Mary (bottom right), a shop-keeper struggled to learn her trade. Finally she made progress, repaid her loan. The family built a nice little permanent store (top right) and now Mary hires a girl, Agatha (top left) , to run the store. Aggie got TMP training in book-keeping and does a fine job, quietly serving customers and helping them see the benefit of Christian faith. Here she is (bottom left) with two neighbors ready to head for morning worship.
Meanwhile Mary runs a hospitality ministry in her back yard/compound that touches countless neighbors, friends, church folk and weary American travelers. Her business sets her heart into the can-do mode, and she has an endless and quiet testimony that mirrors Christ's tabernacling among us.
I have seen this operation for years, and it finally dawned on me that this is one of our finest stories of success. A loan propelled Mary to try and try again. She prevailed, hired a shop-keeper and now she is able to fulfill her gift of hospitality. I have benefitted from Mary's finese time and time again, and like this picture, which is subdued, she never projects herself, but is a servant of servants many times over again. I am reminded of Epaphroditus and Timothy as recorded in Philippians chapter two. Mary is no less effective, a beauty of quiet godliness, gentleness and love.