Seeing God’s glory in business
By Tohru Inoue | Ethiopia in East Africa
Photos by Timothy Coleman
Kibir is an SIM Ethiopia ministry that uses missional business to make a kingdom impact, primarily through consultation and training. With Ethiopia’s high unemployment rates and pressure in the marketplace, they’re equipping Christians who are professionals to promote biblical values when the church is dispersed throughout the week.
I love the name of the company: Kibir. It’s the Amharic word for glory. I want to see that. Don’t you? Their whole aim is to see the Ethiopian marketplace redeemed. They want to see businesses reflecting God’s kibir.
When you ask people about what comes to mind when they think of business people, the predominant answer is far from kibir. Most people in the country assume corruption and dishonesty from business people.
You ask, “How do you know?” And they’ll tell you, “Just look at how big their herds of cattle are … how big their homes are.”
This view is quite prevalent. And statistically, Ethiopia is ranked 94th on the world’s transparency index (2020). But the Kibir people would tell you that’s their Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal in 30 years: to see Ethiopia in the top 10 on transparency.
The team started in the rural northwest for their first round of training in biblically-managed businesses. The most successful business person in the district was a rich farmer and he was none too keen to have Kibir set up shop and do trainings based on the Bible. He had previously fought hard to try to get another SIM ministry kicked out of the area. It failed.
Not an easy sell. So, the team prayed for a year about who they would invite but they left it to God to decide who would attend. Lo and behold, God was asking the team to invite this farmer.
The team at Kibir presented the gospel during the five-day long training. For five days, the gospel was preached alongside practices in a redeemed business.
After the training was over, the farmer spoke up …
“Why did you wait so long to tell us?”
To tell us there was a way to do business that wasn’t all about oneself. That one didn’t have to lie, cheat or steal for a living. That God had given them savvy with numbers and assets so that we could bless others. That God’s glory could be expressed in one’s livelihood. That God wanted to change us through business as much as he wanted to help us with it.
How does that saying go?
“Show me a man who is beyond redemption …”
And I’ll show you God’s Kibir.
• Ask God is He’s equipped you to make an impact in the business community in Ethiopia.
• For the marketplaces in Ethiopia to be redeemed.
• For businesses to be a blessing in their communities.