"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
The following article is a blogpost found on the Business as Mission website. It comes from the April 24th, 2020 article by João Mordomo titled, "BAM VS. COVID: Look Up, Look Back, Look Around and Look Ahead".
To paraphrase Sun Tzu, we can win every battle if we know our enemy and know ourselves. But what happens when we don’t know our enemy well? COVID-19 is a case in point. The “facts” are slippery and constantly changing. We don’t really “know” what we think we know!
One thing we do know is that we are in a battle against a killer, and it’s real. One way or another, COVID-19 is killing people, jobs and economies. Another thing we know is that BAM is especially well-positioned to help now in the midst of the battle, and help later in the aftermath. How should BAMers respond right now?
On the basis of what we know. BAM can help defeat COVID if we have the right focus, posture and practices.
In part one of this two part post, I’ll first talk about our necessary focus. We need to look up to God and look back at history first, and then look around and ahead. In part two I’ll talk about posture and practicesand share a few real stories about how Christian entrepreneurs are responding.
Look Up (to God)
COVID-19 is not a surprise to God. He means to use COVID-19 for the common good, the specific good of His children, and His glory. (See Gen. 50:20 and Rom. 8:28.) And Job, with authority, assures us that God “can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (42:2). (See more thoughts on this here)
Rejoice in this, rest in it, and take action because of it!
1. SfK ministry programs have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, much like other businesses and ministries. We are reflecting what God is doing through SfK and discerning what He is calling us to do under these circumstances. Please pray that this process and this time of reflection will lay the foundation for God to do His will in His perfect time.
2. April 2020 - SfK provided emergency relief grants to several missional businesses in 7 countries, who are members of SfK Missional Business Community (MBC). The grant could be used to cover business cashflow shortages and/or to help the needy in their neighborhoods and surrounding communities.
Please pray that God will be merciful to them during this challenging time, especially in developing nations.
3. One of the seven businesses that received an SfK relief grant is a medical transcription business in South Asia.
The business fell 80% during the first quarter of 2020, threatening its own cashflow. Nonetheless, this business chose to use the grant to provide foods and life necessities for more than 100 Christian families in poverty in the city it operates.
To break through the challenge, God has blessed this business with a way to diversify its client base and the business is getting ready to get a significant new client on board. Praise the Lord!
This business has also initiated to organize a Christian businessmen's association in this nation that ranks very high in the World Christian Persecution Index. We are so blessed and encouraged by this man of bold faith to stand for the Lord with unyielding passion for God and compassion for people. Please pray that God will strengthen their faith and uphold them with His righteous right hand for greater blessings to flow through them.
4. Another business that received an SfK relief grant is an MBC member in Malaysia. They are able to continue providing employment and income for refugees with the relief grant. The business produced personal protective equipment (PPE) to provide assistance for fighting COVID-19. Please pray for God's provision for expanding their good works.
5. SfK is accelerating the development of e-Learning modules of its Missional Business Academy (MBA) boot camp training materials. Please pray that this process will help continue to meet the equipping needs of missional businesses.
Upcoming Events & Prayer Requests
May 2020 - SfK Life board meeting SfK Life will hold its quarterly board meeting via conference call, instead of an originally planned in-person meeting. Please pray that all discussion and decisions will honor the Lord who is the ultimate CEO of SfK Life.
May 2020 - SfK Korea board meeting SfK Korea will also hold its quarterly board meeting via conference call. Please pray that the board members will continue to draw wisdom from God in their deliberation and resolution.
Strategic Discussion - SfK Korea continues to explore the possibility of combining and rearranging a few businesses with its ministry partners to focus on their God-given specialties in serving His Kingdom. Please pray that all parties may place God's will ahead of any organizational interest.
Joybells America, the US subsidiary of Hesed Global, continues to make progress, despite some delay caused by the COVID-19 disruption, on its initial marketing efforts with the large food retail chain stores in the U.S. Please pray that this effort will bear fruit sooner rather than later.
Thank you for standing with us through prayer and support in equipping and empowering missional businesses in Asia and Africa so that they may produce a significant Kingdom impact in the lives of people they serve.
May God bless you abundantly with His heavenly riches so that you may become a greater blessing to people in need around you and around the world.
Consider a charitable contribution in partnering with SfK