How do you bake cake without an oven?
I was asking myself this question in front of an audience of fourteen women and waiting for a miracle.
Last year God led me to start a Baking Supply Business that would teach women to bake, sell kitchen tools, foster friendships and provide an earning opportunity for the ladies.
It would be what is called a “missional business”, otherwise known as “business for transformation” since the ultimate aim is for God to use the business to transform individual lives and society for His glory.
In one of my early classes, I had just begun teaching what it means to ’preheat the oven’. I turned to my demo oven, adjusted the dial, and then - the lights went out. The whole room fell silent. I looked to my hostess who had gathered all her neighbourhood ladies together for this baking demonstration. We laughed nervously while I stalled for time by promoting some of the products for sale.
After five minutes we moved back to preparing the cake batter. Still no electricity. “What are we going to do?” I muttered. “We can pray” I heard someone utter back. I’m not sure if it came from one of my two believing friends or one of the ladies from the majority religion. Someone else commented that sometimes the electricity does not return for several hours.
By now, ten minutes had passed. The batter was ready. Even though this was a beginner’s Learn to Bake class, everyone could guess that the next step was to pop it in the oven. The oven that sat cold and lifeless behind my teaching table.
I looked over nervously to my friend again, not able to hide my desperation and fear that our efforts to build community had just flopped. Soon my cake would too. She quietly lifted her shoulders as if to say, “What can we do?” Everyone was waiting for me to do something. I was stuck! So, I did what any soldier in the trenches does - I prayed. I clasped my hands together and lifted my face upward. I didn’t mean to make a demonstration of my prayer - I was just so desperate. “Oh Lord, PLEASE” escaped my lips.
Would you believe it? In that instant the electricity came back! I could hear everyone’s relieved sigh - they had been worried too. I even overheard two of the ladies whispering, “She prayed and the lights came back.” The class ended with delicious BAKED cake, new friendships, and promises to return to the next class. I love the creative ways in which God makes His Name known. For most of the women attending the class that day, it was the first time they’d heard prayer offered to the living God and seen Him answer so quickly and specifically! Praises to the God who hears prayers!
A few months later I was in the same dicey situation! Once again, the electricity failed. I continued mixing my batter. I had boldly testified that God had listened and turned the lights on last time. I kept stirring my batter and again the power returned!