When Adelso Lemus was expanding his business and felt pressured to cover ballooning expenses with sales, he was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.
“The doctor was gently telling us that they were going to see what they could do,” Adelso told God Reports. “I didn’t want to do chemo because the last time I had cancer it jacked me up.”
From his hospital bed, he watched his family huddle.
They weren’t weeping; they were strategizing. Who would do what to cover Dad’s extensive responsibilities in the business? Adelso and his family sought what they always wanted in times of trial: a turnaround, for good to come out of the bad.
“I wasn’t thinking I was going to die,” he says. “I just needed to work this through and get back to the business.”
Adelso miraculously survived the cancer. His 10-year-old business of specialty tres leches cakes now grosses $1 million in revenue.
He shares his life philosophy on a radio podcast “The Flipside” which encourages listeners to not despair but to find how “all things work together for the good,” as the Bible says.
Adelso, 54, lives in San Antonio, Texas. He got saved as a youth in Albuquerque when he saw a formerly “fried” pothead” all cleaned up and alive.” It was an unexpected surprise, and the young man invited Adelso to church. He didn’t want to go, but his friend hounded him and he broke down. Of course, Adelso ended up receiving Jesus and transformation.
He grew zealous for the things of God and even prepared himself to enter ministry. He was part of the church-planting mission that emphasized evangelism and discipleship and not Bible school degrees.
He and new-convert Veronica got married “Jesus people style,” the way the hippies did in the Jesus Movement of the 70s, without expensive ballroom-like details and during the Sunday morning service. They were in love with each other and considered the fact that Jesus didn’t have any money.
Adelso and Veronica marched off to Panama, where they were missionaries for nine years. It was a wild time of scrambling to make ends meet. Adelso became very resourceful as he adeptly negotiated equipment and building rentals without having enough money to do so. Navigating financial hardship with resourcefulness became a skill he carried forward in life and it became the hallmark of his business.
“It hardened my hide to be able to go through what I’ve gone through in the business,” he says.
When his 25th wedding anniversary approached, he was on staff at John Hagee’s Cornerstone Church. He decided to save as much money he could every week to honor his wife with a big bash to renew their wedding vows. He wanted to make up for the skimpy beginnings of married life.
How would he cobble together the money for the event? His sister gave him a secret recipe, a tres leches cake with a non-traditional flourish, pineapple. It was off the radar, but when he took samples to some local restaurants they were curious.
“Tres leches with pineapple?” one proprietor said. “That’s weird.”
He tasted it.
“The way they responded in the restaurant was really positive,” Adelso explains. “I wanted them to taste it to see if it had any potential. They really liked it. I just chased the dream because of the reaction that I got. It was a genuine surprised reaction. I thought, Wow, they really liked it. It made me realize that this was something I could possibly do on the side.”
He started at home, but you can’t cook at home for commercial ventures for long.
The preparation for a wedding renewal turned into a full-time business. He needed to rent space at a bakery. At a cooking conference where he impressed with free samples, an acquaintance tipped him off to a 2,000-square-foot San Antonio bakery that could rent him space in the evenings.
The only problem was that she wanted $800 a month and all he could offer was $350. Read the rest: Adelso Lemus fought cancer while running a growing business