A couple of days ago, someone asked me if I celebrated Thanksgiving. They made the quip because I am Canadian, but I have lived in the USA almost half of my life. I responded, “Of course; I love having two celebrations each year.” But the simple conversation reminded me that God asks us to be thankful all the time as the Apostle Paul says in I Thess 5:18, “…give thanks in all circumstances.”
In many ways, 2020 has been a hard year for the businesses which are part of the IBEC ecosystem. COVID has restricted the production and marketing of products, and there has been some loss of jobs. Knowing all of this, I asked my colleagues here at IBEC to reflect on what they are thankful for this month.
- I have been incredibly blessed by my co-workers here at IBEC. Being surrounded by fellow believers who desire to make a difference for the Kingdom through the creation of jobs has allowed me to truly appreciate this opportunity God has given me to serve. Their love for Jesus is contagious, and this has allowed me to strengthen my personal walk as well.
- I am thankful for the privilege of stewarding the experiences God has given me to coach and guide others in their journeys.
- Working directly with our clients has been an amazing blessing in my life. These individuals are “in the trenches”, building businesses the right way for our King. Their relentless pursuit of creating jobs and making disciples has inspired me to always want to do more for them.
- The unity and collaboration we have with other entities within Triventure (triventure.com), and the greater BAM community is amazing.
- The Lord continues to use IBEC throughout the COVID pandemic to assist new and struggling BAM projects, despite canceled conferences and a slowed-down economy.
- I am thankful for the opportunities to partner with other like-minded groups. such as the Freedom Business Alliance, which is seeking to provide jobs for survivors of human trafficking (freedombusinessalliance.com).
- The social media content which is being developed by Megan, and the resulting increased exposure of BAM companies etc. is a great encouragement to me and IBEC.
- I am grateful for increased growth indicators such as a good financial picture, increased numbers of businesses to serve, several new competent coaches and consultants; but most of all, the news of changed lives who are living in hard places who now have a job and are hearing the Good News of Jesus.
- For our coaches and their willingness to serve the Lord using their experience and talents, and that they have not been stricken with the virus; I am thankful that most of our clients have weathered the epidemic by God’s grace and mercy, and for our donors who have blessed IBEC with the resources and prayers. I am thankful for the privilege of being part of the team.
- I am very blessed to be a part of IBEC Ventures, and the work that God is doing around the world through BAM. Before joining IBEC in March of 2018, I had never heard of Business as Mission. Over the past few years, I have witnessed the footprint of BAM continue to grow and become widespread. When you think about it, we spend a great deal of time daily, and overall percentage of our lives sowing into work. What better way to share the Hope of Jesus and Good News of the Gospel, than through work and the creation of jobs? This platform is one of the most powerful mediums we have! Even if you never go overseas, through BAM, you can impact the nations for Christ right where you are! It’s an honor to serve God, and love others alongside an amazing team!
Larry Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures