I never would have thought our family would start a Shaved Ice business out of a food truck, especially when it was our six-year-old daughter’s idea. But it shows what we all can do if we just follow God’s prompting.
When our daughter, Della, was 6, we found ourselves doing virtual school due to the pandemic. One day, I looked at her daily journal they had to compose for school, and it said, “I’m going to have a shaved ice business one day and my family is going to help me run it.” I was more than taken back by this, especially since she only had shaved ice once in her life, and that was when she was three years old.
When I asked her about her journal entry, she was very clear that this was her dream, that she’d even been talking with God about it. She saw this as a way to bring our family together. She knew my husband and I were having some problems, and she thought this may make things better if we could all work together and travel to see her relatives in other cities.
I started to pray about this, and it became clear to me that God was not going to give our daughter this vision and not see it through. I knew I had to listen to what God and my daughter were saying. I had no idea how to start this business, much less anything about shaved ice. But I decided to pour myself into this for three months. So for 90 days, I put everything else on the back burner and focused on whether it would be possible for us to start this type of business. I started researching and studying how to start a shaved ice business. I watched countless YouTube videos. I wanted to be obedient.
I learned a lot but I was still full of anxiety. But God kept telling me, “Don’t worry, I’m going to take care of you.” So I took the leap. I withdrew all the money out of my retirement account and put it into this. I rationalized that this money was eventually going to go to Della in one way or another.
I’ve always been strong in my Christian faith. In fact, my license plate on my car reads JSTBLVE. So I told myself now was the time to just believe.
The more I learned, the more excited I got. There were a number of small signs that God sent me in all this. I am one of seven girls and Della had this vision on January 7. And when we started looking for a used food truck to buy, we came across one that was an identical match to our unique wedding colors. So we bought that truck and began our shaved ice business.
We named it Deljen’s, which is a combination of our daughter’s names. My prayer was that this would bring our family together; not just me and my husband, but also both sides of our family.
And much to our amazement, the business has taken off. We are all involved. My husband runs the truck and makes the shaved ice. I take care of all the details of the business. And Della runs the point of sale system, takes orders and gives the exact change. She wipes down the floor and the counters, and gives candy to the kids.
We put the pages from her journal on the wall of our food truck so it could be an inspiration and motivation to others that you can make your dreams come true.
My sister told me about a year in advance that The World Games were coming to Birmingham. I began the application process, knowing that our food truck had little chance of getting selected to be the exclusive shaved ice company for the prestigious World Games. I wanted is to be part of The World Games to expose my daughter to different people and nationalities. And once again, we saw God’s hand in this. Our persistence, and faith in the Lord, paid off and we were selected to be the only shaved ice company at The World Games 2022.
Deljen’s has healed our marriage and brought our entire family together, and in ways I never would have imagined. We are spending more time together; you have to when you work together and you’re physically close all the time! The Bible says to serve others, and Deljen’s has taught us to do just that.
And I see this business strengthening other families. I see the joy in the faces of our customers when they bring their family together to have a shaved ice treat.
Seeing God at work has truly strengthened my faith. It’s taught me to never give up on God and not to question Him. God will work out His will if you trust and follow Him. This trust in God has spilled over to other family members because they see what has happened in our marriage and in this business.
Our household and our marriage are both prospering. All due to my daughter’s vision and our trust in the Lord.
(Photo credit: Hau Truong)