A few mornings later Nahum was late in getting to the shop. He explained to Ezra that he had done something for the first time in his life. I went to a large shop in the Market, the one that sells imported clothing, shoes and other types of linens.
The owner knew who I was, although we had never met. I explained to him that we moved out of town and would see less walk-in traffic, and then asked him if he would be interested in selling our sandals and other goods. He replied sure if I can make a profit.
I explained that if he took a larger order we would reduce the price and he could add on some as he had a store, not a shop like us. He did some fast calculating and said yes, let’s try twenty pair of sandals, and if it goes well I will place another order immediately. He continued by saying he would pay cash upon delivery for the twenty pair, but would need some credit when he placed a larger order. Nahum said that would not be a problem.
Ezra was very proud of his father and said that was a brilliant idea. He said I am going to find Isaac and ask him to assist us again. You go talk to Samuel and Ethan and tell them we would like to teach them the leather business and hire them full time.
The two boys could not wait to go home and tell their mother; finally she thought we will be able to live a normal life. She said to the two boys, I would like to say a prayer of thanks, as since we have expressed our love for Jesus, our lives have been blessed. The boys agreed and prayed with her.
Isaac and Ezekiel appeared at Ruth’s the next afternoon before Nahum got home. They were enjoying a nice visit when he returned. Isaac explained he would be delighted to assist them for a while and train the young men; he was so pleased to see them at some of his services too.
Ezekiel told his parents that he would be leaving again soon to assist another disciple, Philip, who was going to Greece, Phrygia and Syria. He did not know when he would return. His mother had enjoyed her sons company, wisdom and preaching for past few years, but she knew his life was dedicated to preaching about Jesus Christ and she must be strong and proud of him when he left.
The next week was a very busy one in the new shop. Isaac was working with the two boys and much to their surprise and pleasure Nahum and Ezra welcomed several new customers, local farmers, into their new shop, business was beginning to equal or even better that from the old shop.
Another surprise was happening in the shop too!!! Isaac was making great progress with Samuel and Ethan, but his trained eye suggested to him that Ethan was a magician with the needle! He could not believe how fast and how accurate and strong his sewing was. He said to him one day, why don’t you take that piece of nice soft leather and see if you can make a purse like this one. A few hours later, Isaac could not believe his eyes. There was a beautiful purse with the stitching perfect. Each loop the same size as the last, just taut enough to hold the seam closed, but with no bunching! He certainly had a flair for sewing, something one would see in a seamstress’ class.
Isaac showed it to Nahum and Ezra who were equally amazed! They asked him to make some more.
The next day Ethan had completed three more purses, each one a little bit different.
The twenty sandals were completed so Nahum drove his team of mules to the new shop the next day. After lunch he loaded the sandals and the four purses on his cart and drove off to see the Market Man.
He was pleased that Samuel had taken the lead, without being asked, to package the sandals in nice paper with the size written on it. They looked very presentable.
He dropped them off at the Market man and explained the purses to him. He was suspicious at first, asking if Nahum had imported them, Nahum assured him they were from his shop. Market man said they looked very much like some purses he had seen from Rome but were too expensive to sell in his place. He asked Nahum what he would charge and Market Man said no, not enough, I will ask this much.
Nahum was surprised and said ok, if you can sell for that much good luck. Nahum told him he would not charge him until they were sold.
Two weeks had passed since Nahum had delivered the sandals and purses. He decided to go check on Market Man tomorrow morning on his way to the new shop.
Nahum arrived just as Market Man was opening his shop. The market was very quiet, except for the diners and coffee places.
Market Man approached Nahum with a big smile on his face. I sold all the sandals except one pair, the large black ones, I am saving them for a customer who is travelling now, but will buy them upon his return. He likes strong sandals and these will be just perfect.
But, the good news is the purses. I sold all four in two days and I have custom orders for six more and would like to stock twenty for my market. Let me explain.
One of my regular customers, a wealthy lady, whose husband owns a large winery, came in and saw the purses, she was so impressed she asked me if they were imported, I explained they were made locally. She bought one and asked if she could order two more to her specifications. I told her I would check and let her know. Here is what she wants. He showed Nahum the specs but with his limited reading ability he asked Market Man to explain them to him. She wanted one purse made with many colours and a black trim. She also wanted a black purse with beads on it. Market Man said if you do not have beads go to my friend on aisle three and he will sell you some. He sells all kinds of beads, buttons and stones. Nahum said he would.
Two other ladies bought the other three and they too would like two more each custom designed and I have their request here too.
Nahum decided to drop by the tannery on his way back to the new shop and pick up some quality, bright coloured soft leather for Ethan to work his magic on.
When he arrived at the shop the men were anxious to hear his story and were delighted with what he told them.
The photo shows, “Th Pharisees and the Herodians Conspire Against Jesus,” by James Tissot, painted 1886 to 1894.