For those of you who have been following the vision of Equip Mozambique and its desire to impact the country in the area of business, you probably knew this moment was coming. In order to increase the embarrassingly low amount of Mozambican-run businesses, we would have to ask some people to leave their jobs.
That would cause anyone anxiety, but let me put it into perspective for you. Imagine having a great job, being paid more than almost all of your friends, and having job security in an economy where unemployment is 23%. Now add to that the cultural differences: in the west, we revel in doing the unknown; if no one else has done it, that makes us want to do it even more. In Mozambique, if no one else has done it, no one wants to try. As a Mozambican just starting out, the prospect is terrifying. However, I've never known God to shy away from asking people to do the impossible or terrifying!
The roles we have ended up in are visionary, catalyst, and mentor. As visionaries, we call out the gifting we see in the Mozambicans and how we can see God using them. As catalysts, we we down with them and look at logistics; when should they leave their jobs, what kind of funds they will need before they begin, and what contacts they will need to develop. As mentors, we are with them every step of the way, helping with wisdom, encouragement, and calling out potential pitfalls we see. Unlike last time we were in Mozambique, we are not helping financially and will only get involved in these business ideas if the Mozambican behind it is more invested in the idea than we are.
Personally, this has been thrilling for me, both in the excited sense and the scary sense. If you have ever been used by God to call something into being that wasn't there before, you know what I mean. To hear something in prayer and to fight for it until it becomes reality is one of the most satisfying things I have ever done. One of these days I'll give you my rant about open-door/close-door prayers, but suffice it to say it's just more fun figuring out God's will and then seeking its fulfillment. That was my favorite part about leading small groups in the US; sitting down with others, praying with them, finding the Lord's will, and fighting with them until it happened. Some of the most powerful were also some of the longest. Long shots at Med school, scholarships, becoming president of a fraternity, chronic sexual struggles, life-long battles with self-hatred; I saw God do it all. Sometimes the battles took months or years but that made the victory even sweeter when it did happen.
God's just taken what I was used to and upped the ante. The most nervous I get is when I see Bernardo's little girl, knowing that if things go south, she may not have anything to eat; there is no such thing as unemployment benefits here. However, I just see this as a continually-expanding lesson to me of God's faithfulness. When He asked me if I could trust Him with my life, it took me several years to answer yes. Then He asked if I could trust Him with my wife's life too. Several more years. Last year, He asked if I could trust Him with my kid's lives, and that was the hardest one yet. Now he is asking me about other families and other people's kids and while I know I can trust Him on a theological level, I'm still working at getting there practically.