Despite decades of dialog about business as mission (BAM), it is still difficult for many people to understand that you can do real missions and have a real business at the same time.
My training was in church and nonprofit business, but when I reached North Africa, starting a church was out of the question. So for-profit business became the natural way to impact the community. This had not been my plan, but the more I became involved in business, the more I realized my previous church-based objectives of spreading the gospel and strengthening disciples were still appropriate in the business context.
A recent report from Asia illustrates how community development ventures and churches can partner together to reach those in society that would otherwise be unreached by traditional church ministry.
Clive became a member of MDE in 2016 and works in our Disciple Making Employee division. Here is his response to the question, “what does MDE mean to you?”
Volunteer BAM Team Manager, Jim Schlott, shares why he is sold on MDE’s approach. We are grateful for volunteers like Jim who are helping to shape MDE through their service, expertise, and passion.
Our vision is to see thousands of mature Christ-followers taking
the presence and message of Christ to the millions who have little to no hope of experiencing God’s love or hearing truth in their communities.
We hope you enjoy this glimpse into the lives of our MDE members and how they celebrate Christmas.
“Well, if you wanted to buy a red dress, how would you find out about that?” my local advisor, Sully, asked. “In our culture, you would never ask someone where to buy a red dress.” We were discussing how to find suppliers for a textile unique to our region. I had been disappointed more than once in supplier-buyer relationships, and I was ready to listen. Sully had been introduced to me by my MDE mentor who had previously served in South Asia.
Our introduction to MDE came at a time when we really needed support. I was reaching out to the children in our community and my husband was starting a manufacturing business. Our mission organization allowed us to be seconded to MDE, and MDE helped us walk through the legal hoops of starting both a nonprofit organization and a business overseas. They encouraged us each step of the way and never made us feel like what we were doing was a “bad idea.”
Moving to Central Asia late last fall to start up a motorcycle touring business has definitely been an adventure. It started by engaging an international law firm, recommended and vetted by MDE, before we actually landed in country. Our lead lawyer’s training in the US made it easy to build a relationship with her quite quickly. The law firm walked us through the process of getting temporary residence permits (TRP) and building out our business entity in country. After all the many necessary steps, we were granted a 3-month TRP and formed a limited liability company in country without a hitch.