Churches hosting Nelson Mandela Bay unemployment and poverty workshop

At the inaugural Nelson Mandela Bay unemployment and poverty summit last November are, from the left, the Revd Xhanti Mhlontlo, the Revd Andrea Potgieter, Bishop Bethlehem, Canon Claire Phelps, and Dr Bukelwa Hans. (PHOTO: Frankie Simpson)

Anybody interested in tackling the problem of unemployment and poverty in Nelson Mandela Bay is invited to attend a workshop at the South End Museum, Port Elizabeth on Thursday May 17.

Organised by the Ikhala Trust and the NM Bay Church Leaders, the gathering is a follow-up to the inaugural unemployment and poverty workshop that was held in the metro in November last year. 

The objectives of the workshop are to obtain feedback from current participants and motivate other like-minded people, in every municipal ward in our metro, to connect and network in order to make a difference in the lives of the unemployed and poor in the metro, says Trevor Jennings of Transformation Christian Network (TCN).

He says interested individuals or groups from churches, business, education, government, the NGO Sector and civil society are invited to participate in the workshop. For more information and to book your free seat please contact TCN on 083 659 2748 or Anathi Magongo on 041 582 3750. 

“Our country has arrived at a crossroad. Poverty and unemployment, especially among the youth, are at explosive levels,” says Jennings in a press release.

He continues: “What is clear from the shenanigans in the Nelson Mandela Bay council is that the politicians will never solve our problems while they continue to focus on wrestling power from each other in their narcissistic power games.

“The time has come for every church and congregant to get involved!

“Most churches have resources. For example, a large number of church buildings stand empty for 90% of the week. They could be used as skills and training centers or house small businesses like sewing cooperatives.

“And every Sunday an enormous reservoir of talent and skills can be found in the pews. Many have the time and ability to get involved in assisting the unemployed and poor to equip themselves for that promised better life.

“There are many examples of successful and readily available courses being offered by churches and NGOs, such as ABCD, Siya Sebenza, Isivuno and Farming God’s Way.”




Investors looking for businesses with kingdom impact

Rob Wylde.

Business 4 Transformation (B4T) is looking for suitable kingdom-minded businesses to show to international investors who are due to visit South Africa in October or November, says Rob Wylde who heads up B4T in SA.

The businesses should be viable, have been operating for at least one to two years, have the potential to make a significant impact for the kingdom of God and preferably should be based within a 300km radius of Port Elizabeth.

Wylde, who has a lengthy banking background and also heads up Christian NGO Khanyisa Credit which assists grassroots businesses with micro-loans, said that businesses that meet B4T’s criteria could qualify for special loans subject to a positive assessment by the investors during their visit.

He said he has already lined up four businesses — in the beekeeping, tanning, cattle farming and IT fields — to meet with the investors. He said he hoped that by the time the investors arrive he would have many more suitable businesses to show them.

He said that local businesses that were selected by visiting investors in 2016 were all performing well. B4T operates in 11 countries around the world and currently has a credit exposure of R19-million. It has been operating in South Africa for three years.

Typically B4T investors made unsecured loans of from R120 000 to R12-million to viable businesses whose owners have a heart for the kingdom of God, said Wylde. He said the interest on the loans varied from 12 to 14%, with repayments only due every six months, which provided “breathig space” to businesses. Businesses that were awarded loans were required to pay a 4% fee to B4T.

As a B4T developer Wylde said he was responsible for pre-screening and mentoring businesses to be shown to visiting investors.

Business owners interested in finding out more about linking up with B4T can contact Wylde at 072 252 3219 or rob.wylde@b4t.org

 




Ambitious kingdom banking plans aired

Dr Zienzi Dillon (USA) president of Marketplace Calling International addressing the Kingdom Banking Indaba.

The 2018 Kingdom Banking Indaba, held at the World of Yamaha in Johannesburg last Friday, created an opportunity for Christian leaders in the banking/financial sector and the Christian business community to put their heads together towards turning the current worldly banking system on its head.

The aim of the conference, hosted by the Kingdom Policy Institute (KPI), was to reach an understanding of how a kingdom-based banking system would function and to decide on core values it should carry over to communities. With a policy framework in place the idea is to engage businesses, industry regulators and governments to pave a way for the commercial roll-out of the system.

According to their website, KPI is a global policy-setting institute through researching and facilitating the formulation of policies prescribed by God for nations, natural resources and for people to lead in efficiency, growth and innovation.

Dr Alexander Chisango, president of the World Economic Congress, said it was about time for a new generation to be set free from the oppression of the worldly financial systems.

Changing mindsets
“The true battle will reside in our mindsets, to change our view of finances to be more in line with God’s Kingdom principles. This will also be one of the biggest barriers when entering the commercial sector. We have to change the way the world does banking by changing the people’s mindset on how banking has been done for decades,” he said.

He believes a new, alternative kingdom-based banking system will be birthed out of Africa.

Dr Alexander Chisango (Zimbabwe) president of the World Economic Congress.

“It is not enough to have prophecies anymore. We are men of valour; we need to stand up and speak God’s will to the earth. It is time — a season. I believe, for us as the children of God, to take action!”

Opening the conference, WowTV co-founder and chief financial officer Luyanda Mangquku, said: “We are assembled here to share our knowledge and our piece of the puzzle that God might reveal to us, to take this project forward. We want ideas shared to translate into a policy document that can ultimately become a blueprint for the first kingdom-based banking system. We want to know, how does God do banking? How does He want to run the world?”

Louis Gerber, group operational manager for the Christian Business Chamber Chapters in South Africa, representing the CROSSing Lion Gate Group, said God raised people in our nation many years ago, for a time such as this.

Zero interest rate
“The Bible makes it clear that we should lend money to our brothers at a 0% interest rate and within a seven year period. To establish a banking system true to kingdom principles, we need to put structures in place for the Christian business community to come together.

“It should not be a structure built only to serve clients, but we should all take hands to make a real difference in communities, and give them basic training in finances as well as support them in various ways to improve their living conditions.”

CROSsing Lion group has already rolled out a plan for city transformation in the City of Tshwane, said Gerber.

“Solly Msimanga, the mayor of Tshwane recently gave his support for the enrolment of this programme which includes the establishment of community care centres. At these centres an array of services will be provided to the community to lift them out of their circumstances,” he said. ( More information on this project is available at: https://crossing.org.za/ )

Bengt Arnesson, chairman and founder of IBSP Group of companies and partner of Geneva Investment and director at Cidron Ventures flew in from Sweden in obedience to God, to attend the Indaba.

Explaining that he was an investor and entrepreneur by heart, he said: “God told me about 17 years ago to aid in establishing a platform for banking to be used in the end times.

“I am an electronic engineer and a practical person, so I started looking for opportunities to obey God’s command.

“For me is important to understand God’s perspective on finances, and stay true to Him by following the Holy Spirit, whichever way He will lead you. Seek out the wisdom of God even if it defies worldly logic.

“The Holy Spirit will open doors for us at the right time but we have to accept His wisdom and be ready to renew our minds when the time comes.”

Gold-based platform
Arnesson established the Divine Economic Empowerment Council (DeeC), a core banking platform based on gold, the currency mainly used in the Bible.

“It is a world-wide platform created to find a new way of making instant deposits, withdrawals, transfers and payments with fine gold, presented online in different currencies.”

He invited Africans to become members of the organisation. For more information go to: http://www.divineeconomic.com/

Pastor John Osa (Nigeria) principal pastor of Kingdom Heirs Assembly (KHA) and executive director of Rebirth of Africa House had some advice to share on how to break down the strongholds of the enemy in various regions so that Christian projects could move out of the byways and into the highways.

“Every generation has the potential to take a couple of steps forward in the kingdom of God. As the representatives of this generation, we cannot let this opportunity pass. It is the time for the emergence of strong Christian leaders who need to take a stand for the visions and prophecies already cast upon them.”

Stating he he believes this generation was currently stuck, he said: “We need to move, and see the enemy’s work for what it is. One of his greatest weapons of choice is to wear us out, to derail our plans and to exclude us from the highways, but we must come together, sweat it out, and move forward.”

Taking a stand
Dr Zienzi Dillion (USA), president of Marketplace Calling International (MCI) said God placed her in the banking system “many moons ago”, to understand the system’s ins and outs, to prepare her to take a stand against it.

She completed various prayer walks near London’s financial centre and on Wall Street in New York, to pray for the banking systems of our time.

“God opened up my eyes to see the strategic gates placed by those owing these systems. Those spirits who planned these institutions and placed them at the centre of the world’s finances, are not from God.”

She asked God On several occasions: “What can we do and how can we overcome this?” and God answered her.

“He told me the key to success lies in the unity. For us, as the body of Christ, it is time to wake up, and unite. We have to come together and come up with a strategy, and agenda of our own.”

She believes Africa will take the lead in establishing an alternative kingdom-based banking system.

“We cannot support this slave system anymore. We need to take the financial authority given to us, back to the Lord, the kingdom of God.

“We need a system built on fair business principles, that is just and acts with integrity.”

500 years
Landa Cope (USA) founder and executive director of The Template Institute (TTI) and author of many books, said for some odd reason, God pushes the reset button every 500 years or so.

“It is a time of total renewal, a historical cycle that God initiates to show us a new way of doing things.”

For her it is essential to trust in the ways of the Lord and to give ourselves over as instruments to Him as we all have a role to play in the times we are born.

“God wants us all to live a sustainable, quality life, by taking responsibility of what he entrusted us with, and building His kingdom for those purposes.”

This meant we had a responsibility toward the land and the community we inhabited, she said.

“Although we need to reach our full potential in this regard, it all begins with a change of heart, a personal relationship with God. That is what it is all about.”

She said we all have a polluted way of thinking due to the influences of the world.

“We need to start by cleaning our house, finding out what God wants us to do, and work from there.”

She said God began with a garden, where all our needs were met from the start.

“All we needed to do was to have dominion over the land, to build, to plant and to prosper. We broke that covenant with God, but it is still his main purpose for us on earth.”

Clear strategy
Dr Chisango, the last speaker of the day, talked about the significance of having a well-thought out strategy, tabled and drawn-up as a policy, to take us forward.

“The enemy had a strategy long ago, giving some people the authority to destroy God’s way of ruling the earth. We should change our thinking by taking up our authoritative positions in God, drawing up a sound policy document, in taking our agenda forward,” he said.

The day ended with a lunch after which the floor was open to the audience to engage with the speakers in discussing the plans to move forward.




Leaders meeting to pioneer godly banking system

Dr Alexander Chisango (Zimbabwe) president of the World Economic Congress.

Christian thought leaders attending a kingdom banking think tank in Sandton, Johannesburg on Friday (March 2) aim to discover and develop a policy framework for the establishment of a godly banking system.

The international lineup of speakers at the inaugural Kingdom Banking Conference of the Kingdom Policy Institute include Dr Zienzi Dillion and Landa Cope from the United States, Bengt Arnesson from Sweden, Dr Alexander Chisango from Zimbabwe, Pastor John Osa from Nigeria, and Louis Gerber from South Africa.

“Once the foundational policies of a godly banking system has been unearthed, the plan is to then engage business and industry regulators, and governments to pave the way for the roll-out of a godly banking system commercially,” said Luyanda Mangquku convener of the indaba.

Dr Zienzi Dillon (USA) president of Marketplace Calling International.

Dr Chissango, president of the World Economic Congress said the indaba would not just be an exercise in academic and theological talk but will be a platform for arriving at practical solutions for the world.

No reformation of nations can happen without realigning the storehouses — the name denoting banks in Scripture, he said in a video promoting the indaba.

Topics on the conference programme include practical lessons learnt from kingdom banking and how and how biblical prescripts and principles are being applied in the kingdom crypto currency market and in cooperative financial institutions, establishing a godly (usury-free) bank in the current banking regulatory framework, how to practically migrate from a Babylonian banking system to a kingdom banking system, creating room for kingdom banking and dealing with spiritual barriers and decrees over the banking sector, the patterns and pillars of a godly banking system.

Indaba attendees who are expected to be from business, government, the Church, academic and research institutions, will have an opportunity to participate in discussions from the floor.

The indaba will take place at World of Yamaha, 19 Eastern Service Road, Eastgate, Sandton from 8am to 4pm on Friday March 2. More information is available online at www.kingdompolicyinstitute.org or by calling 060 009 6988.

 




What does God say about gold? — David Melvill

Investment advisor David Melvill goes to the Bible to seek God’s perspective on gold.

Does the old adage of “As good as gold,” still hold true today? In order to answer this question it would be prudent to go right back to the very first mention of gold in man’s civilisation. Do you know where gold is first mentioned in the Bible? While man’s opinion matters, it is only really God’s opinion that counts. Therefore let’s go on a journey through the Bible to see what God thinks and feels about gold.

Gold in the very beginning
The first two chapters of Genesis describe the creation of the world. In the second chapter verses 10-14 reference is made to the four rivers: Pishon, Gihon, Hiddekel and the Euphrates, where civilisation began at the Garden of Eden. At the first river of Pishon, verse 11, God mentions there is gold. It must have been alluvial gold (on the surface).

It was only after the flood that there was a seismic action that caused the gold to go deep underground. God deems it important enough to mention gold specifically. No reference is made to any other commodity or metal. It is as if this one is highlighted because of its importance to follow.

In verse 12 it adds, And the gold of that land is good…. You can rest assured if God says something is “good,” then it is actually very good. His blessing and favour is upon it, just as it was with all the other aspects of His creation that are mentioned.

While it is just mentioned here without any specific reference to its role or purpose, it remains significant that gold is mentioned right at the very beginning — it is huge. Throughout scripture gold makes many appearances, it is in fact mentioned 417 times. (Silver appears 320 times).

God is the owner
So, let’s examine what God has to say further about gold and silver. In the minor prophet’s book of Haggai He prophesies and reminds us, The silver is mine and the gold is mine, declares the Lord Almighty Haggai 2:8. Just as the psalmists declares in Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it. God created it, so it belongs to Him.

We are merely stewards entrusted with it, so we should hold it lightly, as we can only pass it on.

The role of gold and silver is specifically viewed in the Bible as money (it is not a commodity) although it is referred to in modern day times as such, just like platinum or copper. It is used as a medium for exchange. Paper money never existed then.

Abram’s wealth is measured in silver and gold
So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him. Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold. Genesis 13:1-2

Abram had moved away from his country in Canaan to Egypt because of a drought. It was time to move back home. So how does the Bible measure his wealth? It refers to his “livestock” and his “silver and gold.”

How would wealth be measured today? It would largely be measured in property, stocks on the stock exchange, bonds and cash in the bank. There would be those who would add art works and antics, together with the latest craze, cryptocurrencies.

Only a farmer would measure his wealth in his cattle and sheep. Does that mean silver and gold have lost their value and have no role to play? No, not at all! Because modern man has sought other assets, it does not render it without value. On the contrary, it is the longest standing asset class, and it is the truest form of money.

Gold and silver retain their value; it has intrinsic value. It is when they are measured in dollars or rands that we see how the currencies have devalued due to their increase in their supply. It is only in recession or crisis time that man runs back to the “tried and tested” currency of choice — gold and silver. They are counter cyclical to all other asset classes. In other words when other asset prices fall, gold and silver rally.

Israelites leaving Egypt acquire silver and gold
The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. The Lord had made the Egyptians favourably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians. Exodus 12:35 – 36

After the 10 plagues in Egypt culminating in the loss of the first born in every household, Pharaoh relented and told Moses and Aaron to take the Israelites and go and worship their God in the wilderness. The Israelites had served as slaves for many years in Egypt. It was now time for them to be rewarded for their labours. Moses had shared God’s Word with them — they were to ask the Egyptians for “silver and gold.” Miraculously, God gave them favour in the sight of the Egyptians and as a result they gave them what they asked for. Silver and gold are relatively light to transport. They would serve as money to start a new life when they returned home to Canaan.

Here we see that God specifically told them what to ask for and we see the value He placed on the gold and silver, knowing that this value would equip them as start-up capital for establishing themselves. Is there a lesson for us here?

Solomon and all his splendour is exhibited in gold
Therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, riches and honour, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have. 2 Chronicles 1:12

King Solomon took over as King of Israel from his father, David. When God appeared to him in his sleep, He told him to ask what he will and it will be given to him. We know Solomon was the wisest king, he did not ask for wealth for himself, he asked for wisdom and knowledge, so that he might rule the people well as their king.

Because of his wise choice, God not only granted him with his request, in addition he received wealth, riches and honour, as no other king before or after him would enjoy. We thus know God made Solomon the wisest and the richest king ever.

A few verses further on in verse 15 it says that Solomon made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones and the sycamore trees that are in abundance. We see that God again measured true wealth in terms of “silver and gold.” Should we too accumulate some of our wealth in a portion of silver and gold? I would like to believe so, if God attaches value to these precious metals, then so should we.

False weights and measures
Differing weights and differing measures — the Lord detests them both. Proverbs 20:10

Now this verse does not appear to refer to gold does it? Yes, you are correct. Indirectly it does though. In Biblical times gold and silver were synonymous with money. In Hebrew there is no word for money.

The financial system of the world is no longer based on gold as the standard for banking, as it was for countless years. Firstly, in 1933, under President Roosevelt, the Gold Standard was abolished. Moreover, would you believe it, He made it illegal to own gold. By law you were required to surrender your gold or face a fine of $10 000 or 10 years in prison. Only eight months later, after gathering in all the gold, and robbing the citizens of their wealth, the price of gold was raised by 75%.

In 1971 President Nixon closed the “Gold Window” where a country was permitted to swap their dollars for gold.

Prior to 1933 an ounce of silver was $1 and gold was $20. They were fixed at these prices for an eternity.” There was no inflation as a result. Today silver and gold are $17 and $1 330 respectively. This merely serves to illustrate the devaluing of the dollar.

No longer is paper money backed by the equivalent amount of gold in the country’s reserve bank. This allows central banks to expand their balance sheets and create artificial wealth. They create economic imbalances. Currencies fluctuate daily in value because of manipulative monetary policies.

This is where “false weights and measures,” come in. The financial system is backed by a promise and the confidence one has in the government of the day that issues the paper money. As a result, countries have been able to issue more and more money to pay their bills. They have effectively created a huge pile of debt. The interest alone, to service this debt, is overwhelming and difficult to service, let alone to speak of reducing the debt.

The Bible sees this as a “dishonest” system. God would warn you not to be reliant on the system of the world, that could crash, but rather to hold on to gold and silver — that is God’s secure economy. It is not a “false weight,” in fact, He delights in just weights.

Counsel to buy gold
You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realise that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich. Revelation 3:17-18a

While this is a spiritual analogy, the point is, if you wish to purchase something of ultimate value, refined gold is the highest form of reference to value.

God has placed strategically gold and silver throughout the world. All nations throughout history have had access to gold and silver as money. Precious metals act as a balance and a perfect unit of measure.

In conclusion we see that God sees gold and precious metals as rare and something good. By implication they have intrinsic value. God created gold and silver as the backbone of our economic growth. True wealth is measured in the ownership of property, commodities, and gold and silver. Gold and silver is referred to as money in the Bible. They have been with us for 5 000 years. No fiat currency (paper money) has lasted more than a few centuries.

It is used as a medium for exchange in both payment form, or as gifts to kings. It is regarded as valuable because as a non-ferrous metal it cannot corrode, it is beautiful and lasts forever. We see that the old adage, “As good as gold,” has always held true, it is genuine, the highest quality and value, and not counterfeit. Gold and silver have maintained their purchasing power throughout. In today’s world they are “financial insurance.” We would do well to align our view with God’s view of gold and silver and acquire some as part of our assets too.

Suggestion
Ideally, one should aim to make an investment in gold of between 5-10% of your total assets. This should be in coins primarily, and maybe some in gold mining shares for the more aggressive investor.




Africa-Israel Chamber of Commerce to be launched in Israel in August

At the 2015 Africa Leadership Summit in Jerusalem, are, from the left, Franz de Jager Cape Town, Steve Swart MP,  Luise Swart, Olga Meshoe, Dr Emmanuel Mueba, and Bishop Daniel Mueba from the DRC, representing French-speaking countries in Africa.

The Africa-Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC) will be launched at the 2017 Africa Leadership Summit(ALS) in Jerusalem in August, to strengthen business links between the two nations.

The vision for the AICC was birthed at the 2015 ALS and a think-tank team has met several times since to work on the vision, mission, goals, strategy and structure of the chamber, which will be officially launched on the final day of the summit which runs from August 27 to 30, says the Institute of Christian Leadership Development (ICLD), which is hosting the event in partnership with other ministries in South Africa.

African businesses are also invited to participate in a trade and investment mission jointly hosted by the ALS and the Israel Trade Office. B2B meetings between African companies and their Israeli counterparts will be arranged during the summit.

The ALS, which held its first two-yearly meeting in Jerusalem in 2013, brings African leaders from various sectors together to focus on “connecting Africa to God’s way, God’s word and the replicating of the Abrahamic mantle for the discipleship of African nations”, says the ICLD.

“ALS is building a highway to connect every city and sector of society in Africa to Israel. AICC is for the business highway,” says Pastor Olusegun Olanipekun, leader of the ICLD.

A book of petition signatures affirming Jerusalem as the eternal home of the people of Israel and the Christian faith, will be presented to the prime minister of Israel at the opening function to mark the celebration of 50 years of the unification of Jerusalem.

The ALS which will take place at Grand Court Hotel, Jerusalem, will include leadership sessions covering biblical perspectives on the political and economic development of nations and teachings from Messianic believers in Israel. There will also be a prophetic prayer tour of Israel.

More information about the ALS and the AICC / trade mission (registration closes on June 30) are available from als@icld.co.za and aicc@icld.co.za or by calling 012 803 5877. See also www.africa-israelchamber.com




Young PE entrepreneur nailing her goals in style

Nakhane “Rory” Dayile (PHOTO: Ntomboxolo Matiwane)

NMMU third year retail management student Nakhane “Rory” Dayile, 20, is unfolding herself as an innovative, enthusiastic and ambitious entrepreneur.

The young founder of Port Elizabeth nail salon Royal Nails PE says her love for doing nails started with her late mother buying her mini nail kits when she was a child.

As a student at NMMU she found she couldn’t afford to pay R200 or more for a set of nails, and so she decided to teach herself and offer quality nails at reasonable prices to students.

She started her business in her small bachelor flat in Summerstrand. At first she didn’t have a table but after four to five months she moved to a neighbouring house.

“Thank God there was a table and chairs” says Dayile.

She says she enjoys learning new skills and is very independent.

“DIY’s are one of the many things that brought me to this point in my nail career. I always tell myself there’s nothing I can’t do if I put my mind, body and soul into it”, she says.

Over time Dayile kept on adding new nail care supplies, and her business grew from there.

Successful experiences
“I’m not sure which experience I would say is the most successful because I feel that there are those small intimate moments I have with my clients where we can connect and have a great conversation while also satisfying their needs.

“Making my clients happy is always my most successful experience. Additionally, being on BayTv for Youth in Business and being nominated as ‘Entrepreneur of the Month’ by Enactus were unbelievable moments too.

“My only recipe for making my business a success is to always ‘rise and grind’.

“No matter what I’ve told myself this is what I want and I’m willing to fight for it. I always push myself to do better and always educate myself about the nail industry and what’s trending,” she says.

Dayile says she balances her business appointments with her university commitments, working very flexible hours.

Engagement in her business
She says her clients get to relax from their busy schedules and gain flawless nails at the same time.

“Also, I offer very unique nails aligned with the individual’s wants and needs, which will make them stand out from everyone and most importantly make them feel like a queen.

“Royal Nails PE is definitely going to expand in the near future. However, for now you can expect some collaborations, more treatments on the price list (full pedicures and massages) and also Royal Nails’ own bottle of cuticle oil.”

Gratitude
“God has been my guide, protector and  blesser. My business has grown because of the strength and love He has given me through my clients. I am grateful every day that I am able to wake up and do what I love and most importantly, love what I do. Thank you God of nails and of everything,” she says.

Looking further ahead, Dayile says: “I see RN being a global phenomenon, providing nail services to celebrities for red carpet events.

“The main objective is to open up a nail and beauty school where women and men from disadvantaged backgrounds can be taught this amazing skill. By teaching them, we can open doors for employment for them and/or they can even start up their own business.

“Empowering women and the youth in general and motivating them to reach their full potential is another goal. Lastly, having my own range of nail products (e.g. nail polish, gel polish, hand and body scrubs hand and nail creams, etc.), that are not harmful to the environment and to the individual.”

Word of encouragement
In a word of encouragement to young entrepreneurs, she says: “Never give up on your business or passion. I treat my business like a baby (who’s turning one year old in two weeks by the way), by nurturing my ideas, feeding my mind with new nail trends, information and then practicing in order to meet clients’ needs and wants. Another thing is to take care of yourself so that you can be able to take care and grow the business.

“Lastly, believe in yourself and never let anyone tell you, you can’t do anything.”

More information about Royal Nails PE is available on Facebook (Royal Nails PE), Instagram (@royalnailspe) and by emailing royalnailssa@gmail.com




Global Leadership Summit announces 2017 speakers

MMACULÉE ILIBAGIZA

Immaculée Ilibagiza.

The Global Leadership Summit has announced its lineup of speakers for this year’s GLS which is being hosted at 20 venues in South Africa in October and November — and as usual it includes influential business, justice and Christian leaders.

Internet giants Facebook and Google will be represented, respectively by Cheryl Sandberg chief operations officer of Facebook and best-selling author of Lean In and Lazlo Bock senior adviser to Google and best-selling author of Work Rules!

Top business consultants include Juliet Funt CEO of Whitespace at Work, sought-after business creativity expert Fredrik Härén, and Marcus Lemonis star of CNBC’s The Profit and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam, who has invested R540-million of his own in helping small businesses.

Also on the panel are Bryan Stevenson founder and director of Equal Justice Initiative and dedicated campaigner for the poor, and Gary Haugen founder and CEO of International Justice Mission, a worldwide agency rescuing victims of violence, exploitation, slavery and oppression.

And originating from Africa is Immaculée Ilibagiza, a survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, author and one of the world’s leading speakers on faith, hope and forgiveness.

Pastor Andy Stanley leadership author, speaker and founder of North Point Ministries and, of course, GLS visionary and leadership mentor Pastor Bill Hybels, senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church complete the 2017 faculty.

“You have seen what happens when bad leaders are in control. What our country needs desperately is a new breed of unashamedly ethical leaders who make a difference. Leaders who are talented, highly skilled and equipped for their positions of power and influence.

“We need to pour more resources and energy behind developing the next generation of leaders,” says Willow Creek SA who oversee the on-screen SA leg of the leadership conference which is being staged at 1375 venues in 128 countries.

More information about the SA venues, dates and speakers can be found at www.willowcreeksa.co.za/gls-2017/ and you can register for the GLS at www.willowsaonline.co.za with early bird rates available if you sign up before April 30.




The hope and future of economic transformation on the African continent

patrick-kCEO of Crossover Transformation Group and transformational entrepreneur Patrick Kuwana identifies core identity issues that keep Africa from harnessing its amazing human and economic potential — and points the way to healing. This message which he presented at the global Christian Economic Forum in Durban earlier this year was recognised as the best white paper of the conference

Africa has been blessed with an abundance of natural resources, arguably more than any other continent. Why, then, does it still continue to be the “begging bowl” of the world? What is the economic hope and future of our beloved continent and its people?

Much of Africa’s natural resources remain undiscovered or barely harnessed. For a long period of time Africa was colonised mainly as a means to exploit the continent’s resources. Even today, many suggest that numerous Western nations, in addition to emerging economic powerhouses like China, continue to exploit Africa’s natural resources. The result is that most of the value and money from the resources go elsewhere, which further fuels the cycle of poverty in Africa.

Why do we as Africans seem unable to convert this God-given abundance into prosperity that will benefit all Africans and lift the entire continent from the generational trap of systemic poverty?

For centuries Africa was called the “Dark Continent” and the African people believed it.

The African identity crisis
The collective people of Africa have for centuries suffered from a negative self-identity. For centuries Africa was called the “Dark Continent” and the African people believed it. The destructive leadership traits of corruption, self-enrichment, dictatorship, and nepotism are all just the fruit of this identity crisis. While Africa lost a lot of natural resources under colonialism, the biggest loss was the people’s dignity, respect, and self-worth.

Development of this self-identity
Colonialism effectively told indigenous Africans they were not fit to rule themselves–that outside people were needed to govern them and bring order. In some instances indigenous African people were told they were second-class citizens.

The result of this is that many indigenous Africans (even those who have given their lives to the Lord) still believe God sees them as less important than others. Thus they struggle with the idea of a relational God who loves all people–of all races–equally. This is why dual worship (ancestoral and God) is very prevalent on the continent.

Their thinking is that “Jesus is the ‘ticket’ to the afterlife but ancestors look after us here on earth. Otherwise why would a God who loves us condemn us to generational mistreatment like this?” This is a question many Africans across multiple generations have asked and continue to ask.

The sad reality is that the majority of the nearly 420 million professing Christians on the African continent still believe that God (Jesus) is relevant for eternal life after they die but has little or no bearing on their lives here on earth.

The sad reality is that the majority of the nearly 420 million professing Christians on the African continent still believe that God (Jesus) is relevant for eternal life after they die but has little or no bearing on their lives here on earth.

Slave trade further robbed Africans of their dignity and identity. It confirmed to the Africans they were nothing more than labourers for those who brought “God” to them. The demonic system of apartheid did the same in South Africa. Africa has only broken free from colonial rule during the past 20-60 years. Thus the “voice” labelling indigenous Africans as inferior is still very fresh in the minds of current generations.

The dependency syndrome
For centuries we were told by colonial powers that we were incapable of doing things ourselves. Thus colonial masters needed to provide for us–they would rule, control the means of production, and develop the economic resources.

Consequently indigenous African people were left as consumers in a “pre-determined market environment” with absolutely no experience as producers. Is it therefore any surprise that this mindset that was forced upon us for centuries and through generations continues today?

Workers rather than leaders
For centuries the spirit of leadership in Africa has been suppressed. Perhaps it is better to say it was killed because the systems of education, government, and the economy during colonial rule did not encourage (and often harshly suppressed) leadership from the indigenous people.

The colonial systems never wanted indigenous Africans to be leaders. Instead, Africans were to aspire to be good workers or at best managers of their own people. Certainly they were to be no more than followers who would never question authority and would mechanically follow the instructions given to them.

The colonial powers just wanted to create a good labour force from Africans; not owners or direct beneficiaries of capital or economic assets. Sadly, most of the education systems in Africa still carry this legacy. So the continent continues to produce workers and followers rather than owners of economic production and leaders.

In addition, the economic systems still operating in Africa were never designed and built to create wealth in Africa for Africans. These systems have to be dismantled and rebuilt.

An Esau spirit over Africa
This consumer-based behaviour resulting from a failure to understand true identity and inheritance has happened before. It was seen in the life of Esau, as recorded in Genesis 25:29-34, when he sold his birthright for a meal. This same spirit prevails in Africa. In the past it has kept most indigenous Africans from seeing the value of their God-given inheritance.

Thus they gave away their vast, valuable resources to others for next to nothing. Even today we see the Chinese taking the resources of Africa for almost nothing as those in positions of authority trade them for “bowls of soup.”

When a people group does not believe they have an inheritance they will not value it. They will be prone to destroy it or give it away.

Unfortunately the transition from colonialism/apartheid to democracy has not resulted in a corresponding shift in mindset in which indigenous Africans see themselves as “owners of an inheritance.”

Political freedom fighters versus transformational leaders
Most of the leaders who have come to power in Africa over the last 59 years have taken over nations based on their credentials as political freedom fighters. They have no leadership skills in inclusive nation building.

The unfortunate reality is that most continue to run their countries using the same “rejection-exclusion based” systems and methodologies used by the colonial regimes. These systems were never designed to be inclusive nor to foster continental unity. They were never intended to create an economy of scale to better compete on the global economic stage.

We must introduce a real transformational leadership training process across Africa so the spirit of leadership that has been suppressed for centuries can be rebirthed.

We must introduce a real transformational leadership training process across Africa so the spirit of leadership that has been suppressed for centuries can be rebirthed. This is the only way the foundational systems (economic, governmental and educational) on the continent can be overhauled.

It is the only way a new platform of African unity can be established. Only when this happens will the vast collective resources on the continent start to serve the interests of all people of Africa.

The death of innovation and creativity
The suppression of the spirit of leadership in Africa has also resulted in the death of innovation, creativity, and a problem-solving mindset. When a people group has been taught for centuries to be subjective followers, it kills their ability to use the creativity and innovation God has given them. This is another critical area in Africa that will be reactivated as the spirit of true leadership is reignited within the African people.

Five Goliaths taunting Africa
The loss of true identity in Africa has led to five primary strongholds of the mind that hold the people in captivity: worthlessness, fatherlessness, poverty, racial and ethnic division, and corruption.

These deeply conditioned strongholds influence most of the decision making processes in Africa. They are challenges that must be addressed at a root level before Africa can move forward. As Africans we need to intentionally deal with these five Goliaths for our continent to overcome its generational mind-based captivity.

Skeletons in the cupboard
Even many influential leaders who have the potential to bring transformational change to their nations struggle to harness their full leadership potential. This is because of historical “skeletons in the cupboard”–past corruption, unrighteous decisions, and so forth.

Leaders have not addressed these skeletons because they don’t have the practical tools to deal with them. Thus they feel trapped in their country’s history. And they are condemned by others because of this history.

As a result, many feel bound to the same past behaviour. They assume they don’t have a channel to help them overcome those failures or to give them the freedom to drive a transformation agenda on the continent.

I believe the biggest constraint many leaders in Africa (including presidents of nations) face is that they are “chained” (through guilt, shame, and fear) to their past failures. This makes it difficult for them to move forward into a new paradigm of ethical accountability and service.

This is an area we must intentionally address. By providing solutions this could be an essential channel by which “trapped” leaders experience the “freedom” that only comes through the power of the truth.

Let us always remember that “there is always one more thing about a person’s life we know nothing about.” This factual statement should make us reconsider our level of intervention.

It should also move us from an attitude of being completely critical and condemning to an attitude of seeking to help those who have “lost their way” when it comes to leadership on the continent.

Blaming others for where Africa is today will not help. We as Africans need to take hold of our future and co-create it. We need to focus on rebuilding, but we have to do it God’s way.

Healing of the land = Healing of economies
Blaming others for where Africa is today will not help. We as Africans need to take hold of our future and co-create it. We need to focus on rebuilding, but we have to do it God’s way.

For this to happen we have to follow the prescription found in 2 Chronicles 7:14: humble ourselves (admit we have missed God’s mark), pray (be reconciled to God), seek God’s face (His wisdom and His ways), and turn away from our wicked ways (leave sin behind and chase after God).

Then God will hear the prayers from Africa, forgive Africa, and heal the land (economies of Africa). We have to offer ourselves as living sacrifices and renew our minds (Romans 12:1-2). We have to fast, not as we think but as the Lord commands as described in Isaiah 58. We have to re-establish covenant with God as a continent (Exodus 6:7; Jeremiah 30:22; 2 Corinthians 6:16).

We then need to work–in some areas to pull down and in other areas to rebuild (Jeremiah 1:10).




International investors visit SA to boost Kingdom-minded businesses

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Members of the B4T international investor team (from left), Gene Short, Ron Begbie and Don Miller meeting workers at a PE cattle farming operation. Other businesses they assessed included a sheepskin slipper manufacturers, a honey producer and a media venture.

Over the past week an international team of Christian investors has been in South Africa looking for businesses that are viable and have the potential to make a significant impact for the kingdom of God.

First SA investor trip
The first South African investor trip under the auspices of Business 4 Transformation (B4T) is the culmination of two to three years work says B4T developer Jeremy Sieberhagen who oversaw the identification and pre-screening of businesses to be assessed by the B4T investor team.

Speaking at the end of the Port Elizabeth leg of the trip in which the investors from the United States of America and Johannesburg evaluated five local entrepreneurs, Sieberhagen said the investors were very impressed with what they had found from both a business and Kingdom impact perspective.

“It seems like we are going to have a very successful take-up of these business opportunities by the investors. So we are thrilled that it is going to be a very successful first trip.”

From PE the investors flew to Cape Town to meet up with three more entrepreneurs.

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B4T investors, from the left, Jimmy Dowsley and David Tomlinson and B4T developer Jeremy Sieberhagen, on a recce in PE.

Sieberhagen, who completed a business degree at Rhodes University before going into the mission field in Central Asia for 20 years, says he has always had a “combined passion for missionary church planting and business”. In Central Asia he got involved in several business projects to uplift poor people. When he returned to PE he was already on the global leadership team of the B4T movement which had been recently established by Operation Mobilisation (OM) and he immediately set about raising up local entrepreneurs that he could introduce to an investor team.

His goal is to bring an investor team to SA annually.

Gene Short, a B4T investor from Dallas, Texas, agrees that Jeremy and his team have done a great job of finding and evaluating candidates for investment support.

Outstanding entrepreneurs
“I personally look for people who have a demonstrated skill in running a business (which means they can be sustainable and can create jobs) and they have a passion for the Kingdom and seeing people coming to Jesus. We found these criteria met in three guys here. That to me is outstanding. You don’t find these guys that often. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.”

Short whose 40 year business career included 20 years in the international business consulting field focusing on business performance, says the B4T investors support suitable entrepreneurs through business consulting and by investing to provide working capital needed to grow their businesses. They also assist them with increasing their Kingdom impact – “which is what really excites me”.

Short, who has been married for 52 years, says that he and his wife accompanied a missionary to Haiti in 1978 and both felt it was something they would like to do permanently. He kept on praying about it but God did not open a door until he retired in 2004 and he received a phone call from a missionary organisation looking for help with strategic planning. Since then he has become more and more involved in mission work. First he worked for mission organisations but for the past two years he has been freelancing, focusing on his passion of promoting business as mission. He has done much work in North and East Africa and the Middle East.The biggest barrier he sees around the world preventing people in business from using their businesses to advance the Kingdom is the sacred-secular divide mindset in which people think they are sacred on Sundays but not during the rest of the week. “Well, Muslims don’t think that. They are what they are every day. We need to help Christian believers in business to be who they are every day and that takes walking with them,” he says.

A South African member of the B4T investor team, Jimmy Dowsley, of Johannesburg, says he became a Christian five years ago after noticing the change in the life of his eldest daughter after she started to follow Jesus. Within a month of retiring from the mining industry three or four years ago he was invited to a breakfast where he heard Jeremy share his vision for B4T.

Idea of work being mission resonated with him
“It resonated with me, the idea of work being mission. Work is where you can demonstrate the love of God and the principles of Christianity daily. I felt it [B4T] was something I would want to get behind and so I agreed to get together an investors circle in Johannesburg of people who might be interested.”

Dowsley has been on a B4T investors trip to Pakistan and on the current SA trip.

During his mining industry career he was involved in an investor environment. “I think God confronted me about my lifestyle and how I can use my set of skills in retirement for a much better cause,” he says.

He says that as B4T investors they look at the bankability of a business and the kingdom impact it might have. “It is a business relationship. It is not philanthropy. It is a loan or an equity stake with a view that if the business is sound and well the kingdom impact will also be sound and well.”