The pest control treatment we did for the Emporium gave us both the emotional and financial boost we needed at the time. Even though the job was done on trade, it still filled a big financial void. Slowly the work began to come in. And although things were still tight and difficult, it none the less gave us the encouragement to press on.
There was no real evidence that the situation would continue to improve. But so far the miracles we experienced proved to be a great source of strength and internal peace.
Now looking back over the past 36 years of being in the pest control business I can see clearly that there were sequences of events, strange and wonderful events that can only be explained as nothing less than miracles. Our steps were clearly being directed along a specific path. Our destiny was not ours to make. But it was clearly ours to enjoy. Having such wonderful events happen in our lives doesn’t make us special, or more important than anyone else, it just makes us very blessed.
But in the beginning of our business, it was difficult, very difficult. There were several times that it looked totally hopeless and that we would be forced to give up. But then something wonderful and awe-inspiring would happen. I think the illusion was that we were in control, and that probably puts a smile on our Creators face.
So here we were again. The financial situation was getting difficult, just short of impossible. Then the phone rings. Mike the co-owner of a substantial property management company called to see if we would be interested in doing some work for him. Looking back on this particular situation I realize several things were taking place. For one thing, Mike never called anyone, let alone an unknown company, to do work for him. He was continually hounded by all kinds of contractors, including pest control, that wanted work from him. So he really didn’t need to call us at all, and yet he did.
Secondly, to be honest, he was not a very nice person. So I couldn’t help but wonder what his real motives were. But then again my trust was not in him but in the God who was making things happen for us. It was He that was turning the impossible and improbable into reality. So I did not let Mike’s ruthless business dealing intimidate me. I approached the situation with honesty and integrity, which was the most I could do. I trusted my God to do the rest.
The first job Mike had for us was an apartment complex consisting of 24 of the most disgusting, dirty and foul-smelling living accommodations you could imagine. No, I doubt you can really imagine how totally nasty they were. Some of them were so bad that I had to spray them with an odor neutralizer before I could even treat them. Treat them for what you might ask? Cockroaches, cockroaches, millions of cockroaches. If that were not enough there were rats everywhere.
This was going to be a real learning experience. If I could come through this without getting sick, that would be another miracle. That’s how bad it was. If it were that bad, and it was, well why didn’t I just walk away? Simple, Mike was going to pay me $9000.00 (nine thousand) for one week’s work! When you are hungry, as we were, you take everything that comes to you. God promises us help, He doesn’t guarantee it will always be pleasant. After all, this is not His world.
As I started the treatments a serious problem developed with one group of tenants, four apartments. First of all, they didn’t speak English, and secondly, I didn’t speak their Asian language. So there was a communications barrier that proved difficult, not impossible, to get around. The tenants were very accommodating in allowing me to do my job. But there was a problem, I could not get them to understand that I was poisoning the roaches and rats and they should NOT eat them. As disgusting it is to us, for them this was considered a delicacy, I guess they liked the crunchiness of the deep-fried cockroaches. As you can imagine, it was a serious problem because, at that time, the materials I was using could cause some serious intestinal problems if ingested, not fatal just very uncomfortable. So I asked Mike if he would take care of the communication problem, somehow he was able to get them to understand not to eat the roaches and rats.
I worked hard and I worked fast. The first phase and most important part of the job took about four nauseating days to completely treat all 24 units. You can imagine I sighed a big sigh of relief when that last apartment was treated and the job was done.
Upon completion Mike, as promised, wrote me a check for $9,000.00. Which was unusual for several reasons. First of all, John was well known for paying his contractors (in this respect he was honest), but it normally took him 120 days after completion to pay the bill. So for him to pay in full was highly unusual. Secondly, he didn’t ask for a 10% kickback.
Completing this job was the turning point for our fledgling business. It gave us the revenue that we so desperately needed. We were now ready to move forward. We had finally reached a point, after more than two years, of financial stability.
Our customer base had grown to where it was able to sustain us very comfortably. We now had the resources to take care of all our needs with a little left over, and that is always nice.
Next time I want to talk about “The Miracle Home”.