Have most of us forgotten Nepal already? Was it a blip on the screen of our TV’s and on the prayer lists of our churches? My TV news these days is full of news of forest fires in the West, shark attacks in the East and tornados in Mid-America. These are certainly important – and Nepal seems so far away.
Let’s not forget to pray and to contribute to business efforts in that country. Jo Plummer on the Business As Mission website reminds us:
“We know of at least 15 BAM companies in Katmandu and beyond, including those in:
- Garment manufacturing
- Information technology – cloud services
- Information technology – software development
- Guest house
- Coffee roasting
- Coffee shop/café
- Food production and retail
- Outdoor equipment retail
- Jewelry making
She continues, “Please pray for these companies – the business owners, their teams and local employees. Pray for wisdom, peace and provision as they aid others, rebuild and try and get back to ‘business as usual’.” You can read Jo’s full blog, “Pray, Give or Go to Nepal? Pray for BAM Companies!”
I wrote in an IBEC blog shortly after the first earthquake in Nepal, “Every human in crisis needs relief from the stress and hopelessness of the crisis, but then they need empowerment, dignity and resources to grow and develop. Job creation does just that. We think that in today’s world Jesus would bring both immediate help (like how he healed the blind man) and long term focus on life and faith. What is most needed to complement the relief services that have poured into Nepal? If we take the long view from now until eternity, we should focus on job creation to alleviate poverty, social injustice and sickness.”
Job creation is a critical felt-need in Nepal, with 40% of the workforce unemployed, even before the earthquake. Poverty only exasperates the effects of a natural disaster, with low quality building and lack of resources meaning that many people have lost what little they had and will struggle to rebuild.
One of the businesses in Katmandu that survived the earthquake is Top of the World Coffee (TOWC). They are having record sales and they are serving the market at a critical time, according to IBEC’s Ken Leahy who has worked in Nepal with TOWC as well as other Great Commission companies.
Higher sales means more jobs and more jobs means better lives and it means more people seeing Kingdom values being lived out in the marketplace. These relationships lead on toward people coming to know who Jesus is. For example one of the employees of TOWC came to faith in Christ a year ago, and just recently he led the local church worship service. In the words of owner, Dale, “…seeing him up there this morning made all the challenges of running a ‘fair and ethical’ business in Nepal’s frontier economy seem worthwhile.”
Larry W. Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures