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Training the Next Generation: Business as Mission Course Starts in Thailand with Mats Tunehag

22 Future and Present Business as Mission Leaders Arrive in Thailand and Start their Training

It was in fall 2005 when I was pushing hard to get our small company going, that I observed an increase of well-intended and passionate missionaries called to Business as Mission ("BAM") arriving in our Central Asian field location. My family and I had been serving on the field for the past 8 years and we started a few businesses because we saw how much transformation business can bring. The problem was, that even though some of our fellow workers came with significant business and cross-cultural expertise--which they were planning to capitalize on--almost all of them had very unrealistic expectations of how to use their expertise in a pioneering situation. I found that often they came with so much ambition and vision but underestimated the enormity of the challenge to start a business in a cross-cultural context.

About the same time as I was recognized this need for more equipping of BAMers, I attended a very meaningful BAM workshop in Almaty and the Lord started to put it on my heart to think about increasing the “success quota” of BAM start-ups by teaching “the essentials” to enable BAMers to succeed. My colleagues and I had learned the hard way in our own enterprise on the field and did want others to follow in our footsteps. Although God was speaking to me personally about getting involved in helping equip BAMers by pioneering a course, I didn’t act on this call until we encountered a serious crisis in our family which forced me to hand over my responsibilities in the Central-Asian business and leave the field temporarily.

It is often said that the Lord can bring something good out of crisis - this was certainly the case in my situation. Suddenly I had adequate time on my hands because I was no longer running my businesses and the Lord was clearly insisting that I take steps towards setting up training for potential business entrepreneurs called to a cross-cultural setting. To cut a long story short, it didn’t take much to convince YWAM’s International BAM Resource Team to get all fired up with the idea because they also saw the increasing need. This was about 18 months ago and led to our collaboration together to develop and facilitate the first Introduction to Business as Mission training course now in full swing! There is more to come in 2009.

Today, we’re into the first week of our custom-designed program-Introduction to Business As Mission. World class speaker, Mats Tunehag is facilitating the learning session this week in a packed class room in Chiang Mai,Thailand and we can’t get away from the sense that we are indeed hitting a nerve. Just 3 days in, the feedback we’ve already received confirms to us that God is doing something great. In the coming weeks we will have seasoned practitioners sharing their experiences as well as coaching course participants who have come with a vision to develop their own start-up projects. This week each participant has been interviewed in-depth so that we can customize a learning process for each individual, preparing them with the skills they need to achieve their goals. Many of them have come with God-inspired ideas and vision to bring transformation in this world!

We have a very diverse classroom of students coming from around the globe—Togo, Camaroon, Netherlands, Germany, Central Asia, USA, Malaysia, Korea. You are very welcome to check-in next week, here at the Business as Mission Network and read first-hand experiences from 2 of our students.

Michael Klein
International Business as Missions Resource Team

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posted by Justin Forman | 2.04.2008 - 7:00 AM

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