RAMADAN IS UNDERWAY THROUGHOUT THE MUSLIM WORLD, including here in Europe. While some surverys show muslims in Europe becoming more secularised, that perspective is not reflected in the high proportion of the Turkish and Moroccan populations living in Holland, for example, observing this annual religious season.
Since 1992, YWAM and later other missions have called believers to pray especially for the Muslim world during this season. The initiative came out of a meeting we had with our global leadership team in Egypt, and we sensed god challenging us to have double vision – for the Muslim and Arab worlds, as well as for the Jew.
Yet when we first announced this prayer season in Holland, one magazine misunderstood and protested that YWAM was going too far, joining in with Ramadan!
Let me draw your attention to the 30 Days prayer guide you can receive daily during this season from www.30-days.net/
I am heaing out the door as I write this for Athens and this year’s Hope for Europe Round Table, so this week’s WW is taken directly from this prayer guide.
Business as Mission: A New Missionary Era?
Around the world, Christian mission is making great progress. Yet many nations are still hardly reached or tangibly influenced by the gospel. For example, most African countries are still extremely poor despite the significant and growing presence of the Church. Some African countries suffer up to 90 per cent unemployment. In many African countries children form half of the population. When these children start looking for work in the next ten years, how will they manage to get a job? At the same time it is readily seen that Islam is expanding in the majority of African countries (this is often linked to economic prosperity). Historically, a large part of the spread of Islam in Africa and Asia has been through business activities. In the light of this, a question to be asked is: “Will the same Christian missionary methods which have been used for the last 50 years be effective in the future?”
In recent years some new kinds of missionaries have emerged. These men and women have a real entrepreneurial business gift. They believe that change is possible and poverty is not inevitable. The economic life of nations, peoples, cities and towns can no longer be treated as something of secondary importance. Economics is something which the Church in the third millennium must deal with to be effective.
God is a creator. Men who are made in His image also have this creative ability. It is a natural God-given ability and desire to change their environment. This ability enables many to prosper, even if their ultimate motivations are not correct.
The Lord is raising up businessmen and businesswomen who want to participate in the great adventure of missions. Creating enterprises will allow them to provide for their extended families, create jobs and participate fully in the economic life of their community. Their activities also stimulate other projects, such as digging wells, establishing schools and setting up dispensaries. Beyond that, people who create economic opportunities become salt and light in their community as they seek the good of those around them (Jer 29:7). Their businesses can become a place for Christian witness and discipleship.
Recently, through several small loans, local Christians had enough funds to establish some business projects in a predominantly Muslim country in Asia. Previously these Christians had been excluded from the economic life of their country. Within four years, 100 dynamic enterprises were created, each offering employment to (on average) 22 people. More than 2,000 people found work and more than 11,000 people in their immediate families saw a new future! In these enterprises several people came to faith in Christ because of the love, truth and justice which was manifested.
* Pray that God would raise up a large number of business people to be His salt and light in Muslim nations.
* Pray especially for the setting up of partnerships and alliances in the African and Asian context for the creation of enterprises.
* Pray that this dynamic of “business as mission” would be used by God to bring salvation to many nations.
Till next week,