The Church worldwide has been mobilized to pray and give generously to Nepal in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake there ten days ago. The worst earthquake in Nepal since 1934, this disaster has already claimed over 7000 lives, with fears of more to come as disease, isolation and displacement take their toll.
As you pray and give, please pray especially for the BAM companies in Nepal, many in the worst affected areas. We know of at least 15 BAM companies in Katmandu and beyond, including those in:
- Garment Manufacturing
- Information Technology – Cloud services
- Information Technology – Software development
- Guest House
- Coffee Roasting
- Coffee Shop/Cafe
- Food Production and Retail
- Outdoor Equipment Retail
- Jewelry Making
Please pray for these companies – the business owners, their teams and local employees. Pray for wisdom, peace and provision as they aid others, rebuild and try and get back to ‘business as usual’.
Please pray for the continued relief efforts and that aid would get to the areas where it is critically needed. However, keep praying for the long slow work of development and rebuilding. Pray for new openings to share the gospel and bring hope throughout Nepal – for light to come out of this darkness.
Larry Sharp wrote in a recent blog for IBEC Ventures ‘Crisis in Nepal: What would Jesus do? What should we do?‘
Don’t get me wrong – immediate aid is important in a disaster like we see in Nepal right now. It is right for people to be there – serving long hours in an effort to save lives and bring some relief… But charity should not go on for years and when it does, it becomes toxic. Why? Every human in crisis needs relief from the stress and hopelessness of the crisis, but then they need empowerment, dignity and resources to grow and develop. Job creation does just that. We think that in today’s world Jesus would bring both immediate help (like how he healed the blind man) and long term focus on life and faith. What is most needed to complement the relief services pouring into Nepal today? If we take the long view from now until eternity, we should focus on job creation to alleviate poverty, social injustice and sickness.
Job creation is a critical felt-need in Nepal, with 40% of the workforce unemployed, even before the earthquake. Poverty only exasperates the effects of a natural disaster, with low quality building and lack of resources meaning that many people have lost what little they had and will struggle to rebuild. What can we do?
In the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake there will be many opportunities for new businesses. Rob James was one of the few foreigners on the ground during the 2004 Asian Tsunami in the worst affected area of Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Commenting on recent events in Nepal, Rob, a veteran BAM practitioner, told us about some of the opportunities that opened up to do business after the immediate trauma and rescue effort:
After the Asian Tsunami, I started a construction company – among many others – and became a contractor paid to build houses for the UN, Red Cross World Vision, Catholic Relief Services and others. We built over 3,300 homes and many other buildings. There will be many opportunities for BAMers to start companies coming after this disaster in Nepal. There will be opportunities to start almost any service-type company that would cater to the reconstruction for example: laundry services, catering, accounting anything in hardware or construction material, training and education for laborers for any type of construction skill, and so on and on.
James – BAM practitioner in Banda Aceh
Please pray for the immediate disaster relief effort in Nepal. Please give generously through reputable organisations or trusted people you know on the ground. Please do go if you have the skills and can work under an agency that know what they are doing.
However, please also pray, give and go for the long term recovery of Nepal. Pray for the BAM companies that are already in Nepal. Pray that more people will be mobilised and deployed to start new businesses in Nepal, and other parts of the world where jobs and the love of God are urgently needed. Consider investing in a new BAM company in Nepal or elsewhere! And if you must go – ask the Lord whether it should be long-term to help bring lasting social, spiritual, environmental and economic transformation through business.