Christian + BAM conference

By america, christian, He Writes, ministry, travel One Comment

A blog by Christian about his time at the BAM conference.

Do you know the first time in scripture the phrase “filled with the Spirit of God” is used (depending on your translation)? Exodus 31:3. God fills Bezalel with His Spirit … in order to work. God’s Spirit is connected with our work.

A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Business as Mission Conference in Philadelphia. The theme intrigued me, as our new venture will be to create a for-profit business in Ethiopia. I wanted to learn how business can be used as mission, and there was a lot to learn.

Many times, and this has been true in my life, the church has distinguished itself from business. Business is about money, and church is about God. There is a sacred-secular divide. There is an unspoken idea that business owners are *only* about making money. It’s about the bottom line. Business can’t ignore the bottom line of profit, but it can expand and have more than 1 bottom line. In fact, they have 4.

Profit. Obviously, if the company isn’t making a profit, it’s going to fail. Profit is important. It’s good even. But it’s not singular. Making money just for the sake of making money isn’t our God-given purpose.
People. A Business as mission cares about it’s people. Suppliers, employees, customers, and government officials. We ask ourselves, “Do I love my team/suppliers/customers/regulators as I love myself?” Business that ignores people and society is not doing mission.
Planet. We are called to be stewards of the Earth. We’re called to subdue it, not destroy it. Yes, we are supposed to use the things of the planet for our benefit, but not *solely* for our benefit. A business that destroys the planet is not glorifying God.
Eternal Purpose. This is the spiritual aspect. We need to be investing Spiritual Capital in people. We need to demonstrate a true relationship with Jesus and pray to the God of the harvest.

There were a few speakers that really stood out to me. One is a businessman in China. He has been working there for over 30 years, and has a manufacturing company brining in over $1 million every month. He also hires disabled people as a significant percentage of his workforce. He prays over his equipment and staff daily. He’s focused not just on revenue and profit, but also on the wellbeing of his people and their spiritual welfare.

We also heard from Shane Claiborne, who ministers in inner-city Philadelphia. He encouraged us to care about the poor. He shared stories of how they’ve ministered in their community with urban farming, providing low-cost housing, and non-violent activism.

Every speaker had great insights, from how we are seeing the lowest level of worldwide poverty ever in history, how we are combating human trafficking (a 32 Billion dollar “industry”), and how the church’s job is shalom – the flourishing of creation.

It was a great experience, and I’m glad I went. I was left with a few nuggets that I keep mulling over:
What will I personally do with my economic, social, and spiritual “capital”? Where will I invest it?
Remember that Jesus’ yoke is easy: the closer we are to Him, the easier the load for us.
I’m reminded of a comment from my missionary friend, who wasn’t at the conference: “Business can never be mission unless work is worship.”

Let’s remember that whatever we do today, we do it for His Glory.

A few pictures…

Marie went to college with Mike and Shannon. We lived in Moldova with them. To say that Marie and the girls were a little jealous is an understatement.

When you meet a mutual friend of your good buddy from Thousand Oaks. 🙂

Sight-seeing with new friends from the UK and Romania.

Philadelphia is beautiful!

Just a little liberty bell.

This is what you take when your wife says “please take more pictures!” :-p

Ended the week with another visit, this time friends from SoCal, plus we were able to present at their church!

life without dad

By addysengrace, america, christian, family, mercyadoniyah, ministry, school, travel No Comments

Whelp. We are three weeks into this USA homeschooling adventure and so far so good. It is weird not having kids go off every morning and come home every afternoon. There are some parts we really miss: the ease of uniforms, knowing that no matter what we are all ready for the day at 8am, and friends! On the other hand, there are some parts that are really nice: less stressful mornings, getting carried away and doing geography or science all day long and it doesn’t matter! And of course we are making friends. It just takes time and energy especially when you miss your other friends. We started gymnastics (Addy goes 5x a week and is finally…calm. Ha!) Mercy has karate twice a week and loves it, plus her Sensei said she is a nature and has the perfect personality for karate. We go to AWANA on Sunday afternoons at the church literally next door, Sierra Grace. Plus we will be going to field trips and activities through our school, Inspire Charter School.

Christian had his first week of solo traveling for Hope Takes Root (brand new site coming SOON!). He was able to attend a very interesting and helpful conference called BAM in Philidelphia. It was everything and more: inspirational, helpful, challenging, a networking opportunity, the list goes on! He is still traveling so I will have to wait until he gets home to get all the details. More to come. 😉 He was able to start the trip by visiting our friends, Mike and Shannon (and their boys) in Titusville. We spent a year in Moldova with them and they are some of our most awesome+like minded friends. The girls and I tried not to be too jealous! He is now spending the weekend in Harrisburg with other friends, originally from Thousand Oaks. He gets home early Tuesday morning.

It started well but included a little bug. Whoops.

Thank goodness it was short lived so while big sister had a middle school activity (what the goodness?), this little person and I went on a date.

Yesterday we tackled the shopping. We went to a USA mall which confused the girls (“where’s the grocery store, mama?”) to get my phone fixed. Then we did Sprouts and WalMart. My children think the Sprout’s cart is hysterical. Then we found Ursuletul Tedi which made their day but they wanted to know why tedi was spelled “so weird.: :-p

And let’s be honest. Everything is new or interesting. Why did Sprouts need to tell me my corn syrup came from corn? Does corn syrup every come from beets or wheat? And what in the world are boiled peanuts? Did I just miss this growing up or has the South, USA come to California?