IBEC Ventures -- Consultants for BAM/Business as Mission
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BAM Global Movement – Gort and Tunehag

Friday, May 18, 2018
compass and newspaper

While on long flights, I often bring a couple of books, my computer and postcards to write to my grandkids. Depending on how exhausted I am, I rarely read a whole book between the east coast and my home in Seattle. But this book held my attention. It is a classic. It is a “must read” for business people and for pastors and missionaries. It is available on Amazon and elsewhere.

Gort, Gea and Tunehag, Mats. BAM Global Movement: Business as Mission Concepts and Stories. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2018.

Mats Tunehag is probably the world’s foremost authority on Business as Mission. He knows the theory, the theology and the praxis for every continent. And he has been connected to the major players in the movement for more than twenty years. The book is unique in its international character and in the variety and depth of the narratives of God at work through business in hard places. For a person trying to understand BAM, this is it. For person well versed in BAM, this will encourage and provide new and creative thinking.

Here are a few quotes which intrigued me or reminded me of the value of Business as Mission.
  • "Five hundred years ago, we had a Reformation of dogma. Now we have a reformation of mission." (p. 3)
  • “It’s not only about salvation but also about bringing God’s shalom into the spheres of life in which we are involved.” (p. 11)
  • “BAM entrepreneurs realize that mission isn’t restricted to a few Christian professionals, such as pastors or missionaries. God is on a mission, and all of us are participants living out the Story of God’s mission.” (p. 12)
  • “In the book of Genesis, God commands us to work the earth and develop the culture through bringing order, work and beauty to the world, which is known as the cultural mandate. Jesus tells us to make all nations his disciples…from the kingdom perspective, planting churches and planting businesses go hand in hand.” (p. 59)
  • “There is no need for church leaders to become entrepreneurs themselves…but we can help spread the vision and view the church as a breeding place where entrepreneurs connect and where they receive support and inspiration…” (p. 58)
  • “In the biblical narratives the notion of “full time professional church ministry” was the exception, not the rule.” (p. 61)
  •  “Business is the most natural way to relate to non-Christians, to live out your faith, and to disciple people.” (p.89)
  • “Business as Mission is not a new discovery – it is for many a re-discovery of biblical truths and practices. In one sense it is like the Reformation rallying cry of ad fontes, ‘back to the sources’.” (p. 109)
  • “Wealth creators should be affirmed by the church, and equipped and deployed to serve in the marketplace among all peoples and nations” (p. 130 quoted from the Wealth Creation Manifesto)
  • “We integrate work and missions…I don’t want an excuse to get in…that’s deceptive to me. My aim is to be genuinely involved. I love agriculture and believe God desires to use all of our natural gifts and talents.” (p. 139 by a BAMer in Central Asia)
  • “If the business fails, then the mission fails.” (p. 147)
  • “Today there is still a need to state the biblically obvious: God calls people to and equips people for business. Unfortunately, this is still a farfetched idea in many churches, mission conferences, and theological seminaries.” (p. 170)
  • “Charity is the generosity that alleviates needs that are immediate. Justice is the process by which generosity configures our ways of providing education, delivering health care, doing business, and creating laws that lessen the need for charity…” (p. 183 quoted from a church in South Carolina)
  • “We call upon the church worldwide to identify, affirm, pray for, commission and release business people and entrepreneurs to exercise their gifts and calling as businesspeople in the world – among all peoples and to the ends of the earth.” (p. 200, from the 2004 Business as Mission Manifesto)


Larry Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures

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Three freedom businesses – a mini case study

Saturday, May 12, 2018
girls walking

Part 3 of a 3-part series on human slavery and freedom business

Last week we stated that the vital re-integration element for addressing the problem of human trafficking, particularly sex slavery, is an important complement to rescue and restoration. While in Cambodia recently we interviewed and observed seven businesses which were working hard to develop solutions with for-profit businesses. Three of them are highlighted here.

Jars of Clay is a restaurant with two locations in Phnom Penh and features Cambodian and western menus. It was started in 1998 by a missionary from the UK who dreamed of providing a safe place for helpless women with no life skills. Current owner and manager, Jen came as a 16-year-old rescued young girl. In 2007, the missionary left the sustainable operation in the hands of 8 original girls including Jen.

Today there are two restaurants, one in the Russian market area. There are 30 staff in this independent and sustainable operation. The missionary chose the name “Jars of Clay” from the biblical passage in II Cor. 4:7. The girls physical bodies are like jars of clay, in all shapes and sizes. They are beautiful, unique, functional and house a godly treasure. The ministry exists to bring girls to understand this.

The leadership takes a team approach to helping girls overcome the dysfunction of their trafficked past, provide training, learn who Jesus is, and develop the skills of the restaurant business. Jen emphasized that once healing begins they help them build confidence, leave the past behind without pity for themselves and realize a home in the Jars of Clay family.

Jen sees Jars of Clay as belonging to God and she is a steward for him. The profits are not theirs; they belong to God and they are plowed back into the business for improvements. The graduates of the program often go on to better jobs. One is the director of an NGO, another manages another restaurant. Almost all reintegrate into society and are able to support themselves. Many come to faith in Jesus as their Savior.

Sak Saum started fifteen years ago with 12 abused kids which were acquired from the Ministry of Social Affairs in Cambodia. The name, Sak Saum is a Khmer term meaning to restore and remake as new with dignity, value and beauty. The original group, mostly girls, were released to a church which built a dorm for the children. A program was developed to restore these children and create a desire to change. For those who want to change, the process of teaching life and employment skills begins.

The goal today is to create a nurturing, empowering, restorative program which facilitates vocational training in sewing products and community development. The large property outside the city of Phnom Penh provides for prevention through playgrounds, community programs and a local “watch program”, education for victims who want to change, restoration through job training, and justice by working with local authorities to bring perpetrators to justice.

The company is known for its creativity, individualized craftsmanship, and excellent products which are shipped to more than 15 countries and 30 US states. Products are not mass produced and so each is the result of creative minds, crafted as a tangible product representing a changed life. Skills are discovered and developed in design, quality control, business savvy, leadership and entrepreneurship.

The current trend is to reduce the number of employees working in the larger factory and to empower individuals to work with freedom and dignity at home; with the trainers and quality control personnel working in the factory, called a design center. Want to learn the many ways to wear a hua? Watch: http://saksaum.com/about/

Founder/operator Ginny Hanson sums it up: “Without choice, it is not love, without love there is no change.”

Outland Denim This company is in Kampong Cham, about a 3-hour drive northeast of Phnom Penh. It was started seven years ago by James Bartle, an Australian entrepreneur who saw an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of trafficked women through employment, while making a profit. He entered the fashion world of denim with a steep learning curve after traveling to Asia to see how the trafficking industry worked and to envision how he could provide a sustainable career path to victimized women.

There is a strong commitment to preparing each of the 40 seamstress employees with all the skills of the factory. Each person learns every aspect – every machine and every detail on a pair of jeans – the denim, the thread, rivets, buttons, belt loops, zippers – all are meticulously and artfully produced and reviewed. The high-end product is no regular jean - with retail prices in North America starting at $195 per jean.

Outland Denim is strongly committed the verifying the ethical sourcing of all items in the supply chain. Each item is checked for its social responsibility and environmental impact. For example, a company representative recently traveled to Turkey to check on the denim which is sourced a one particular location in that country, making sure it is using organic cotton and other approved processes such as natural indigo dyes which are less toxic. Every item from the thread to the denim, to the dyes, zippers, buttons, rivets, leather patches and washing process is guaranteed to not be exploitive and the most socially and environmentally responsible as possible.

The women take pride in their work and we noted on the finished products, the leather patch had a simple statement under the Outland name, “This jean handcrafted by …… (name of person)”

We were impressed how the owner in Australia and the managers in Cambodia, Caleb and Katie, relied on the importance of prayer, with many stories of how God directed them in creative entrepreneurial ways, as they relied on Him. Certainly, God is blessing this establishment to the “greater glory of God.”



Larry Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures

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Trafficked humans: rescue – restore – reintegrate

Saturday, May 05, 2018
peaceful field

Part 2 of a 3-part series on human slavery and freedom business

“Do I really deserve love and care?” blurted twelve-year-old Dara as she looked at the teddy bear and the note attached to it. It was the first time she had been told something like this, and the first time she had ever been given a gift. Dara had just been rescued from a KTV bar in Phnom Penh to which she had been sold by her family some weeks earlier. She sold drinks to male customers which took this beautiful little girl into the dark world of sex slavery.

One wonders how this could happen. How could a family be so desperate as to sell their child into such a dead-end street of child labor, sex slavery and personal dehumanization? It is difficult for most of us to understand what poverty, starvation and desperation can do.

Step 1: Rescue. Dara was now at the front end of the long road to normalcy – one that starts with the first step. Someone cared enough to enter that dark world to provide a starting point in a safe place where trained people committed themselves to walk the road to safety with her.

Step 2: Restoration is a ministry of redemption where Dara began to heal, build her confidence and to look forward to a better future; where she began to see the love of Jesus incarnated in people who protected her, gave counsel, and empowered her to receive an education, vocational training, health care, worry-free sleep, spiritual truths, and most of all love.

Step 3: Re-integration often involves a safe home or a foster family, or it may involve a return to the home of her parents if it is a safe place and the economic situation has improved. Dara learns soft skills such as problem-solving, communication, technical abilities and further education. She then learns hard skills which she can use to enter to work world as a working adult. These may include cooking, management, sewing, hair styling, financial management, driving, computer, farming, English language and other marketable skills.

Job creation is the vision of entrepreneurs who start businesses for those coming out of sex trafficking situations. Businesses, often called freedom businesses, providing work in Cambodia include restaurants, linen factories, hair salons, beauty shops, farms and home sewing coops, among others.

This graphic helps understand the Where, What, Who, Why and How of freedom business and is used with permission of Free Set Global. Check out this pioneer freedom business.





Part 3 will focus on three kingdom business case studies.


Larry Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures

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IBEC Ventures -- Consultants for BAM/Business as Mission