The Moravian Brothers of the 18th century were artisans. They practiced their trade and made apprentices of the natives. Their business bettered the lives of the people they were called to reach, and provided natural daily opportunity for interaction with them.
The story of the Basel Mission Industries in 19th century India is also quite inspiring. The Indian converts were rejected as outcasts by their community. So the British missionaries had to provide for their employment and livelihood. The Mission started printing, weaving and tile manufacturing businesses that employed 3,600 workers, of whom 2,800 were Christians. Employee benefits for both men and women included low cost housing, savings accounts, and sick funds. The famous khaki color was invented in their weaving factory. In 1978, the business became a public company in compliance with government policies, but continued to channel profits to support charitable institutions set up by the Basel Mission Trust.
A Contemporary BAM Story
David took his family to China in the 1980s and started a handicrafts factory in a coastal city. With hard work and innovation over 30 years, his product line went from decorative lampshades and glass collectibles to glass-reinforced composite material for industrial use.
David trained his local managers and made a point to know his employees, down to the janitor. He staffed an entire department with handicapped workers. His staff saw David work and raise his family. They saw him pray and work through technical problems, financial crises, management issues, and spiritual attacks in every form and fashion. Many became believers.
The business created jobs for the community, supported causes serving the poor and needy, and sponsored an orphanage. When the labor bureau ran a competition for workers to elect “The Best Boss” to promote best business practice, David won the title six years in a row. The 7th year, the prize went to another company. Then David was given the honor again the following year.
David ran his company with BAM purposes, principles and practice. He is not flawless and the company had its share of challenges. But people met God at work and grew in discipleship. Christians enjoyed a good reputation in the community, and God’s name was honored