â€œThe one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.â€ (I Thess. 5:24)
In December 2006, as we were meeting with some business as mission practitioners, our team felt strongly that we were to develop and run a training course that would be a bridge to the field for those seeking to get involved in business as mission.Â After a few months of transition, we came together in April 2007 again to seek God in the development of what is now called the Introduction to Business As Mission (iBAM) Course.
As a step of faith, after some prayer and serious discussion, we set out to run the first course at the end of January 2008.Â As a team we brainstormed and planned the different aspects of the course that needed to be developed.Â We set our sights on a high mountain trusting that the Lord would guide our path.
We developed the curriculum in partnership with experienced BAM practitioners, seasoned business professionals, lecturers and training specialists. The vision for this training is to prepare and launch individuals and teams into successful business as mission initiatives.Â The course is designed to take men and women with a calling to business and equip them on their journey to become cross-cultural entrepreneurs for the Kingdom of God.
A key element that the Lord put on our heart was to run this training in a place that is a central location in proximity to established business as mission initiatives.Â This led us to explore the possibility of running the 6 week course in Chiang Mai, Thailand.Â With a strong sense of confirmation we went ahead and organized to run the course in a hotel, with the hope of having 20 participants.
Now that side of things was a challenge!Â As good and diligent as we sought to be in communicating to advertise the course, we knew only God could bring them in.Â We had times when we felt quite desperate and unsure whether we would even reach 10 participants.Â We came together to pray a couple of times as a team specifically about this, and both times we saw a new release of people applying within the following few days.Â It was a real encouragement and a very humbling process.
This incredible journey resulted in a transformational 6 weeks course. The teachers were excellent, bringing profound truth from the word of God and teaching about the realities of doing Business As Mission. It was a privilege to see some of that first hand while on the field trips to China, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Northern Thailand. These trips were a catalyst for deeper understanding about the facts and reality of doing business cross culturally, done to see the Kingdom of God where it is not.
The business coaching and workshops were essential to the course. Business planning, marketing, and financial management workshops were delivered by our resident business coaches. Their availability and commitment to work one on one with participants as well as their great insight and wisdom helped many in their business planning and â€˜next stepsâ€™ process.
We are thankful to God and want to testify to His faithfulness.Â He spoke to us about this training and He worked with us to make it a reality.Â We will be running the course again next year, 24th January to 7th March, 2009, in Chiang Mai, Thailand.Â For more information visit our website (www.businessasmission.com)
Here is some of the feedback we received about the course from participants:
â€œThe iBAM course gave me a better understanding and through the course I got a clearer view of my business and transformational goalsâ€¦â€¦ Iâ€™m better able to integrate biblical thinking into my business.â€
â€œThe iBAM course provided a variety of experienced BAM practitioners, coaches and resources in one place for a period of intensive BAM equipping.â€