EVER SINCE Demos’ first tent campaign in 1940, when he began his active service for God by sponsoring evangelistic campaigns as his father had previously done, the Lord has blessed his efforts and prospered him. In 1948 he and Rose entered into an even deeper consecration to serve the Lord, and almost immediately that consecration was put to a test.
In addition to the large dairy, Demos and Isaac had an extremely busy feed-processing plant. It was very difficult for Demos to get away from this activity. Nevertheless, putting God’s business first, he agreed to sponsor a large campaign at Fresno. As the time drew near for the campaign, all of Demos’ time was required to look after the tremendous volume of work in connection with the feed business. The price of feed began to drop and the plant began to lose money at a staggering rate. To leave now for two or three weeks could easily mean that the Shakarian Family stood a chance of losing an enormous amount of money. A choice had to be made between protecting the business and canceling the Fresno campaign, or the reverse. Rose and Demos decided they would take little Steve and Geraldine with them, leave Richard with his grandfather so that he could remain in school, turn the affairs of the feed business over to the Lord and go to Fresno doing the Lord’s business.
As God began to bless the Fresno campaign, reports from home made it almost imperative that Demos abandon the campaign and return to his rapidly-failing business. Then little Steve came down seriously ill. He needed attention and care that seemed to demand that he be taken home. Demos knew that if he cancelled the campaign, his service to the Lord would always be in jeopardy. He knew that if he went bankrupt, his testimony and ability to serve the Lord would be very small. He got a nurse to help care for Steve, he asked God to look after Steve and to send a buyer for the feed business, and he and Rose continued the campaign.
Steve improved, and a Norwalk business man phoned that the Lord had awakened him at three o’clock in the morning and told him to buy the feed business and to give the price the Shakarians asked. This took care of two great needs, but another still remained.
In the midst of the other two difficulties, Rose had discovered that she had lost her very expensive wrist watch which Demos had given her. After all searching had failed to produce the missing watch, Rose and Demos prayed that the Lord would return the watch safely to them. They realized that had they not been away from home in the campaign, the watch might still be on Rose’s wrist, so they felt God would, somehow, undertake for this need also.
Isaac Shakarian brought Richard up for the weekend and they and Demos went to the fairgrounds to see the livestock, especially the cattle. Suddenly Richard saw a man selling little chameleons and asked his father for money to buy one. Demos was utterly opposed to having Richard carrying a lizard around in his hand and emphatically refused to buy the chameleon. Richard ordinarily graciously submitted to parental decisions, but this time he put on quite a scene and refused to be denied. Isaac, thinking the chameleons were made of rubber, overruled Demos and bought one for Richard. Almost immediately, he discovered that Richard was holding a live lizard in his hand and quickly regretted that he had made the purchase. From that time forward, even after reaching the place where they were staying, both Isaac and Demos tried to get Richard to turn the lizard loose, but without success.
Rose entered the scene by refusing to allow Richard to keep the chameleon in the house, as he preferred to do. The Nurse who was helping care for little Steve felt led to come to Richard’s aid, so she said she would help him find a cardboard carton of suitable size and they would make a temporary place for the chameleon in the garage. A number of empty cardboard cartons had been placed on the rubbish heap to be hauled away the next day by the trash man to be burned. The Nurse kept searching among the cartons until she found one that seemed to her to be the very one for the chameleon’s container. She opened it and found Rose’s wristwatch inside. God had answered prayer in a most unusual fashion!
THE SALE of the Reliance Milling Company by Isaac and Demos Shakarian to the Coast Grain Company, owned and operated by Adolph Weinberg and sons, Bob and Denny, was an important epoch in the Amazing Shakarian Story.
Two supernatural things occurred in connection with the transaction: The Lord had awakened Adolph Weinberg at three o’clock in the morning, in answer to the prayers of the Shakarians, and impressed him to purchase the business and to pay the price the Shakarians would require; and almost immediately after the transfer of ownership, the mill became a real success for the Weinbergs.
At the time of the sale, more than half a million dollars, all cash, was paid to the Shakarians by the Weinbergs. In the business world, this was such a historic and tremendous transaction that The California Dairyman devoted the front cover and three inside pages to the newsworthy event, with a photograph on the front cover and four photographs inside.
From the date of the purchase of the feed business, the Weinbergs have continued to abundantly prosper. Then they were farming more than twelve thousand acres in the Imperial Valley, raising alfalfa, flax, wheat and beets, in addition to feeding thousands of head of beef and conducting the Coast Grain Company with an enormous tonnage. Now the Weinberg’s farm more than twenty thousand acres, with all their other business activities in proportion. It paid Adolph Weinberg to heed the Word of the Lord that came to him at three o’clock in the morning!
The disposal of the feed business by the Shakarians not only stopped the huge financial loss, but gave Demos the time necessary and imperative in order to help build up the immense Reliance Dairy Farms, with four drive-in sales outlets, the ever-increasing shopping center expansion, and his real estate and other investments. But above all else, the disposal of the feed business made it possible for Demos to devote much more time to the work of the Lord.
When Demos, in utter dedication to serving God, made the choice to continue the Fresno campaign, turning his own interests over to the Lord to handle, he was shown how quickly and easily the Lord was willing and able to handle such varied needs as the healing of Steve, the finding of Rose’s lost watch, and the sale of the burdensome feed business for more than half a million dollars cash. Furthermore, the Lord has blessed the Weinbergs in the feed business and the Shakarians in the dairy business, proving that when God is in a transaction, it must succeed.
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