We are not going out of business. The Marketplace was very thoughtful when we planned on closing our brick and mortar location at the Oak Street. We started telling people the beginning of November that we were closing mid March. We put up large signs in the store, we told people who walked in what was happening, we posted multiple times on social media, and we sent out newsletters. We fielded calls that people heard we were going out of business. We were very strategic in sharing information.
We closed the Oak Street because this is God’s plan for The Marketplace. Our main objective is to increase sales in order to empower more people with jobs so relationships can be built in order to share who Jesus is. The Oak Street was just a shell. It’s not the heart of The Marketplace. The heart is continuing, it will just be on the move!
I have had a few customers tell me they will no longer shop us because they want to “touch and feel” the product. You can still do that on the truck. Will we lose a few customers? Yes. The ones we lose will be ones who only thought of us as a store and not as a ministry. Those who get the heart behind what we do will continue to follow. What I have learned is this, the success of The Marketplace rests on one thing, focusing on God. Did you know when I first started The Marketplace people told me I would fail? Seriously, to my face. What did I do? I just smiled and walked away. I have been on the adventure of a lifetime because I have trusted God even when I didn’t understand. I have travelled around the world and had amazing experiences. I have been in a leprosy colony in India, in a brothel in Bolivia, and walked the Red Light District in Bangkok. I have sat with those who have been trafficked, prostituted, given up their children in order for them to eat, and begged to survive. But the most important part of it all is that I have gotten to be part of the solution. I have gotten to be the bridge between the artisan and the customer. I have gotten to be part of a community that has changed lives.
Someone needs to hear this today. Focus on what God is telling you to do and shut out the chatter. I have learned this, those who chatter are projecting their own fear on you. Know who you are but more importantly know whose you are.