“BAM is hot (in South America).  And now B4T! I love it!” exclaimed Jose, to a friend who just arrived for our meeting.  He enthusiastically went on, “B4T can get us where missionaries are not welcome. It provides us with a job, a real job, and that gives us much more than an identity, which so many missionaries doing business seem to want.  A real profitable job that hires Muslims will give us credibility, and integrity, as well as be model for new believers. It’s a reproducible strategy that eliminates dependence; plus it offers needed monies for our own pockets!”

What a blast to share these past 2 weeks with business people and missions leaders in Bogota and Caracas. I’ve had a ton of fun!  In Bogota, Dave and I offered a 2 day training which was attended by 32 people from 8 different Latin countries.  The interest was “hot” as Jose put it.  The attendees were sensing that there’s another way to do missions, and all were lapping up the possibilities B4T offers.  This is so applicable and practical were among the most common adjectives used to describe the training. Mary, a business owner, clarified, Learning from people who have integrated business and ministry makes such a difference.

Most of these 32 were part of a group of 52 that we involved in the OPEN Expo in Bogota.  This group was very receptive to changing the way missions is done and felt that, as there’s not the same history of missions here as we have up north, that there won’t be as much resistance to new ideas. One of comments was, “I am going to implement these ideas in my workplace this week!”

I flew into Caracas, Venezuela the following Monday, and was taken straight from the airport to one of the largest churches in the city.  I was hosted to a luncheon with the leaders of the church.  Before the meeting was over they determined to host an impromptu session for business people so that B4T and OPEN could get wider exposure in the city.  The result? Wednesday morning 34 men and women turned out from 5 different churches, mostly business people, along with a few pastors from 3 other churches.  It was amazing, as most stayed for nearly 3 hours, asking questions about how do BAM in the workplace in Caracas, and how to implement this new model for sending out workers from their churches.  My book which is in Spanish – sold out.  The group talked long and hard about practical ways of integrating business and outreach via modeling and speaking the Good News in their workplaces.  I was thrilled when they laid out plans for starting a coaching community to assist Spanish speaking B4Ters in pressing forward among the unreached.

BAM/B4T is hot in South America.

PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for over 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.

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