“If God brings you to it, he’ll bring you through it.” My parents gave me a card with that phrase on it shortly after we opened Gentog. I have it on my bulletin board, and I pause to read it often. Starting a business is not easy. Starting a business as 2 women over 50 is not easy. Starting a business during a recession is not easy. Starting a business completely different than what you’ve worked in for 30 years is not easy. But if God brings you to it…
When Murt and I began our search for a business idea, we chatted about how we could combine my love of the elderly with her love of children. We knocked around a few ideas, did a search on the internet and immediately found an upcoming class on how to open an intergenerational center. I reserved my spot, took a couple days of vacation and hopped on a plane. St. Ann Center in Wisconsin was inspirational. I came home loaded with ideas, and we began our plan for real. God was definitely bringing us to this business.
We searched for just the right spot to launch our business. We hired a trusted real estate broker to help us with our search. We found the place on a whim, though. We were driving around at lunch time, looked at a building in Sherwood that we thought would be promising (it wasn’t), and we were driving back to the office via Pacific Highway. We saw a For Lease sign in a little shopping center and pulled in. We sat in front of the building for awhile just dreaming. We called our broker and toured the building the next day. At the end of the tour we walked outside and saw a rainbow in the sky. Murt said, “This is surely the place…just look at that beautiful rainbow.” God was definitely bringing us to this place.
It took a couple of months to finalize the lease. During that time both of us left our former jobs and began creating Gentog. We hired a young contractor who seemed so enthusiastic to be doing our build out. He did a good job…for a couple of months…and then he disappeared into the night with $70,000 of our start-up money and several unpaid sub-contractors. We took a deep breath, found financing with a lovely lady we’d met at the Chamber of Commerce (thanks, Sharon Schwinghammer at Banner Bank!) and we continued on with the build out. All of the sub-contractors agreed to work for us directly (after we paid them for what they’d already done), and they were all wonderful to work with. What was even more wonderful was how our friends, families and new employees all rallied to work hard and help us with all of the finishing touches on the building. Our Gentog looked beautiful on opening day thanks to countless hours by many loved ones. God definitely brought us the help we needed to get started.
We’ve felt His hand at every turn of this journey. We KNOW that God brought us to this. We’re trusting that he will continue to bring us through it.