares for all.

Yes, there may be others engaged in similar positive ventures in other parts of Liberia. Such ventures could even be bigger, or better than what this elderly market woman is doing, but I think Liberia needs more Rebecca Nayous in the various market places and in other sectors of the country, whose lives and stories could help inspire others.

It is, therefore, my hope and prayer that the Liberian society will see the need to recognize such people in various positive ways, especially in the area of empowerment.

If an unskilled and uneducated (western education) 99-year old market woman can use her common sense to manage a little market and her meager daily income to build a house for herself, I think others need to learn from her example.

Indeed, “Little Is Much When God Is In It!”
Let me say hats up to Ma- Rebecca for her wisdom and achievement.

The author is a journalist by profession and is reachable through:  jacobtheancestor@yahoo.com, or +231-886-560-455


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