Generosity – The G-8 conference in Germany representing the 8 wealthiest nations in the world recently committed 60 Billion to fight aids and malaria in Africa. Bill Gates has a similar amount at his disposal directed toward similar objectives. Although these are not “church” initiatives I believe they do represent God’s heart for people.
This history of pouring money into Africa isn’t great, as we discussed in a prior newsletter (Give a Fish or Make a Fisherman). Over 400 Billion has already been spent and we don’t have much to show for it. The good news is that many African nations have a higher per capita Christian presence compared to developed nations (like the US). And, they are very open to becoming self-sufficient. The problem is that pouring $60B into those nations doesn’t necessarily help anyone become more entrepreneurial; they actually become more “welfare” oriented and their poverty can be increased.
The Real Goal – What if the $60B was sown into Africa in a way that produced 60B every year instead of requiring a follow-up gift every year? I believe that God’s real heart is to impart the Spirit behind his favor so that people learn to receive from God themselves. It’s not really how much money we can give. The real question is, “How many Kings can we make?” How can people in poverty be taught to become entrepreneurial, prosperous, and generous on their own? The role of Kings is to help communicate the “E” in Gospel.
An Example – I met Mark Charles at a Releasing Kings conferences in West Virginia this spring. He has worked with seasoned businessmen like Bob Vitantonio recently to support micro-business start-ups in places like the Philippines. They are working with Rolando Santiago on a dozen micro-business ideas that will facilitate prosperity and ministry. Rolando is a little unique in that he has degrees in electrical engineering and theology and easily speaks the language of both King and Pastor.
Here’s a recent status Rolando sent on to Mark and Bob:
*We have already started operating the store and we are in the process of purchasing all the needs of the canteen, as well as the computer shop which we hope to start before classes begin this June. Although we have not completed the kitchen needs, we are already starting to sell cooked food in the mornings.
We have been praying and searching where we could get supplies at the lowest rate so we could serve the community better. As of now, we sell at the lowest price.
*Since the opening of the store, the children at the shelter, especially the older ones are assigned tasks which require more responsibility and honesty and this is a great challenge for them as well as for us.
The complete list of Rolando’s micro-business ideas include: Goat-raising and dispersal project; Arts and Craft /Handicrafts; Canteen and Catering Services; Desktop Publishing and Computer services; Grocery store; Palay and Rice Trading; Garment Industry and T-shirt printing; TESOL TRAINING CENTER and ESL School in Dagupan Pangasinan; Picture Frame Making; Hollow Blocks making; Cacao Beans Plantation – source of production for chocolate products; Sand and Gravel supply; Fruits and Vegetable Merchandizing; Mini-printing press; Construction Supply; Internet Café; Plant Nursery; Kids Playland and Child Care Center; Training Center and Camp site; Vocational Institute Technological school.
Mark has a list of 10 simple business plans on our web site that include startup costs and estimates of annual return. Our goal is to increase that list to 1000.
The Opportunity – What is starting to happen? Kings are reaching across cultural, religious, and national borders with the gospel through the marketplace. Nations that are closed to missionary activity still welcome businessmen and ignore their ministry tendencies. It’s also true that many nations welcome both traditional missions and business start-ups.
A King (Christian entrepreneur) can facilitate starting a business for $5-15K – less than a new vehicle. We’re developing training materials to impart business skills and facilitate rapport between local entrepreneurs and foreign business startups. One simple idea that facilitates mentoring is a monthly cash flow assessment. Philip Campbell is helping us with an EXCEL spreadsheet template to do just that (see www.neverrunoutofcash.com). His book and cash flow monitor are worth consideration for any business. Our goal is to make the spreadsheet and the audio training free on Philip’s web site for “the world.”
Women in Business and Ministry – One reality is that about half those third world business start-ups are by women who really need other entrepreneurial women to work with them. Think about it! Proverbs 31 women expanding the Kingdom. If you would like a contact to work with contact Mark or myself and we’ll see if we can connect you with an opportunity. Micro-businesses can be conducted on a loan basis if they are started with a good and idea and managed wisely.
Ready for something beyond the pew? The world is waiting.
“Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.” Ezra 10:4 NIV
Life is an adventure. People are a blessing. God is amazing. We’re winning.