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14 Nations, 400 Employees and Business as Mission in a Muslim Nation - The Story of a Modern Day Daniel

by Kent Humphreys - Daniel is my favorite Bible character. He was taken from his home country at about 14 years of age and went on to be one of the most influential leaders in Babylon over the next seventy years. A few weeks ago in Hong Kong I was able to spend time with a modern day Daniel who does business in the countries of Central Asia. Daniel’s father was a pastor in India back in the 1960’s, and before Daniel was born his father believed that Daniel would be a pastor in Russia. During his teenage years Daniel struggled in his faith and wandered away from his Christian heritage. About the age of 18 years he returned to walking with God. Then Daniel began to learn the Russian language in the university. But, as he got ready to graduate from college, the chaos occurred and the walls of the Soviet Union came down. In 1993 Daniel showed up in Central Asia and went to work for a large software firm as a marketing agent. He had no business training but adapted well and made many friends. For the next two or three years Daniel worked very hard and traveled twenty five days a month throughout the region of Central Asia.

Daniel was promoted three times because of his marketing and sales success. Finally in 1996, he was offered a move to Africa to head up a new office in Uganda. Daniel turned down the great financial offer because he felt called to Central Asia. For a year he worked for a financial services firm and tried to help a local church make up a fake platform for business. He spent a year on a church staff thinking that it was how he was going to serve God. Some ladies in his church began to pray and had a vision that Daniel would go into business and bring wealth to the nations. A pastor from Singapore met Daniel and told Daniel that God had called him to be a minister to the marketplace. Daniel had saved $60,000 from his earnings and started a trading business. His firm packaged and branded tea from India and grew a very successful business in just a few years. But, in 1999 the currency was devalued 50% and his savings were gone. While his inventory was devalued, he still owed his vendors over $500,000 and did not want to go bankrupt and hurt his trusted vendors. So, just as he got married, he was suddenly in deep debt for the next two years. His office was robbed, his key employee stole from him, and the KGB raided his facility. He could not even work for four months. Finally, the church in Singapore called him to come to Singapore. On a Sunday in Singapore, 12,000 members of the church gathered to lay hands on Daniel and pray for his business back in central Asia.

In 2000, Daniel started a new business in the Oil and Gas industry. He met with a firm in London and began to try to sell the 100,000 items in their CD catalog. For days Daniel called on perspective clients back in Central Asia. Finally, one night at 7:30pm he met a guy on the street who suggested that he visit an office in a basement of a certain office building. There Daniel met the key executive of a firm which would spend $4 billion on an oil and gas project over the next few years. After he saw Daniel’s CD, he asked Daniel if he really knew anything about all of these products. Daniel sadly admitted his ignorance. The man promised Daniel that if he would be a faithful supplier, that the executive would send key suppliers to Daniel to sell through Daniel as a distributor to his firm. He gave Daniel an initial order for $2,000. He had a huge project and needed distributors that he could trust. For some reason he felt Daniel could be one of those faithful distributors. This late night divine appointment changed the future of Daniel’s life and business.

Daniel’s business started with that small order and began to grow. It has doubled most years over this decade. Daniel’s oil and gas product distribution firm now has offices in fourteen nations across Central Asia employing 400 employees. In a Muslim nation where Christians are often discriminated against, Daniel has such an important business in the community and such a good reputation for service and integrity, that they can not make threats to him. He is respected by the top governmental and business leaders. Daniel’s business has started two schools and two children’s homes. By the way, the key executive that befriended Daniel back in 2000 had a heart attack a couple of years ago. Through the episode Daniel was able to lead his friend to Christ.

Daniel was named the “business person of the year” in 2006 for Kazakhstan and in 2007 began pasturing a church part time. He spends one day a week in the church besides Sunday and the rest of the time in the business. Understand that these nations are among the most unreached for Christ. Less than one percent of the population is considered evangelical. Daniel is an example of God’s grace. His story is how one man with the anointing of God on his life, the prayers of a supporting church, the provision of Divine appointments, combined with the hard work and courage to overcome continual difficulties works together to bring glory to Jesus Christ in the midst of atheistic nations. In some of the most “closed countries” to the Gospel in the world, Daniel regularly meets and does business with government and business leaders in the oil industry. He is a modern day Daniel in the secular nations of Central Asia. Check out Daniel’s company Gateway Ventures at http://www.gvcal.com/. Daniel is a business leader doing Business as Mission for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Kent is the longtime leader of Fellowship of Companies for Christ International, a great group that is looking to connect business and ministry together. If you haven't checked it out already, be sure to visit their website by clicking here.

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posted by Justin Forman | 8.04.2009 - 7:10 AM

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