This blog post should have been written and posted last week, but stress related to my visa wars reduced my mental creative powers to zero. I arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand, a few hours ago and suddenly my mental energies have been restored. So, before I get carried away with preaching among the Kiwis, let me quickly get this post out of the way.
I have some good news for Zambia's Christian business community! Evergreen Christian Bookstore will be hosting a whole day Christian Business Seminar this coming Saturday - 6th October, 2012 - at Dream Valley Lodge. The theme will be "Christians Conducting Business in a Secular World" and the speaker will be Bheki Macwele, from Swaziland.
|Bheki Macwele in his office at his liquified petroleum gas (LPG) company|
I noticed that Bheki usually attended conferences in the company of an older man (whom I later discovered to be his church pastor). I also noticed that at the end of each conference Bheki would purchase many of the books that were being sold and haul them back to Swaziland. Who was this man? It was not until I was invited to Swaziland that I got to appreciate who he really was.
|Gas cylinders at Bheki's liquified petroleum gas (LPG) company|
I also discovered that Bheki was an astute Christian businessman. At a time when very few Swazis were in the upper echelons of business, he had risen to chief executive of Swaziland's branch of the multinational oil company, Shell. Having reached the top, he had since retired and taken over one section of Shell's business, which they wanted to dispose of - the selling of gas. He grew this into Swaziland's second largest gas provider. He had also bought two farms and was rearing about 100,000 chickens at a time. In chatting with him, I found that he had his fingers into a number of other smaller businesses.
|Part of the 100,000 chicks being reared at Bheki's chicken farm|
It was this exposure that made me immediately conclude, we must get Bheki to Zambia! The Zambian Christian business community needs to be exposed to good role models. We have too many bad examples around us that I would not be surprised if it has now been taken for granted that in Africa you cannot be a business person and a strong Christian at the same time. that is why I am so enthused by the topic he has chosen to address us on - "Christians Conducting Business in a Secular World." We need to learn from men such as Bheki that it is not just possible but that it is incumbent upon us as Christians to do so in a godly way. It is challenging, but it can be done. It will be hard, but the joy we will know in glorifying God in this way will far surpass the pain of the hardships.
|The kind of chalets found at Dream Valley Lodge|
|One of the two swimming pools at the Dream Valley Lodge|