Berrisford was sent to Nigeria, on a mission to spread the word of God. He was quite excited about having the opportunity to talk about faith with the people he was about to meet.
And as he started interacting with the people there, he couldn’t help but see the grim reality, which made him question his mission.
He recalls the moment and says, “I was there, trying to preach the gospel, and what I saw shook my reality. I couldn’t help but ask the question, how could I talk about faith to people who needed food, more than they needed faith.”
Berrisford was born and brought up in a beautiful island country in the Caribbean named Grenada. He says, life was truly beautiful there, even though they didn’t have electricity and proper transport.
He grew up with his grandmother, who was a farmer, and they’d produce goods, and wake up at 3 every Saturday, to catch a bus at 5, so they could reach the market and sell the produce.
The road to the bus was wet, muddy, and full of potholes. So he had to put on the wellies to get to the bus and then change into proper shoes to go into the market. On return, he’d put on the wellies and go back home.
His grandmother never received formal education, but he admired her wisdom, and wondered where it all came from. She had a great knack of doing business, and was quite successful at what she did.
He remembers her often talking about the great King Solomon.
She seemed to have an uncanny ability, to understand the world, that appeared almost magical. The way she spoke to people, and cared for and supported them, was something he truly admired.
She was a source of guidance and inspiration for him. And always told him, that no matter your background or circumstances, you can always do great things.
A message that stayed with him and one that he wishes to share with his children and everyone he comes across.
And even though she never went to school, she ensured Berrisford received formal education. And that a candle or a kerosene lamp was always there to help him with his studies.
As he grew up, people at the church and in his community recognised his ability to make difficult topics easy to understand. Essentially, they saw a teacher in him, and even told him that he’d make for a great teacher one day.
But he thought they were kidding. For he never saw himself as a teacher, and wasn’t planning on being one either.
Yet, as fate would have it, he ended up being a teacher at a primary school in Grenada.
That stint didn’t last for too long though, for life had something else in store for him. The church saw him as a fit to preach the gospel; apparently, one of the missionaries who had come from Nigeria, had prophesied that Berrisford would travel the world preaching the gospel.
And he was like, Me? a little teacher in the village, who doesn’t even own a passport, is going to travel the world? So much for the prophecy! He quickly brushed it off in disbelief.
But two years later, he found himself in Nigeria as a missionary. After which he traveled to the United Kingdom for further studies. Where he got a PhD in Theology, and an MA in Education.
But settling down in a new country had its own challenges, and in spite of all that education, he was still struggling to make ends meet. What could have gone wrong, what did I miss, he wondered.
Survival was calling on him, and with his first baby on the way, something had to be done.
That’s when he remembered Grenada and his grandmother. Their family business was a means to their survival. Which had taught them everything about business, to be able to put food on the table.
He remembered the basic business principles he had learned growing up with his grandmother, and also when running his own pig farm, back in those days.
And the most important part, he remembered King Solomon. And understood how his grandmother had come about all that wisdom.
She had faith, that the one who created us, can provide us all that we need. And that all we have to do, is keep our worries aside, and tune into a state of silence, through which comes the knowledge to deal with every situation.
And as he did that, he realised, that when he came to the UK, he had left all that life experience behind, and was focused on formal education alone.
That was the moment that knocked him awake, and he immediately knew what to do next–Time to bridge the gap between formal education and life experience, he affirmed.
He learned that while formal education has a place in man’s life, one must not ignore the life experience one has acquired. For not everything you need in life is written in a book.
But just when he thought that school time was over, he got another nudge to get one more degree. A neighbor advised him to do an MBA, to improve his chances of getting a job. But he couldn’t afford that, so he did an MSc in Marketing and Management instead. Which helped him get a job as a lecturer in business management at a prestigious university.
What came to the rescue was what he had learned from his grandmother, you can do great things, no matter what!
As a part of his role as a lecturer, he was working with small and medium sized businesses, helping them with the knowledge he had gained through education and the practical business experience he got while he was in Grenada.
It didn’t take long for students to start recognising his work, and the glowing feedback he received, gave him the confidence to embark on a new journey.
He is now an independent business consultant, serving small & medium sized businesses, by helping them attract more customers, more revenue and more profits.
Berrisford says, he now understands what he learned from his experience in Nigeria. That one of the best ways to begin with preaching the gospel, is to make the basic necessities of life available to people. For God doesn’t want people to starve in his name, but rather to enjoy the abundance that he has created for them.
He is now on a mission to help businesses succeed, with his unique business oriented educational programmes that promise to deliver both financial empowerment, and wisdom, that comes directly from the source.
If you’re a small business in need of help, be sure to reach out to Berrisford by visiting his LinkedIn profile, or send an email at email@example.com
Love Berrisford’s Story? Here’s How You Can Help
Who knew the young Berrisford Lewis from Grenada would one day grow up to be Dr. Berrisford Lewis? A man of faith, who is on a mission to spread abundance in the world.
If you’re feeling inspired, please consider sharing this story, for it’s not just about my friend Lewis, but it’s about an important message, that more and more people need to hear, to find strength and courage to go through their lives.
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