There are many throughout the developing world in need of the most basic necessities of life; safe water, affordable energy and dependable food—things we take for granted every day. Experience has proven over and over that the best help for those in need is to directly involve them in finding solutions to the problems they face (II Thessalonians 3:10-12). As Christians, we also know the importance of involving the strong hand of the Lord in all that we endeavor (Psalms 127:1).
This is essentially where the idea of Business as Mission (BAM) was born. That is, to establish Christ-centered businesses that are sustainably designed to help those in need help themselves while bringing the saving Word of God.
This past summer I started the path to BAM with several of my neighbors who are believers attending Forest Meadow Baptist Church.
They recently established World Light Africa, a BAM that grew out of a relationship with a Kenyan runner who trained in Albuquerque.
In June, I joined the BAM team when I traveled to Kenya and Uganda to conduct a preliminary survey of water issues. The BAM approach targets the very high prices that rural people in Africa pay for energy and water. What the needy lack is the capital to purchase improved technologies that lessen the cost of these basic services. World Light Africa provides new technology to someone in need which is repaid with the savings realized by the new technology.
One example uses simple solar powered lights which can easily be repaid in the matter of a few months, requiring only a portion of the savings from no longer needing to buy kerosene. When the light is paid off they can get a water filter, which they can pay off with their savings on wood which is no longer needed to boil the water.
Similar ideas are being developed to support small cottage industries; in particular, small scale agriculture. Here we combine training on soil management, with construction of small water catchments and drip irrigation to significantly improve farm yields (and reduce incidence of total crop failure). This provides an income to repay the capital improvements, improves the lives of the family and puts money into the local economy.
The goal is to establish World Light Africa as a sustainable business, meeting the needs of the needy while modeling Christian ethics and morals through the day-to-day conduct of the company. This is a very bright light in a region known for pervasive corruption that is deeply engrained in their culture.
World Light Africa has two full time employees in Kenya and Uganda that are managing a handful of projects. Several communities have been targeted for testing our energy and water technology upgrade program in the coming year. We are also planning construction and testing of a small-scale agriculture project.
We believe God has big plans for the needy in West Africa who are hungry for God’s Word. We value your prayers in the coming year as we pursue God’s leading.
Contact Vince Tidwell to learn more about BAM or find out how you can get involved today!
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The Women’s Serving Team is hosting a Mugs & Muffins event August 10th from 9:00 – 11:00am in the Fellowship Hall. Christine Leggett will be leading us in a discussion about the spiritual battle we each have with the desires of our heart. It will be a morning of fellowship, rich discussion and encouragement as we come together to study God’s Word. Praying you can join us. Don’t forget your favorite coffee mug! Please RSVP to Christine if you need childcare.
You can go on a mission trip and never leave Albuquerque. International Students Incorporated (ISI) helps international students when they arrive in the U.S. ISI has a chapter at UNM helping pick up students as they arrive at the airport, providing temporary home stays, helping find housing, English as a second language training and friendship partners. A new school year is getting started with hundreds of international students arriving at UNM. Please consider helping in one of the ways noted above. Alternatively, we will be providing lunch for students and volunteers on Wednesday, August 7 (signup sheets will be in the foyer). If you are interested in helping or just want more information please contact Vince Tidwell.
MCC’s Shine Partnership is hosting a dessert night Wednesday, August 14 at 7:00pm at Ashley Procter’s house! Current Shine volunteers, anyone curious about what Shine is, or those interested in becoming a Shine volunteer are invited! Contact Ashley if you have questions or need directions.
Save the Date: MCC Elders are hosting a 4-week Foundations Class starting September 15 and running through the first week in October. This class is designed to better help you get to know MCC - who we are, what we believe and why, and how to get connected. Please sign up with Sarah.