Global Missions

Meet our Singapore City Director - Poh Yu Khing

By Yu Khing

Born and bred in Singapore, I’ve grown-up and lived here all my life. I love this country. Singapore is nothing short of an economic miracle, and God’s blessing has been on this nation.

Having worked for 19 years in government and private sectors, in 2017, I took 3 months off work to attend the School of Leadership programme at Tung Ling Bible School Singapore. This turned out to be a spiritual milestone and a life-changing event for me.  

During the course, I found myself asking God: “How do we win Singapore for Christ?”, and “What role do you want me to play?” Later in April 2018, I left my corporate job with these two prayers still on my heart, seeking God for what’s next. 

Today, 13 months after that faithful (actually fearful) step of leaving my job, God has confirmed and brought to fruition prophecies that I received over the last 2 years. He has opened the doors for me to be involved in an exciting portfolio of marketplace work – seemingly random, but fully integrated. A freelancer, but fully employed by God. 

The first area is marketplace consulting work – helping to bring Kingdom into the marketplace by working with small business owners on their vision, strategy and organisational development. On the flip side, I also seek to help bring the best of marketplace practices into Kingdom organisations, to help them do God’s work with a level of excellence and efficiency.

The second area is marketplace outreach. I’m the coordinator for the Alpha Everywhere campaign 2019 in Singapore - a nation-wide effort in the Year of Evangelism to provide more opportunities for non-Christians and new-Christians to learn about the Christian faith through Alpha. I also serve as the Workplace Coordinator for Alpha Singapore, helping to seed Alpha Workplace runs.

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The third area is in marketplace education and mentoring. This year, I’ve started teaching an elective module at Tung Ling Bible School on Our Calling as Marketplace Christians. And recently, I started my appointment as Singapore City Director for Resource Global, which I am extremely excited about.

Work is such a dominant part of Singaporeans lives. People are our country’s only resource and we work long and hard. It’s our people who have made Singapore into a thriving city and first world nation. Singapore is a global player and regional hub for many spheres of economic and societal development. I truly believe that if we can bring Kingdom into the marketplace starting in Singapore, we can see God’s global mission of discipling nations being spread through the marketplace from Singapore to regional cities.

My personal mission now is to inspire & equip marketplace Christians to actively live out their spiritual calling as Disciples of Christ - bringing Kingdom into marketplace and community to impact lives, transform businesses, and bless society. The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few. There is much work to be done.

 

Poh Yu Khing is our Singapore City Director and he (along with our team) is hoping to launch a Resource Global cohort in Singapore in 2020.

Invest in a Few, Impact the Multitudes

By Noah Chung

One of the common questions we get asked at Resource Global is... “Why do you choose to invest resources and time in young leaders that may already be wealthy and successful in the workforce? Shouldn’t our resources be given towards efforts in church planting, evangelism, or ministry to the poor or oppressed?”

First of all, there is no doubt in our hearts and minds of the continual need for resources, time, and efforts to make disciples (Matt. 28:19-20) and to also remember the poor (Gal. 2:10). This is foundational to the mission and life of the Church, and we wholeheartedly stand by it. However, one of the temptations that we see in our Western evaluation of Christianity, is valuing the immediacy of results and numbers over the depth and discipleship that happens over time. How many people were saved? How many mouths were fed? How many Bibles were given? And so on...

Now don’t get me wrong, numbers and results matter in Kingdom work. But the question for us in America (or the West) is... How effective are our current methods and investments towards making long-term Gospel impact in global countries and cities? OR Are we settling for numbers and results over building up and training local leaders to carry the mantle of God’s mission even when we are gone?

The temptation with much of our investments and giving toward global missions is that we, as Americans, want to see immediate or tangible results to our efforts. But when we look at how Jesus decided to start the Church, it wasn’t through just healing people or proclaiming the good news in the streets; it also included the time and energy spent discipling the Twelve. Even with the knowledge that Jesus would not see the Church grow with his own eyes. In addition, the Twelve were not ministers or priests. They were tradesmen, fishermen, a tax collector, and political radicals. Jesus decided to start the church by investing in common people with professional skills, who would be future leaders of the Gospel movement after he left.

And the rest is history…

The early Church exploded. Even amidst harsh persecution, the Gospel took hold of Jews and Gentiles all across the Roman Empire, even outlasting Rome itself. Jesus’ investment in a few impacted the multitudes. And it still impacts us today.

So at Resource Global, we are passionate about investing towards the long-term leadership development of young professionals in global cities. There are many young Christians who are strategically placed in these global cities, who have the networks, are self-sustainable, know the culture, and are passionate about how to impact their spheres of influence with the gospel. They are Zacchaeus who has great wealth. They are Cornelius the Centurion who works in the government. They are Lydia who owns a successful business. They are the Ethiopian Treasurer who has access to powerful people. But these people of influence, still needed the guidance, support, and discipleship from teachers and leaders like Jesus, Paul, and Peter. And at Resource Global, we see young versions of these individuals as having the potential to make an impact 30x, 50x, or 100x more than we could ever imagine.

Already, with three years of working in Indonesia, we’ve seen gospel impact that would have taken way more resources or time if we did it ourselves. We have had a leader start floating hospitals to support those without medical care in the thousands of islands in Indonesia, because of her resources and networks. We have had leaders give abundantly to local ministries and churches that are gospel-centered and they are locally a part of. We have had leaders approach their companies and begin to implement wholistic change away from the typical corruption and bribery that is common in SE Asia. As our cohort alumni continue to invest in their sphere of influences, we see Jakarta, Indonesia, and even SE Asia being impacted with Gospel-centered professional leaders.

So at the end of the day, our goal is not to see immediate numbers and results that is attributed to our skill or our people. Our goal is to see the people we invest into be used for Gospel-centered work in all spheres of life. And one day, we hope that through their passions, skills, resources, and networks, they will impact the multitudes with the power, hope, and love of the Gospel that has changed their lives too.

Noah Chung is the Director of Impact and Communications at Resource Global. He’s been with Resource Global for about four years. He also is a pastor and lives in Chicago.

Antioch's of Southeast Asia

By Rene Alvarado

In 1978 I was graduating from Blaine Elementary school and on my way to Lane Tech high School where a friend would introduce me to Billy Graham for the first time. While I was trying to figure out how to navigate my way to classes with a 4-minute pass, Billy Graham was having a crusade in Singapore that year prophesying that Singapore would be the “Antioch of Southeast Asia”.  A reference to the ancient city in modern-day Turkey that was a key apostolic base in the early days of the faith.

Here I am, 40 years later, working with Resource Global with a mission to encourage young professionals to develop their cities of Singapore, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur into “Antioch’s”. Specifically, encouraging them that there is no difference between the sacred and the secular and that the marketplace is the key to fulfilling Dr. Graham’s prophesy.

Missions work is much different than the vision of missions I thought of when I chose to accept Christ as my savior sophomore year in college. I had heard of the Jim Elliot stories of missionaries’ who had traveled to unknown parts of the world to bring the gospel to peoples for the first time. The way I interpreted “taking up your cross” meant disconnecting with the western world and living off the fruits of the earth.   

Our trip to Southeast Asia was different. Instead of the jungle, I was meeting people in Board Rooms, Shared Office spaces, and cafes. Instead of traditional places of worship, I was worshipping with others in high rise community rooms and leased office spaces in professional buildings.

Instead of meeting with indigenous people who had never heard of the gospel, I was meeting with people who had graduate level education and corporate world experiences. People who had better command of the language than I had. People who had heard and followed many of the faith leaders that I follow and listen to back home.

This missions work is more of investing in God’s economy of multiplication where the investment is placed into instructing others who would then be “qualified to teach others”. This missions work is about discipleship, or what contemporaries call mentorship. It’s about investing in a co-hort: A group of Jesus followers who desire to apply those teachings in the marketplace.

A model that provides shared experiences much like the disciples had with each other.

This missions work includes the work of Mentors. Much like Eli helping Samuel decipher God’s voice in 1 Samuel, mentors are helping to re-train the mentees to hear and respond to the voice of God and His voice only. Instead of helping young disciples apply God’s truths at home, this mentoring is intentional about the field where these disciples spend most of their time and interact with others the most. The field for this new mission is the marketplace that offers a substitute for what are taught from scripture where identity, idolatry and meaning are the ploys of the evil one trying to pull God’s elect from connecting to the “true vine”.

This missions work is about relationships. The same relationship that God offers us in the midst of our suffering and joys. God favored relationships at every turn. Relationships with a Field Coordinator who is applying his/her gifts in administering the program at a local city. Relationships with mentors who volunteer their time getting to know and encourage the mentees. Relationships with co-hort members. Relationships with other co-hort groups throughout the world. Relationships with Board members who have graciously given their time, talent, treasures to develop and implement a vision for each city. And, relationships with church and faith leaders who are willing to provide the teaching form God’s word on it applies Monday through Friday.

It’s a mission that has a “heart for the city” where each co-hort member lives. A heart that cries out for the shalom and brokenness of the city. A heart that desires its city to be like Antioch. It’s mission work that is looking to make in impact from the inside out. From the places of work where most spend the majority of their waking hours. Cities where Jesus followers are a remnant. Cities where more trust seems to be given to the government and officials. Cites that claim Christ but were much integrity is needed. Where corruption is more of a business practice than integrity and honesty. Cities where  trust of government is broken and that brokenness has become the operational norm. Cities where westerners come and go with a message of Health and Wealth and leave the locals with the broken pieces left behind. Cities on hills, shorelines, mountain sides. Older cities. Man-made cities.

Cities that have a disparate level of wealth. Cities where indigenous people are favored and are still not able to compete. Cities that employ and emigrate other peoples to do menial work and labor. Where these same immigrants seek community and purpose in their lives and work.

Cities that look beautiful on the outside with great buildings, malls and public places. Cities where sites of cranes provide much hope for the future.

But .. cities like my home town that need to hear the good news of the gospel to provide redemption and restoration from its own brokenness. Cities that are waiting for a hero to reconcile itself to what was lost.  

This new mission field, like old ones, still needs the work of the only “true vine” that says “apart from me you can do nothing”.  I am not sure that this is the kind of missions work Mr. Graham had in mind but I can’t help but think it would have made his heart glad to see that his work continues past his time here on earth.

Rene Alvarado is an independent management consultant who has been a long-time friend of Resource Global and has helped visit multiple cities as we have looked to start our leadership cohorts.

Singapore, Christianity and the Marketplace

By Tommy Lee

The Gospel Coalition published an article a few months ago with the heading How the Gospel Takes Root in 'Crazy Rich' Singapore. The title nods to this summer's hit movie Crazy Rich Asians, but also recognizes the amazing strides this small nation has made transforming from a Third World island to a First World country in just one generation.

In 1963, Singapore gained its independence from the United Kingdom and joined with other former British territories to form Malaysia. Due to ideological differences, Singapore separated from Malaysia just two years later to became its own sovereign nation. The first few years were turbulent for the new country, but under the leadership of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's founding father, the nation began to stabilize and experienced rapid development. Just fifty years later, Singapore is now ranked very highly in numerous international rankings. For example, Singapore is recognized as the most "technology-ready" nation, the top international-meetings city, the city with the "best investment potential", the world's smartest city, the world's safest country, the second-most competitive country, the third-largest foreign exchange market, the third-largest financial center, the third-largest oil refining and trading center, the fifth-most innovative country, the second-busiest container port, a tax haven, and the only country in Asia with an AAA sovereign rating from all major rating agencies (one of only eleven worldwide). (Wikipedia)

This remarkable accomplishment is due, no doubt, to the determination and ingenuity of its people. But can affluence and piety coexist? Unfortunately, the same attributes needed to succeed at nation-building—self-reliance, pragmatism, and materialism, for example—also make it difficult for people to accept their need for the Gospel message.

Pastor Guana Raman of Agape Baptist Church has been open about challenges in preaching the Gospel and making disciples in Singapore. On the surface, he says, Singapore looks like a well "Christianized" nation. There are more than 800 churches in 278 square miles. While several high-profile mega-churches have gained international fame and recognition, Pastor Raman fears that there are many churches in Singapore that are theologically weak and shallow. "Many churches preach heavily moralistic sermons or, on the other hand, proclaim "hyper-grace," subtly (if not overtly) proclaiming the prosperity gospel," says Pastor Raman. "There is a great need in Singapore for more theological depth."

While Pastor Simon Murphy of Redemption Hill agrees with Pastor Raman's experience that Christianity in Singapore often exhibits the extremes of hyper-moralism or hyper-grace, he also believes that the majority of the nation's churches are preaching God's Word correctly, but that there is a disconnect in the way that it is being received by the people. "While most churches earnestly strive to preach the Word and display the love of Christ, the Gospel is merely assumed in some churches, and the way it intersects with one's life and circumstances is not clearly grasped," says Pastor Murphy. "This disconnect easily leads to Christianity being seen as either a moralistic religion, where the approval of God needs to and can be earned, or as a contract between God and man, where faith and/or works results in security and prosperity."

The culture and history of Singapore may be a major reason why many of the country's people struggle to grasp the true nature of the Gospel. Christians in Singapore are used to an easy, comfortable life. According to Pastor Raman, because the nation has not seen a major catastrophe or major economic downturn, many Christians have not experienced suffering and have come to believe that God is a god of love but not a god of wrath. Many Singaporeans are more interested in a god that heals and blesses people than the true God of the Bible because the country's culture places value on things that bring in more money, more comfort, and more convenience. "There is little understanding of the doctrine of sin and, therefore, little appreciation for the work of the cross and the grace that comes to us from the finished work of Christ," says Pastor Raman.

Singapore's multi-ethnic and multi-religious society also has an effect on Christianity in the country. While the harmony that exists between different races and different religions is a shining example to the world of multiculturalism at its best, Pastor Murphy sees it as a double edged sword. "While this means there is a need to be extremely aware of religious sensitivities in the city's context, the tolerance for other religions actually forces a generosity of spirit and charity that is helpful as others seek to understand Christianity (and other religions)," says Pastor Murphy. "The downside is that the insistence on truth can, without proper dialogue, make Christianity seem intolerant, exclusive, and even detrimental to society."

In Singapore, as in most other Asian countries, great value is placed on the family unit, and individualism is often expected to yield to family honor, reputation, and harmony. "This can cause challenges for a Christian with unbelieving parents or a Christian trying to live by countercultural biblical principles," says Pastor Murphy. "Also, because Christianity came to Singapore through foreign missionaries of colonial powers, Christianity can still be perceived as a Western religion that is fundamentally incompatible with ethnic identity."

Pastor Huai Tze Tan of One Covenant Church uses just three words to describe Singaporean culture:  pluralistic, pragmatic, and secular. Pluralistic refers to the nation's multiculturalism, while pragmatic refers to the particular ideologies instilled in the people by their founding father, Lee Kuan Yew. A pragmatic attitude toward life means that Singaporean Christians tend to be more concerned about "the sensible thing" than actual biblical doctrine. "Oftentimes, it is what works, rather than what is true, that is of greatest concern," says Pastor Tan. While all major religions are represented in Singapore, statistics show that secularism is a rising trend. More than 18 percent of the population identifies as having "no religion.' There is also a growing view that religious institutions are ideologically regressive, disconnected from people's lifestyle and needs, and slow to engage young people. Other Singaporeans see high-profile scandals involving religious leaders as having compromised the credibility of religious groups as a moral voice.

Singaporeans work incredibly hard and are very busy, so many believers struggle to make time for church. When people perceive God as being irrelevant or inconvenient when faced with the other pressures of life, giving priority to their faith becomes a challenge. Being a pragmatic and materialistic society, Singaporeans take pride in being able to work things out for themselves and are often more preoccupied with the "here and now" than with reflecting on the meaning and purpose of their lives and their existence. Because society places so much focus on living a successful, convenient, comfortable life, Singaporean Christians are not prepared to suffer persecution and can feel like God is punishing them when tragedy strikes.

The pressure in society to build and maintain a certain image, reputation, or lifestyle makes the prosperity gospel appealing to many people. Singaporeans feel that their performance is being constantly assessed, and there is a prevailing mindset throughout society that what they have is what they deserve, whether good or bad. "Receiving grace and extending it therefore becomes extremely counterintuitive, countercultural, and even offensive in a culture that places so much emphasis on the idea that only the deserving are rewarded," says Pastor Murphy. Because Christianity is widely understood to be a religion based on moral values, even if the Gospel is explained and understood at the point of salvation, many Singaporeans slip into legalism because of the cultural mindset that it is only through their works, service, and behavior that they can become acceptable to God.

The nation's pastors have found that the message of God's grace is empowering to Singaporeans because it means that they can be accepted by God—not on the basis of what they have done right, but on the basis of what Christ has done right, in their place. While salvation by grace alone is countercultural, many people are attracted to a God who does not assess their worth based on their performance. Singapore's pragmatic society also leads people to hunger for deep, meaningful relationships. Through the Gospel, God promises to make us His children and we become part of His family. In a culture that is relationally cold, this promise is especially appealing.

"The harmony that exists among different races and religions is zealously guarded and ardently protected (both by the government and also by society itself)," says Pastor Murphy. The city's tolerance for religious diversity means that there is no detriment to Singaporeans for being transparent about their Christian faith. As countercultural as the Gospel and Christianity can be to the established lifestyle of Singaporeans, the nation's true believers are committed to living according to God's Word and encouraging other brothers and sisters in Christ to do the same.

Many Christian networking groups for businesspeople in the city give believers opportunities for community and accountability. Several groups use Meetup to advertise their networking meetings. The "Young Professionals in Christ" group hosts young professional networking events, Bible discussions from guest speakers, and fun hangouts. They advertise themselves as a gathering of young Christian professionals who strive to know God and make God known. The "God and the Business" group is for business owners who are passionate about building God's kingdom together. Every two weeks, members meet to support each other through the daily challenges they face in their businesses. Some Christian networking groups, like City Harvest Church's Marketplace Ministry, are run by Singaporean churches, while other groups, like GBN Marketplace Ministry and FGB Gatekeepers Singapore, operate independently from a specific church or denomination. All groups share a common goal of impacting the marketplace for Christ and are committed to creating communities of Christian marketplace leaders that are supportive of each other and of being a light in their workplaces.

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/gospel-takes-root-crazy-rich-singapore/

The Growth of Business in Africa

By Tommy Lee

Over one thousand business executives from around the world were asked the question:  "How many companies in Africa earn annual revenues of $1 billion or more?" Most respondents guessed  there were 50 or fewer such companies. What would your guess be?

We often think of Africa as an unattractive market for business. But in reality, Africa is experiencing rapid modernization—the same economic shift we saw in Europe and North America during the 19th century and in Asia in the 20th century. While the rest of the world's population growth is slowing down, Africa's population, currently at 1.2 billion, is projected to double during the next 30 years. More than 80 percent of this population growth will occur in cities. Africa already equals North America in its number of cities with more than one million inhabitants.

The disposable income of Africans is also increasing. This is allowing more people in Africa to adopt the latest technology. While the continent has historically lagged in this area, smart phone connections in Africa are expected to double from the existing 315 million in 2015 to 636 million by 2022, nearly equaling that of Europe, and reaching twice what is projected for North America.

It is time for us to change our perceptions about business capabilities in Africa. There are now 50 companies in Africa earning revenues of $1 billion or more but 400 companies in Africa earning revenues of $1 billion or more, and nearly 700 companies that have revenue greater than $500 million!

The companies that are succeeding in Africa claim that success does not come easy. The geographic complexity, infrastructure gaps, and relative economic and political volatility make business on the continent challenging. However,  for leaders with an entrepreneurial spirit, it is well worth the effort. Tidjane Thiam, the Ivorian-born CEO of Credit Suisse and former head of Prudential, knows firsthand what can happen when a company develops the right strategy and gets into an emerging market early. When building Prudential's business in Asia, one $50 million investment multiplied to $4 billion in a little over 15 years. Looking at African markets today, Thiam sees a similar opportunity. "You've got the demographic boom combined with GDP growth rates of 6, 7, or 8 percent," says Thiam. "There is an element of breaking ground, but the long-term rewards will be very high."

Executives around the world concur with Thiam's view of the market. The nearly 700 companies in Africa with revenue greater than $500 million have both grown faster than their peers in the rest of the world in local currency terms and have become more profitable than their global peers in most sectors. The income per capita of people in Africa's cities is currently more than double that of the continental average. Yet, when one thousand executives were surveyed, the majority predict that within the next 20 years, most of African households will be a part of the “consumer” class. As this happens, demand for certain products and services will grow. There are dozens of entrepreneurs who have already launched startups aimed specifically to address Africa's vast unmet needs and unfulfilled demands.  Yet, there is still room for more competition.

So, what business strategies in Africa yield the greatest success? Companies that are able to piggyback on strong industry trends or use innovation to serve underserved markets increase their odds of outperforming other businesses. If you own a diaper company, for example, it would be worth your while to know that Nigerian women give birth to more babies every year than all the women in Western Europe combined. Gaining exposure in high-growth cities, countries, and regions is just as important as knowing where market opportunities exist. Twenty-four million Africans are moving to cities each year. Successful companies know which cities to focus their efforts on. Nurturing vocational and managerial skills among African workers is another great step toward ensuring success. Half of Africans are currently younger than 19. In 6,000 days, the continent will have the largest working population, even larger than China. Creating internal training processes will also ensure that there will be a new pool of talent, grown and groomed from within.

Resource Global is committed to discipling and mentoring these young marketplace leaders in Africa as well as different global cities around the world.  We do this by resourcing mentors to come alongside key local city leaders. We believe that these leaders can be the catalysts to Gospel growth in their cities.  We will see this impact in their work, homes, church, and cities.

For more information on Africa please go to:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/17/africa/business-trends-shaping-africa-in-2019-and-beyond/

Thanksgiving, Hospitality, and Opportunity

By Felicia Hanito

Thanksgiving became one of my favorite holidays back when I was a student in the States: not only is it an occasion to share delicious food and quality moments with loved ones, but it helps us take a step back from our busy everyday routines in order to remember and cherish the simple gifts of life—including the people around us. 

This year, I had the privilege to spend one of my best Thanksgiving dinners yet with a group of new friends from three West Jakarta universities. Our belated celebration, held on Friday, November 30th, was co-sponsored by Resource Global and hosted by a small community of Christ-following working adults who share a common vision of investing holistically in university students through our platform of “Next Generation Professionals”.  

Over the past few months, we had met and befriended students of myriad backgrounds and faiths through hosting a series of free professional development workshops and English conversation classes in partnership with their English Clubs. Through our Thanksgiving dinner gathering, we hoped to connect on a deeper, more personal level with our new friends and demonstrate our continued commitment to love, serve, and equip them and their campuses.

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In total, we were blessed with twenty-one attendees who pretty much filled up every corner of my co-leader’s apartment! The menu comprised of a unique fusion of Indonesian-American Thanksgiving offerings: roast chicken and mashed potatoes paired with chocolate pudding, es buah (Indonesian iced fruit cocktail), and martabak (Indonesian sweet pancakes). As excited as our guests were about the food, the true highlight of the night was the camaraderie built through laughter-inducing games and personal sharing about the things we were most grateful for that year. Several students expressed their gratitude for the new, genuine friends they had made through English Club and the “Next Generation Professionals” community—especially for those who had just moved to a new city and/or were going through hard times.

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Following this dinner, my community co-leaders and I look forward to continue engaging these and their campuses in workshops and hangouts and are also considering the option of offering a tailored personal mentorship program for a smaller, committed group of students. Our dream is that we can eventually know these students not just as our dear friends but also spiritual brothers and sisters, and co-laborers in the God’s mission to catalyze gospel transformation in all nations.

Felecia Hanito is the Education Program Manager at the Djarum Foundation and has a heart to reach college students across cultures and faith journeys. She was in Resource Global’s 2nd year cohort and we are excited to see what God is doing in her and through her.

The Other Side

By Oscar Muriu

In this blog post I am going to be reflecting on Luke 8:26-39. I recommend reading this passage of scripture so you can better follow along with my message.

A common belief that Christians have, is that miracles are the key to people being saved, but this is not true. Miracles are not the final proof of who Jesus is, but they may point to Him when they are accompanied by Truth. Some believe because of miracles, while others deny and reject because of miracles; miracles can harden the hearts who see them, just as they did to the pharisees. Miracles are not the key to salvation, they can also be found in other religions. So do not follow a miracle alone, because that is insufficient, but it is the truth of scripture that is the proof of God.

In Luke 28-39, Jesus took initiative and went to the other side to heal a man. What does this mean? He crossed cultural barriers, spending time with people that were unlike Him. He went intentionally back and forth between His people and the gentiles. Jesus told His disciples to come, and go with Him to the other side. The other side is somewhere you may not want to go, and interact with people you may not want to be around. It may include not just people of a different culture, but people from a different status. The other side may include orphans, street children, the poor, the rejects, the mentally challenged, the oppressed, etc. It doesn’t matter who they are, Jesus loves them, and went to the cross to die on their behalf too. He calls us to love those He died for. We too must cross cultural and social barriers, and go to the other side.

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When crossing barriers and entering a new culture, there is something to be aware of, known as the Cultural Shock Curve. This curve has four phases within it. The first step is when you enter the culture, everything about about it has a wow factor. You love the food, the colors, the buildings, clothes, languages, etc. But after three months, the second part of the curve begins and issues arise. You begin to see problems, inconsistencies, and injustices. Reality checks in and the shine on the culture begins to fade. The third phase is about six months later, and you acquire resentment towards the culture. You don’t like anything; you want to leave and never come back. But you must not leave just yet. You must stay in the culture until you work through the fourth phase, resolution. You realize that the culture has both good and bad things, but so does home, they are just different.

Let’s go my friends, to the other side, and be disciples of Jesus.

Oscar Muriu is the Senior Pastor of Nairobi Chapel in Nairobi, Kenya and a dear friend to Resource Global.

Chicago: the Launching Pad

August 2018 ends the second group of our Chicago Cohort. Though we had a smaller amount compared to the first year, the intimacy and relationships that was built within us was unique and powerful. We had leaders who were in healthcare, writing, tech training, consulting, and marketing. Some were born and raised right here in Chicago, while others were born in different states or even different countries. Yet all of them gathered together because they wanted a deeper understanding of what it meant to live out the gospel in the fullness of their work, their family, and in their communities.

The beauty of Resource Global is that we have an opportunity to influence diverse young leaders who are impacting their workplaces and communities in Chicago and even outside of it. What’s so unique about Chicago and the leaders we have here is that many of them end up leaving Chicago and going to other global cities for work, family, and mission. For example, almost half of our first Chicago Cohort are now in cities like San Francisco, Denver, Singapore, and more. They are taking upon new degrees, new jobs, new churches, new communities, and some, even new relationships. Unlike our Jakarta cohort that usually has many who stick it out in Jakarta because of family and work, our Chicago Cohort is able to serve as a launching pad to send out leaders in other places so they can not only impact one city, but multiple cities. Though it makes it hard to have an alumni gathering the following year, it’s been a blessing to see our cohort members take their passions to new places that will allow their gospel impact to be even greater than in Chicago. It makes me reflect upon the reality that Jesus called the disciples to not stay in Jerusalem, but to go beyond: to Judea, to Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Our hope is that our Chicago Cohort past, present, and future will be the same. That while in Chicago they can learn, grow, and catch vision, so that they can be launched to make gospel impact wherever God calls them.

Now as we get ready for year 3, we are excited to have a new Chicago Cohort Lead, Deb Gorton, head up a new batch of leaders and influencers. We are partnering with many city churches, creating a Chicago board, and have also just completed our first ever God@Work Conference with speakers from Northwestern Kellogg Business school that had over 80+ people in attendance. We look forward to building off the momentum from the past two years and see our Chicago Cohort take new ground with Deb’s leadership and even as we start another global cohort in Nairobi. Ultimately, we know that the invest we make is small, but the impact we hope to see in 5-10 years will produce fruit beyond any of us can comprehend or imagine.

Noah Chung, Resource Global Staff

Our Vision: Global Cities and Global Young Leaders

Rise of Global Cities

Cities around the world continue to be on the rise. For the first time in history, more than half of the world’s people live in cities. They hold such economic and political power, yet also contain vast inequality and diversity. As we’ve worked alongside global non-profits, mission agencies, and churches, one of the common issues we faced was the lack of local leaders from professional workplace backgrounds that could support, consult, or even help lead many ministry efforts in global cities like Jakarta, Shanghai, Nairobi, and more. So we began to ask ourselves, what type of individual could spur the greatest impact towards God’s global mission in reaching the lost and poor, while at the same time influence the workplace, the city, and be self-sustainable?  

Cohort, Community, and Learning

The answer was in the future. At Resource Global, we are committed to resourcing and releasing the next generation of Christian leaders and professionals within an interconnected network for Gospel movements in major global cities. Many of the young working professional leaders in Jakarta, Chicago, and other global cities are continuing to thirst for a greater understanding and purpose in how to take their work, experiences, passions, and the gospel to new frontiers in their city and industries. Our ultimate hope is that we are able to resource these leaders in the short-term and long-term, so that they can be released to restore the brokenness and needs of their neighborhoods, workplaces, churches, and cities.

How do we expect to invest and resource these individuals? Well, our vision starts with establishing yearlong cohorts of 12-15 hand-selected individuals in our global cities. Throughout the year, they will be taught through a leadership curriculum with prominent workplace and ministry leaders on topics like identity, faith and work, and global missions. Each cohort member will also be paired with a mentor in the same industry, so that they can walk alongside and give guidance in the areas of faith, work, and ministry. And to continue with global learning, each year we host a Global Cohort Gathering (GCG) that brings together all the cohorts to spend intentional time learning from global leaders and from their global peers. At the end, we challenge each cohort member to create a Gospel Action Plan, which maps out their next steps of how they will impact their city and beyond.

Impacting Culture and Cities

Why do we invest in these individuals? One assumption in global missions is that as Americans we have to invest by ourselves. But when you look at the giftedness and positions of these young leaders, they have the potential to be the future investors, future elders, and future entrepreneurs. They have the potential to create fair-pay jobs and justice-filled industries, to give and partner with churches, the poor, and global missions. They have the potential to understand the cultures, corruptions, languages, and difficult dynamics of ministry that we as Westerners will take decades to understand. And when Western money and giving decreases towards world missions, these young leaders have the potential to carry on the torch in the majority world and in the most unreached areas of the world. If we properly train, resource, and walk alongside these future leaders their potential to impact the world with the gospel is endless.

The reality is that the future of global missions does not rely on us but it relies on future global Christian workplace leaders. Our hope is to invest our time, resources, network of teachers, and mentors so that these future workplace leaders can take Gospel-centered risks in their spheres of influence. And one day, we hope that by creating a network of future leaders sharing and teaching one another across the world, we can see sustainable Gospel impact grow 30, 60, and even 100 times for the Kingdom of God.

Resource Global Team

A New Wave of Missions - ICON 2018

There is an element of missions that I have always admired and romanticized - the idea of sacrificing all you have and all you know to go live in a faraway place for the sake of sharing the love of Christ with people who do not know Jesus.  What automatically came to mind was something along the lines of living in a hut with chickens and goats while wearing prairie dresses and befriending local villagers. It sounds a bit primitive, but this would not be too far-off a description of my own first overseas missions trip experience I had in 2004.

I know that missions has changed over time and that there has been a movement to integrate business and missions, so I was really looking forward to the opportunity I had to visit Jakarta with Resource Global and get a first-hand look at one way that missions can look like today.  

How do you impact a city of 10 million people for the sake of the gospel?  One effective way would be to find the young movers and shakers, invest in them, and mobilize them to be the change agents in their own city and to their own people.  This, in a nutshell, is what Resource Global is doing in Jakarta.

Who are these young movers and shakers?  They are business start-up founders, company CEOs, and other heads of businesses.  They are in the position to employ and directly influence tens, hundreds, and some, tens of thousands of people.  They can infuse Christian values into their business leadership and business culture in a way that shines Christ. They are in positions of great influence.  And they are under 30 years old.

I was quite impressed with the many 20-somethings I met in Jakarta.  What was initially impressive to me was their high business positions and titles at such a young age.  But this is not what was lastingly impressive. The persisting quality that stood out to me was their passion and conviction to use their positions to honor Christ.  It sounds typically spiritual and holy, but I imagine that being heads of businesses comes with a lot of worldly temptations that does not make this an easy or light matter to take for granted.

Many of these young people have strong business acumen that has helped to propel them to success. However, I was surprised by many who did not have much or any business background, but circumstances had fortuitously led them to engage in their family business that they originally did not plan on or have the aspiration to do.  This, along with the weight of responsibility they feel to those they employ and work with, draws a posture of humility before God.

What potential do these business leaders have to impact their city and country?  A young business co-CEO of a large scale apparel manufacturing company that makes clothes for many notable U.S. brands, who provides jobs for 28,000 people in Indonesia.  A young maritime business head working to bring healthcare to remote islands in Indonesia through floating hospitals- donating resources and working to raise funds and workers- whilst running the maritime company that is not at all related to healthcare.  A young business CEO who started a company that provides microloans for small online businesses, which is helping to build a virtually non-existent middle class in Indonesia. These are a few snapshots of the young people God is using in Jakarta.

While I continue to hold the utmost respect for those that sacrifice all they have and all they know to go live in faraway places, I am also awakened to other ways to shine Christ to people who do not know Jesus.  Find young Christian entrepreneurs and business leaders, invest in providing them spiritual mentorship, cultivate in them a love for their city and their people, and mobilize them to use their God-given positions to impact their city and their country for the sake of the gospel.  This is the work of Resource Global and I am thankful for the opportunity I had to catch a glimpse of it.

Ellie Kim was one of Resource Global’s first board member.  She is a teacher at the Chicago Public School

Loving Our City - Thoughts from Wayne Pederson

Indonesia

Indonesia is the world's 14th largest country in terms of land area and the 7th largest in terms of combined sea and land area. With over 261 million people, it’s the world's 4th most populous country.  It’s the world's largest island country, with more than 17,000 islands.

We had the privilege of spending a week in Jakarta, seeing the thriving business community. But also heard the frequently mentioned challenges:

  • Marginal air quality

  • The crazy heavy traffic

  • Poverty, (the large gap between the “haves” and the “have nots)

  • Corruption: (Young people leave country because of corruption.)

  • The resulting hopelessness

Because of the poor air quality and the heavy traffic, life for many professionals is lived in the many stunning, impressive, shiny shopping malls.  The most luxurious department stores, excellent restaurants and varied specialty shops abound in the malls.  We spent a lot of time in the malls, even did some serious shopping.

Resource Global

I was in Jakarta as a guest of Resource Global. Resource Global led by CEO Tommy Lee seeks to develop young leaders for Christ’s Kingdom from among the leading young marketplace entrepreneurs.  The purpose of our meeting was to identify, encourage, recruit and mentor young marketplace leaders as a bridge to serving the church and Christ’s Kingdom.

Many of these young marketplace leaders in their 20’s and 30’s have studied at some of the best universities in the U.S.  They returned to Jakarta to run family businesses, do business turn-arounds, or engage in starting, building and selling new businesses..  Many were already using their business as a means to enhance the life in their communities and to demonstrate the love of Christ to the culture

For example: Julia stepped aside from a rapidly rising career in New York City to return to Indonesia to work with her father in a family shipping business.  Very soon she saw a need for healthcare among the underprivileged in the thousands of islands across the country.  And she saw an opportunity to use shipping vessels as a floating medical clinic to reach the underserved people on the islands.  In addition to money from her company, she raised $1 Million locally to fund equipping of the boat.

A young pastor and his wife (Andrew and Nikki Jun) see their church as a base for business entrepreneurship.  They recognize the business platform as an effective way to reach local unreached people groups.  They are identifying local leaders and sending business entrepreneurs for outreach to other areas of the country.

George Enratta runs an amazing 45-50 companies, for which he has provided venture capital for a start-up or a turn-around; i.e an online travel agency, a coffee/tea business and banking along the lines of PayPal.

David Dtjokknor: dynamic CEO of Soverience Capital. His business mission is to strategically invest in start-ups.  His model:

  1. See the need

  2. Build the company

  3. Sell the company

To date, David has 87 investors, creating such businesses as Uber Asia and a full-service Brides/Wedding on-line consulting.  The wedding business in Indonesia is huge with guests running in the thousands.  The wedding service is run by Christians.  Weddings are streamed on FaceBook Live.  Christian model for marriage is presented. Excess wedding banquet food is distributed to the poor.

His advice for westerners:

  • Listen to those you seek to influence.

  • Provide mentor ship to those who seek help.

  • Honor and respect the culture.

  • Take a back seat.

Over tea with the SE Asia representative of a well-known Foundation stated: We are transitioning from the old ways of western non-profit missions to supporting local entrepreneurs.  This is a different global mission mindset. Funding for ministry in Indonesia is increasingly coming from businesses in-country.

The ICON Conference all day Saturday was a call to action:

  • We are to be students of the city. God has a plan for us to redeem the city. -What is one tangible thing we can do?

  • Christians must get involved

I was impacted by plenary speaker, former HUD Secretary under the Bush administration, Steve Preston, who stated:

“Gods vision for loving the city is loving its people. “

“The role of government for the city is to advance the welfare of individuals in the city. In areas of poverty, education, jobs, healthcare, environment.”

“In order to transform society God has to transform us.”

Sunday morning we attended a large, alive evangelical church on the 8th floor of a large building in downtown Jakarta.  The worship was alive, loud and vibrant.  Most of the music was .  The pastor was dynamic, biblical and practical as he shared the great truth that God is present ALWAYS, with us, in us, before us.  We were thrilled and inspired to see this large, passionate group of young believers worshiping and learning in a country where they are so outnumbered, but rapidly growing.

Wayne Pederson, Friend of Resource Global

Loving the City - ICON 2018

Psalm 107 portrays the gathering of displaced people into a city as an ideal.  “. . . and they founded a city where they could settle (v. 37).”  Displaced people are described as “finding no way to a city where they could settle (v. 4b).”

Jakarta has become a global city where over ten million people have found their refuge. The Chinese are among those who have settled in Jakarta.  This mega city in South East Asia on the island of Java has the highest number of overseas Chinese in Indonesia. ICON 2018 was a conference to promote the values and practices of “Loving the City” for an audience made up mostly of young ethnic Chinese.  Several other people groups were among the audience, but the majority were definitely the Chinese and, if history told it all, the Chinese would not have a reason to love Jakarta.  The article on “Chinese Indonesians” in Wikipedia, documents a history of discrimination and persecution against this group.  And yet, over 100 young (average age, 27), Chinese Indonesian professionals gathered on a Saturday in July to receive instruction and encouragement to love Jakarta.  Why?

Many of these professionals came to a personal faith in Jesus Christ while studying abroad and now desire to live out that faith in and through their lives.  But they have a problem, or a potential, depending on which angle one approaches the issue.  Their positions in the business world allow them to implement changes of scale larger than mere personal transformation. The potential of influence would be a problem if the conference did not specifically address this unique angle.  But the organizers have been tracking the needs among this audience for the last four years with excellent, on-the-ground data. Resource Global was able to challenge the audience on their level, and at the right point for their next step.  In education a timely challenge, that is truly a next step in ability and willingness is called, the Zone of Proximal Development.  Debriefing with several participants made it evident to me that ICON hit the Zone.

A business owner at my table decided to make himself accountable.  Mr. Steve Preston, the keynote speaker, a business leader and a former US housing secretary, mentioned that businesses could become deliberate in changing a neighborhood. “Why not cooperate with other businesses and deliberately place your next venture where the economic situation is dismal?”  That is exactly what this business owner heard and inquired about after the speech. What would the dynamics be if he placed his next manufacturing/assembly business in an accessible place to a population that was a need?  He promised he would pray about it and investigate the actions necessary to make the love of Jesus tangible in a neighborhood.

After all, these young professionals have committed themselves, at least forty of them, to implement whatever they learn from the Scriptures in their family businesses and work places and in their personal lives.  Icon 2018 gave them specifics on scaling their influence to not “take out of the city, like many others, but to give to the city” (challenge from Alex Evans, the pastor at The Collective.)

The theme for next year will bring the focus back to personal ethics and issues of integrity.  The organizers of ICON know how to dance between the Sermon on the Mount issues (Matthew 5, ethics) and the parable of the good and faithful steward in Matthew 25 (stewardship).  Icon is making disciples in Jakarta who can and want to change how Jesus’ love would be experienced in healthcare, education, politics, architecture, and more in a city where many migrate to (over 50% of the population is not from Jakarta).  It is crowded now, but open spaces are coming!

Dr. Julius Wong Loi Sing - thoughts from ICON 2018

Alternate Realities and Alternate Poverties

As a child, whenever I was approached by beggars on the streets of Shanghai, I recall pausing and reaching for my coin purse before my parents would pull me along and gently reprimand me: didn’t I know my money would just encourage their slothfulness, that if these people really tried they could find a real job? Their words did not sit well with me, not then or later as I repeatedly encountered homeless people in every city we visited or lived in. But then again, who was I to disobey my parents’ wishes, when I wasn’t even sure what difference my contribution would make?

Entering university and once again facing the glaring reality of homelessness in the world’s wealthiest economy, I sought to educate myself about an injustice that seemed beyond comprehension. In my community psychology class, I was surprised to learn that the primary driver of homelessness is not mental illness, addiction, or crime but simply the lack of affordable housing. In my daily devotionals, I was challenged by account after account in which Jesus chose to spend time with and care for the homeless, poor, diseased, and despised in first-century Jewish society. Around campus, I began to strike up conversations beyond the cursory “Hello, how are you?” with street paper vendors I saw regularly, curious to hear their stories and hoping to help meet some of their immediate needs.

It was during one of these conversations that I first befriended Stephen and Edie, over a year ago. A startling number of characteristics unite us. We work and live in Nashville, where Stephen and I are both students pursuing social science degrees at local universities. We are passionate about people and theology and social justice, and we love and worship the same God. When we are spending time together, exchanging stories, I can almost forget the barriers that separate us.

Yet, we live completely different realities. Each day, Stephen and Edie bravely bear the scars of having lost their home and their youngest daughter in the Nashville flood of 2010. Each day, as they earn their daily living dollar by dollar, they choose to bless and pray not only for the passersby who are kind to them, but also for the many who hurry on with blank expressions and averted eyes, or even hurl food and mockery in their faces. Each day, Stephen and Edie thank Jesus for His continuous mercies and daily provision. Is it not I who am spiritually poor, and they who God has sent to fill my poverty?

I have a long way to go before I can truly understand or empathize with the experiences of Stephen, Edie, and many worldwide who may suffer even more than they do. But I refuse to sit in inaction, paralyzed by the ambiguity of who and how best to help. With each life and alternate reality I choose to intertwine with mine— Stephen, Edie, and other homeless friends I have met, the street-smart African American first graders I tutor every Wednesday, my ex-students in Phnom Penh who still dearly hold my heart, those I hope to meet and share life with through PiA—I will learn to engage rather than to overlook, to love rather than fear, and to be a catalyst for radical compassion.

Felicia Hanitio

Jakarta Cohort, 2018

Loving Your City

When you think about creation and God's original intent for mankind, what do you envision? Does your mind immediately fill with images of wide open spaces filled with beautiful creatures living in perfect harmony and free from the busyness, noise, and clutter that comes with urban living? It is easy to think of the Garden of Eden as the ideal dwelling place, but it is just as easy to forget that God's original mandate to man was to "be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it." In fact, as we look at Scripture, the Bible gives a very positive view of urban areas and even gives us a glimpse of the eternal future of all believers:  the Holy City, the new Jerusalem.

Cities have a dual nature:  the capacity for great good if they are God-exalting, or the capacity for tremendous evil if they are man-exalting. A God-exalting culture brings glory to God's name and is a means of serving God and neighbor, but a man-exalting culture results when something is done with the motivation of self-recognition. As we look back over mankind's history as it unfolds through Scripture's narrative, we see how this dual nature has played out in cities like Babel, Nineveh, Babylon, and the Roman Empire. Interestingly, the city is also a glimpse into God's redemptive story and one which should give us encouragement to love our city and to be excited about its tremendous potential as a mission field.

The city of Babel is an excellent example of what can happen when the potential good of a city is perverted. The inhabitants—who the Bible describes as resourceful, ambitious, driven, and hardworking...all good things—set out to build a city and a tower. But instead of using their talents to bring glory to God, the people sought to make a name for themselves and to avoid being scattered over the face of the earth. Their actions were in direct opposition to God's command to Noah and his sons that they "be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth." Their hearts were filled with pride, and their actions brought about God's judgment. As we read the Bible's account of the city of Babel, we are reminded that God will not let evil go unpunished; but we can also be encouraged that there is hope for our cities. When we recognize how the potential for good in our city has been perverted, we have the opportunity to step in and bring God's light to very dark places.

Nineveh, like Babel, was a city filled with people with evil intentions. In fact, Nineveh had built up quite a bad reputation among its neighbors. As we read the Bible's account, we are even told that Nineveh's evil had come up before God. But instead of intervening the way He did at Babel, or bringing swift destruction as He did with Sodom and Gomorrah, God gave the Ninevites a forty-day warning. It can be easy to look at the evil that is being done in our cities and wonder why God does not step in and act, but we forget that "our Lord's patience means salvation." The people of Nineveh believed God's message through the prophet Jonah and repented. They turned from their wicked ways, and God showed the city mercy. Throughout Israel's history, prophets had been raised up and sent to preach to God's people to call them to repentance, but Jonah was the first prophet sent to a pagan city. Jonah and Nineveh are a new phase in the unfolding story of God's redemptive mission. No matter how evil a city is, God wants everyone to have the opportunity to repent, which is why he is so patient with us.

As believers, we know that this place is not our home. I 1 Peter 2:11 Peter writes that “we are like aliens in a foreign land, eagerly awaiting our return to our heavenly dwelling.” But just as God told the Israelites through the prophet Jeremiah that they were to settle down and invest in the good of Babylon during their time as exiles, we too are to be contributors, not just consumers, in our places of residence. Hananiah, the false prophet, dishonestly prophesied that God would bring the Jewish nation back to Jerusalem within two years of being exiled in Babylon. Instead, the exile lasted seventy years. If the people had believed Hananiah, they would have remained disengaged in their new city, waiting day after day for God's imminent deliverance. But through Jeremiah, God reminded the people that He was the one who had placed them in Babylon, that this was His plan, and that He wanted them to pray for the city and seek its peace and prosperity, promising that if the city prospered, the Israelites too would prosper (Jeremiah 29:7). In the same way, we as believers may long for heaven, but we should not put our lives on hold simply because we prefer to be somewhere else. Instead, we must recognize that God has placed us in our city for a reason; it is His plan, and we are to make the most of our time here.

Have you ever considered why the early church grew so quickly and the gospel message spread so rapidly throughout the province of Asia? The believers' strategy was to evangelize the cities. Acts 17, 18, and 19 tell us that Paul made it a point to travel to Athens, the intellectual center of the Greco-Roman world, Corinth, the commercial center of the empire, and Ephesus, Rome's religious center. At the end of the book of Acts, Paul makes it to the empire's capital, Rome, the military and political center. Major cities are the unavoidable crossroads of societies and the place from which culture is influenced and ideas flow. As we consider our evangelism strategy, it should give us great encouragement as we think about the potential our cities have to reach entire nations!

From the time of David onward, the prophets spoke of a perfect urban society that was yet to come. We are told that the city of God, the new Jerusalem, will be "the joy of the whole earth." The Bible's narrative recounts the great spiritual conflict throughout history of the struggle between a society that is created for self-salvation, self-service, and self-glorification versus a society that is devoted to God's glory. This future city will be the culmination of that history. The new Jerusalem is the reason for our hope and why we strive to share the Good News with people. Our cities are temporary; God's city is eternal.

The final goal of Christ's redemptive work is not to return believers to a rural, Edenic world. From God's command in Genesis that man "be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it," to the new Jerusalem as described in Revelation, it is clear that God's intention for mankind is that we raise up cities that glorify him and be good stewards of the resources He has entrusted to us. Our work in our cities is vitally important, and we can take great comfort, just as the Israelites in exile did, that God, himself, has placed us here and that He has a plan.

It is a good thing for us to love our cities and it is a good thing for us to seek the wellbeing of our cities. God's heart longs for their repentance and redemption. Shouldn't ours?

Tommy Lee

Exploratory Trip- Nairobi

Bridge Building in Nairobi

by Tommy Lee

It has been one year since I last arrived to Nairobi with some co-workers. Now, since battling cancer and getting my feet back under me, this second trip allowed Resource Global to continue learning about the local environment and also focus on the establishment of a cohort in Kenya.  

Over the course of five days, we had over 13 meetings with our future partners, friends, and key leaders, pastors and business leaders in Nairobi. I wanted to take some time and highlight some of our conversations.

We met an old friend, Joshua Wathanga, who is the chairman and founder of the Hesabika Network, which is a catalyst for a value-driven socio-economic transformation of Kenya. More info here: http://www.hesabika.com/. Joshua will serve as our first Chairman of the Board in Nairobi and Resource Global will also be under the Hesabika Network because of their credibility and network in Kenya. We are excited to have Joshua be a part of our team as his experience and reputation provides our work with credibility and opened doors for us that otherwise would not have been opened.  He has experience in the ministry, the marketplace, and the political world. 

Along with Joshua Wathanga, during the week we met with Pastor Calisto Odede of Nairobi Baptist Church, Pastor Oscar Muriu of Nairobi Chapel, and Pastor Erastus Weru, Missions Pastor and Church Planter for Nairobi Baptist. Many people we met with were impressed that we had Joshua, Calisto, and Oscar involved in what we were doing. Both Pastor Oscar and Calisto have committed to helping promote, recommend, and support the work of the cohorts in Nairobi.  It is imperative to have them involved because pastors play a huge role in the success of the ministry in Nairobi.  We are thankful for favor with these two men who now have become dear friends.   

Along with ministry leaders, we met with other business leaders like Reuben Coulter, Director of the Business Transformational Network in Africa and Sunru Yong and his wife Anne. Sunru is a friend from college and is the current COO of Mobius Motors, a new start up car manufacturing company that produces cars strictly for the tough terrain of Africa.  

During the week, we also had the opportunity to visit some of the slums of Nairobi called Kibera. This is definitely a tough site to see, but we hope that as we start a cohort in Nairobi that our cohorts will be able to visit these slums because many Kenyans do not choose to go into them.

Overall it was a great trip and we are looking to partner with Hesabika and start our first cohort in Nairobi in 2019.  

 

Mission Trips of a Different Kind: Diving Into the World’s Financial Districts

By Tommy Lee

Thinking about mission trips to impoverished countries as about only reaching the poor is a thing of the past, says Resource Global visionary and leader Tommy Lee.

The reality is that many of these same countries where Christians went out in multitudes to share the gospel in distant villages and outposts, now have economically thriving financial districts inside cosmopolitan cities.

“The whole idea behind Resource Global is that the world is different. We used to think that missions was just about sending missionaries to all these islands, the bush, and third-world countries where they don’t know anything about Christ,” Tommy said. “Now, the cities are booming, the economies are booming, and their young people are well-educated, college grads, wealthier than you and I, and have dreams to really make a difference in the city.”

The question now becomes: “How do you equip young Christian marketplace leaders to not only grow their existing enterprises for their city but to understand the greater world of global missions and supporting initiatives around the world?”

Because of this shifting paradigm, an important focus for Resource Global is to identify young marketplace leaders, who are post-college to early 30’s living and working in different global cities. “We come alongside them to help them really understand their journey and what their presence in their city means,” Tommy said.

Resource Global was started in 2010 after the Lausanne Global Congress in South Africa. After the Congress was over, the question was asked – How do we invest in these leaders who are making a difference for the Kingdom in their respective countries, cities, and also communities?

In the first five years of the organization, the staff and volunteers of Resource Global worked primarily with ministry and non profit leaders to engage their cities. Resource Global worked on projects in a number of global cities and also in various parts of the US. Countries included Ghana, South Africa, Egypt, Peru, China, and more.

Tommy said that the idea of establishing cohorts, such as in Jakarta, came when he felt the need to shift away from focusing on ministries and invest in these young marketplace leaders in key urban cities around the world. Many of these young leaders had studied in the West, Oxford, or other cities outside of their own and now were returning home to work. “Globalization was creating a different type of person, one that is unlike anyone we have seen before.” They are seeing things different, with a different set of lenses. “What does it mean if these people continue to renew their city as we continue to invest in them?”

Cohorts are started when a decision is made to “journey together for eight months to really be able to learn some practical, theological ideas, and also reflect and understand God’s journey and story for their lives.” The long term vision is to build a global network where like minded leaders from different cities are learning from one another. Technology has allowed us to do this easily now.

Tommy adds, “So, we will spend some time looking at Scripture, but a lot of it is looking at what their story is and how God is moving and shaping them. We also look at the topics of faith and work as well as their strengths and passions while tackling what it looks like to address the problems in their city.

“The key then becomes for us to connect them with the other cohorts. So, we have a cohort in Chicago, we will have one in Nairobi, and Singapore. Now, with the world being smaller, how can a person in Jakarta connect with a person in Nairobi and learn from each other?”

Resource Global focuses on developing local leaders and teachers.

“These cohorts are a pipeline for developing local leaders and teachers,” Tommy said. “Now, this first cohort (Jakarta) is helping us to oversee a conference, they are now going to be some of our future breakout teachers and We’re teaching them how to break down scripture and speak according to scripture and develop talks around scripture.”

Eden Chen: Resource Global On Mission To Lead Business Leaders In ‘Massive Cities’

Interview with Eden Chen

Resource Global is in perfect position to lead a movement of business leaders who successfully live out their faith in Jesus at the workplace in major metropolises, said board member Eden Chen recently.

“There are some great programs out there that are training young Christians to see the importance of work and how that applies to their faith,” Chen said. “But I think Resource Global is unique in that it has this international mission of reaching people in these massive cities outside of the U.S., like Nairobi, Jakarta, and Shanghai.”

Chen, who was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list earlier this year, is the co-founder of Fishermen Labs based in Los Angeles. His company specializes in app and website development, virtual reality and augmented reality for brands and startups. The company’s clients include Sony, United Nations, HTC, Qualcomm, Quintiles, NFL and NBC. Chen also founded Knife and Fox, a design studio for brands and startups.

When asked about the reason he joined Resource Global, Chen said, “I originally first joined Resource Global because of my friendship with Tommy Lee (founder) which is probably consistent with a lot of people. I really love Tommy’s heart and the way that he values friendship and people so much, and loves the Lord.

“Secondly, I felt that, at least in my industry and different industries that I’ve been in that there’s always been a lack of Christians that have been interacting in the secular working world,” he explained. “I just don’t interact with that many Christians in this space.”

Chen said he believes that Christians, in general, have “exited the conversation” when it comes to engaging about their faith.

“In my parent’s generation there were lots and lots of Christian business leaders and I think either business caused them to be more lukewarm or maybe the next generation lost their faith,” he said. “There’s something to be said about money and the poisonous effect of it. There is also something to be said about Christians sort of trying to get away from popular society and trying to move to the suburbs and get away from where lots of commerce exists. I think that’s led to a sort of loss of interaction with the business world.

“I love organizations like Resource Global because they are trying to get people back into that ecosystem.”

Chen, 30, wanted to be a youth pastor when he was in college, but through an internship became interested in business and finance. “I did some business financing and found that there were (seemingly) no Christians. There were two Christians out of 150 people in my internship class, “ he said. “That’s when I realized that this is like a complete unreached people group that no one will ever get into and these people are going to make a huge impact and nobody is going to tell them about Jesus.

He said that as sort of a backlash to a generation of Christians that may have talked more overtly about their faith, but perhaps less in the way of biblical action, his generation is “one that is afraid to speak up about their faith, so a lot of times, people don’t even know they are Christian because they are too afraid to even bring it up.”

“What I try to do is to set-up like sort of ‘landmines’,” said Chen, referring to placing mental triggers that spark conversation in people that he meets through his work.

“Fishermen Labs, for example. A lot of people ask, ‘Why do you guys call yourselves Fishermen Labs?’ That’s an automatic opportunity to talk about our faith,” he explained. “I can answer that my business partner and I met at church. We feel like fishermen … the early church was the most influential group ever to exist and they were just a bunch of fishermen who didn’t have a lot of skills. If you just look historically, these 12 people were the most impactful people.”

Such a conversation is very powerful and influential, he said.

He added, “If you don’t have the landmines, I think no one is ever going to bring up the fact that you’re a Christian. It’s not like in the normal course of business, when I’m working on an app, [that] someone is going to ask, ‘Are you a Christian?’ I mean these little blocks that give me the opportunity to talk about faith.

“Ultimately, most Christians and most people on this earth spend most of their waking hours working, whether it’s a job that you like or don’t like, whether you are working 40 hours a week or 80 hours a week, it’s still a large majority of our waking hours. So, we have to have a theology of work because that’s where we are interacting with people.

“So, having a strong basis of justifying why we do what we do and what we are doing is hugely important. If we teach the right things and have the right mentorship that could cause massive change to happen.”

Resource Global has the chance to connect global cities, bring good training and good mentorship to these global cities and spark movements that get business leaders and aspiring business leaders to help and mentor other, he said.

“We’re increasingly living in a globalized, non-Western, post-Christian time,” Chen said. “So you do have these massive revivals that are going on in Africa and China, and yet, it’s very clear that there are theological deficiencies. Christians are trying to get more theological training into Africa and China. What’s not thought about as much are these accountability deficiencies outside the U.S. and the lack of theological training around work, and how work relates to someone’s faith.

“The movement in the U.S., talking about work and faith has only been in the last five years. At least, growing up, I didn’t feel like that was really talked about or that much. We’re just talking about it now.”

Interview by Alex Murashko

Interview with Andrew Jun - Part 2

Tommy: I still remember when I was in Jakarta last and you actually did a whole sermon series for multiple weeks on depression, mental illness, homosexuality. What are some of those taboo topics that you spoke about that are taboo to life in Jakarta?

Andrew: Yeah we called the sermon, “You Can’t Talk About That.  In the US it’s the same as those are a little bit of taboo issues to talk about, but especially in Indonesian culture those things are not going to be addressed over the pulpit nor are they really talked about even among family members and things like that. So you have a bunch of people, a generation, that’s really kind of at a loss on how to deal with those things. And so most of their influence in learning about topics like same sex attraction and depression and politics are really just from each other or from media or something like that. So I think we have the privilege, as an international church, I’m not necessarily bound to some of those cultural constraints and to talk about those kinds of issues that may be a little bit more taboo or people might be a little bit uncomfortable hearing from a pastor. They’ll be a lot more open to hearing it from me, and so we found that sermon series and that teaching really fruitful and helpful for people and even following up with it in their life groups. So we do bible studies according to what we teach on Sundays, and so we dealt with it on a life-on-life level in small groups and hopefully it was really helpful for people to talk about it because those issues exist, things like mental health issues and same-sex attraction—those are things that are pretty relevant in Indonesian culture and society and yet are not really talked about or addressed.

Tommy: Andrew, Indonesia has the fourth biggest population in all of the world and is one of the wealthiest countries in all of the world with fifteen thousand islands.  There is a difference between ethnic Indonesians and Chinese Indonesians. For the average American, what is the difference?

Andrew: The difference is, I think Chinese Indonesians will look at themselves even though they may be third, fourth generation, they still look at themselves as ethnically Chinese and distinctly Chinese, and so I think it would be actually the same thing as second or third generation Korean American or Chinese American who still has a distinct Asian culture and background, and yet also has an American background. So in Indonesia, there will be Chinese Indonesians who are distinct Chinese ethnic background and it may not be 100 percent, but that’s their dominant background, and yet they grew up in Indonesisa.  That’s where their parents were born or they were born, so it’s kind of similar to that.

Tommy: Got it. I have found that the people who are Chinese Indonesians have a huge respect for Americans. Would you find that to be true? Why is there such a huge respect towards those in the West, especially Americans?

Andrew: I think there’s various reasons. I think probably one is probably a little bit of a colonial influence. Indonesia has been colonized and fought over for many, many centuries. And so I think it’s naturally ingrained in them to perhaps look at, for example, Americans or Europeans in a much higher regard. I think also because at least another factor is the young people that are educated and ambitious. I think they really look up to things like the work ethic or social ethics of Americans or Westerners and those are things that they grew up partially with, whether they studied overseas or something like that, for university or high school that they want to emulate. So I mean those are probably two of the factors that I can think of as the reasons why.

Tommy: As a pastor, you’re also learning the importance that some of these individuals may not have a good biblical foundation in terms of digging in the Scripture, and sometimes you’ve actually been trying to do that more as a church, as a pastor?

Andrew: Yeah, that’s right, so we’re really trying. I think it’s two things. It’s giving them a biblical foundation.  They need that understanding of what is the theology of money, or what is the theology of work, what is the theology of marriage and family, so that’s a really big foundation for them. And then the second part to that it is discipling people through that, through what does that look like in their lives on a daily basis? What does that look like for them personally, and how do they need to live in obedience to the scripture in their own context? And I think a lot of time that’s actually the harder part. A lot of guys in our church, they have access to all the books and all the stuff on the internet by Tim Keller and all these great pastors and theologians but walking through those types of issues are challenging. And I think that’s really the role of the local church in Indonesia—to be discipling young people to do.

Tommy: Andrew I have two last questions for you. The topic is nonprofits.  We’re very familiar with that here in the US but in Jakarta people may not have a very high confidence or opinion of nonprofits in Indonesia. Can you talk through a little bit of that and explain this.  

Andrew.  I think a factor that you can’t ignore about working with nonprofits in Indonesia is the factor of corruption. I mean it’s so pervasive in the society in Indonesia, so a lot of nonprofits are going to work in that kind of environment and in that kind of system. So a lot of them are going to be affected by it or kind of get swept under by it.

I think another big issue with nonprofits is leadership. There is a big leadership void, so really having people who are let alone “godly,” but just someone who has integrity and someone who is able to follow through and able to execute on a plan they have, I think that’s a lot harder than often times it’s realized in a situation like Indonesia. So even though people may have great ideas, the execution of those ideas and goals as a nonprofit are just really hard to realize. And so, yeah, it’s really, really hard to find those kinds of people who are really good leaders in the nonprofit sector.

Tommy: Andrew, even as you’ve been with Resource Global and been helping us out on the Indonesian board what is your hope that these cohort members would do to help their city or their country in the future?

I’m really hoping that people that are involved in this cohort first really love Jesus Christ and that love and devotion to Christ comes out in the way that they do everything in their lives, in the way that they’re involved in their local church and discipling people, the way that they’re involved in their families and we see restoration, Christ-like restoration in their own marriages and with their parents and just with their own parenting. I want to see them as people who really are salt in the marketplace, and they’re really light in the marketplace and use that platform to bring Christ into the systems that are in place as well as relationships with people that they work with and the influence that they have. So that’s what I’m really praying for, for the influence in this generation in the next 20, 30 years, that God would really raise some of them up in different spheres in society, whether its business or whether it’s education or government or even in churches. You know, that they would be these people who really love Christ and are really making Him known and exemplifying that in their lives and the generations to come. That is my hope and vision for Jakarta.  

Tommy: Hey Andrew, thank you, I appreciate it!

Interview with Andrew Jun - Part 1

Two Part Interview with Andrew Jun, Lead Pastor of Harvest Mission Community Church (HMCC) Indonesia

Andrew Jun is a graduate of the University of Illinois and also University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  He now lives in Jakarta with his wife and three kids and is the pastor of two church plants in Jakarta and Karawaci.  Andrew is on the Indonesian board of Resource Global in Jakarta.

Part I

Tommy: Andrew, it’s been more than five years now since you moved to Jakarta.  Can you talk to me about what life in Jakarta or Indonesia is compared to life in US? Similarities, differences, things that.

Andrew: A long time missionary was describing life in Jakarta to me when we first moved there and he said the difference between Jakarta and the US is the same difference as Jakarta and everywhere else in Indonesia. So it’s quite unique compared to other places in Indonesia because you have so many of your modern conveniences. Actually some things are even more modern than in the US…the malls and things like that are all very highly developed and really really nice.

But really Jakarta is full of contrasts.  You have some places that are just amazing and modern. And then you have some places that are very developing and can be very frustrating because you just can’t expect to have things run as efficiently as in the US. So we have to deal with regular things like traffic and different things concerning the weather and other things. As well as because it’s kind of island culture, everything just runs a lot slower. There’s something called *jim-kar-et* which is translated as rubber time, which is everything is flexible, nothing is really, like, on a tight schedule, so we have to be really flexible about what we can accomplish in a day, or who we’re going to be meeting at what time.  We just always have to be flexible.

Tommy:  Andrew, one of the things I’ve also experienced in Jakarta is the fact that being flexible means sometimes people will cancel out on you or reschedule on you.  Is that just a way of life and how culture is?

Andrew: In Jakarta everyone is on the go and there is probably many different variables going on, factors going on in a person’s daily life, that they can have multiple meetings or have a previous meeting and it will go way over and they just have to cancel the meeting after or something like that. So it’s like operating in New York City, with the infrastructure, you know?

Tommy: Yeah, and you mentioned traffic. When people think, wow, California is bad traffic; Atlanta, Chicago is bad traffic, that traffic in the US is nothing compared to Jakarta, right?

Andrew: Yeah that’s right. I mean usually it will take me about 45 minutes to get into the city center. Without any traffic that’s what it should take. But it will take anywhere between an hour and half, two hours, maybe even three hours if traffic is bad. I kind of look at it like this. In the US you can run multiple errands on a single trip, like you’ll stop by at one place and then you’ll go to Target and you’ll go somewhere else and the library. But really here in Jakarta you don’t run errands like that. If you can make it to one place and run one errand in a day, you’ve had a pretty good day, you accomplished something, but never more than one errand in a day unless you’re planning on spending all day running errands. You’re lucky and productive if you have two meetings squeezed in.

Tommy: One of the things I also realized and you’ve taught me is family obligations and work life is actually very important and interrupts ministry and some of the things you can do.

Andrew: Yeah, that’s correct. I mean because people in Jakarta, their working life is so packed Monday through Friday and oftentimes bleeds into the weekends. The weekend time, Saturdays and Sundays, are really important to family time and it’s very guarded time to spend with family, even though sometimes it isn’t like meaningful interaction or meaningful conversation.  It’s just kind of the Asian mindset of just being present, and being together is an accomplishment. So people are really held to those obligations and younger people really want to honor their family or have a lot of pressure to honor their family obligations.

Tommy: As a pastor, how have you found what’s been effective for you to disciple these people and to really care for them? Has it just been spending time or building relationships with them? What’s important in doing ministry in Jakarta?

I think it’s being really patient, kind of picking and choosing your battles and discipling people through issues rather than discipling people to make one decision or two decisions or something like that. It’s really helping them follow Christ and knowing that sometimes people will fail or disappoint you and other times you know they’ll be learning and they’ll be making good decisions and healthy decision. So I think it’s just a lot of patience and trying to instill principles into people in which case it will not always be a linear and a smooth process for people. It’s going to be a very up and down thing.

Metrics in Missions

written by Bobby Doll, Director of Impact

The impact value chain provides a framework to measure impact and follows the basic logic model; inputs and activities lead to outputs, outcomes, and impact.  Essentially a map of how an organization’s assets and daily functions lead to impact, the impact value chain provides key measurables of the successes and failures of a program.  Somewhat crudely, inputs and activities boil down to money and time, time both in the general sense and time spent performing a specific action.  Outputs, outcomes, and impact are all results measured in different ways, at different times, and of different scope. Outputs are short-term and generally of relatively small scope such as number of participants in a program; outcomes are longer term and of relatively larger scope such as effects of a program on the participants; impact can take up to a decade to measure but has the largest scope such as effects on the society and/or environment.  Formal impact evaluation is extremely costly and time-consuming due to its tremendous capacity, but looking at outputs and outcomes, a much simpler and less rigorous task, provides useful measurements and analytics. This type of performance measurement is what we are focusing on in the short term, which will hopefully lead to impact evaluation later on.

The impact value chain is not a perfect method, however, especially in the arena of spiritual fitness.  The logic model’s central premise is based on causality; that is, each link leads to the next one.  Measuring spiritual health does not necessarily have a direct link to the use and management of resources for several reasons.  First, the impact value chain tends to deal with the efficient use of assets that lead to measurable change not with changes in an individual’s beliefs; second, culture, society, community, personal circumstances, etc. all play a role in one’s faith, which makes it difficult to apply a theory of change to each situation; third, the Spirit plays a tremendous role in one’s heart change and sanctification, a near impossible identifiable and measurable link in the impact value chain.

On the quantitative side, Resource Global primarily uses self-reporting of a few different key metrics to measure the effectiveness of the Cohorts. The first is called Net Promoter Score, which measures the willingness of Cohort members to recommend the Cohort experience to others. NPS is used throughout the world of customer satisfaction and is well regarded as a proxy of customer loyalty. Each month, Resource Global calculates the NPS of the overall Cohort experience as well as the NPS of that month’s specific Cohort session and compares them to previous months’ numbers in order to determine the positives and/or negatives of that month. Of course, satisfaction is not the only point the matters or contributes to Cohort effectiveness. We also measure two points of Cohort members’ engagement and involvement with the material presented and discussed.

Reference:

Bronkema, D. (2015). Towards and Understanding and Practice of Spiritual Metrics. Page 15.