Youngstown Woman

      The odds said, We Clean It Krystal Klean, Inc. in Youngstown, should not have made it past the first year or two. But its owner-a woman, a minority and single mother of four with no working capital-isn't the betting kind-unless she's staking claim to the faithfulness of her God.

      Mack worked for an ambulance service in the mid-1990s when God began to deal with her about getting out of the business she had been in for 15 years. Earlier, she had prayed about starting a cleaning company but had forgotten the prayer.

       "The Lord really began to deal with me that I really needed to be out of that situation," Mack said. "Finally, it came to the point where I did leave the job and I was just really devastated because I didn't know anything else."

      Through a co-worker's witness, Mack had begun to see the effect that this man's testimony had upon her life. A change had begun in her and she liked what she saw.

       "One thing led to the other and I just decided it was time to surrender all. I grew up in a Christian home and went to church," Mack said. "Then, after I left the job, I re-dedicated my life to Jesus and became a full-fledged Christian living for Him."

      Mack started her business with no money and with the cleaning supplies from her home. She also started it with the first of many prayers.

       "I asked the Lord to always provide for the business," Mack said. "I've never had to get loans or grants for anything to run the business. He has done it. We run month to month, we're on a budget and we've not had to borrow or have any assistance at all. He has just truly blessed."

      Blessed is not a strong enough word for what Mack has received over the past five years. God has truly given her a Luke 6:38 "good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over."

      Mack started the business from her home January 31, 1996. By April, she had to hire two employees because she had too much work for one person to do. In August of that year, she moved the business out of her home to a suite downtown.

       "The suite that I rented was in a building that had four suites in it. I knew it was for sale and I wanted it," Mack said. "I asked the Lord, I said, 'Lord provide a way for me to buy this building and don't let anyone even approach this man about this building.' I asked Him to do this in a two-year time span. No one approached this man about this building. I asked the Lord for a price. I said, 'I'm going to ask this man if he will sell me this building for this particular amount.' It was a year and a half from the time I moved down there that I bought the building for the exact price that I asked the Lord."

      Mack still owns that city block of property, now has 32 employees and has expanded her business to Columbus, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

       "We are a full-service, multi-service cleaning company now. I can provide lawn and garden general maintenance, heating and cooling, security. Anything the client needs, they can make one phone call and we can do it all," Mack said.

      And, she's getting ready to start a second business providing billing, payroll and collection services and open a second Krystal Klean office in Cleveland.

       "Again, I'm asking the Lord to provide. So that I can run the business on what comes in and build it up and build it up," Mack said. "It's all been done in five years. From no money-and all on faith."

      More amazing than the building of a business on faith, has been the testimony that business has provided to clients and employees.

       "It has led people to Christ," Mack said. "I don't pressure people or anything but some of my employees who were not saved when they started, they have gradually changed. Some of them are going to church and some of them are getting saved. They insist that our monthly meetings open and close in prayer."

      Mack said she never could have imagined all that God has provided for her business.

       "All I knew was the Lord had promised to take care of me, no matter what," Mack said. "I could never imagine this other than just believing He'd do what He said He would do. His word is true and I'm living proof of it. It's very tough being a woman and a minority but he has broken down walls, opened up doors, closed the right doors, opened up other doors and just continually provided."

      Mack believes that as a Christian, she is more compassionate than the average business person. God has given her a compassion for her employees, who are sometimes not the best educated or motivated.

       "When I hire someone, I tell them, 'this is a Christian-owned business. You do not have to be a Christian to work here but I expect you to conduct yourself accordingly. There's no cursing, no dirty talk or anything like that.'" Mack said. "We have so much fun. I think some of them are surprised that you can have fun and be a Christian. The biggest complement I get is, 'your people are so well mannered, they are so polite, they are so professional.' I think it's because I will not accept anything less."