Business as Blessing in Uganda

By Zoe Erler, Aug 18, 2014
David Thomas describes himself as “an engineer and business manager kind of guy.”

A director of manufacturing for Beltservice Corporation and an elder from Kirk of the Hills PCA in St. Louis, Thomas joined MTW’s Business As Mission (BAM) director John Tubbesing on a trip to Kampala, Uganda, last year to put his business acumen into practice in an international setting.

Uganda’s economy has far too few Christian businesspeople, while the Muslim and Indian influence in business is growing significantly. That is one reason MTW is helping entrepreneurs who are emerging from a small business incubator run by a Ugandan named Moses Engwau. “Much of the business climate here in Uganda is corrupt,” explained Carolyn Phillips, MTW Uganda missionary. “Many times whatever you order, you expect it to be late and poorly done. Moses has a vision and a dream to see the business climate transformed because the gospel transforms.”

Thomas’ task while in Kampala was to coach these aspiring entrepreneurs and help Tubbesing and other MTW leadership assess the center as a potential BAM venture. Thomas had the opportunity to speak to participants in the 14-week biblicallybased business program, which covers everything from cash flow and marketing strategies to how to use one’s business to edify the kingdom.

Business with a greater purpose
Thomas met Michael, a recent graduate of the program who started a soap company that hires people from the slums. He also met Jalia and Daniel who began a jewelry company that employs single mothers and boys who would otherwise be street children. Jalia and Daniel lead Bible studies with their employees and several former Muslims have come to Christ as a result.

“At its core, Business As Mission helps people provide for themselves, but the ultimate vision is for them to use their businesses for kingdom purposes,” Thomas said.

“[The trip] cemented in my mind that whether you are digging ditches or a leader in a business, it is part of God’s work and you can do it in a manner that blesses the world, your employer, your employees, and your co-workers.”

As a result of Thomas’ trip, MTW Uganda decided to become the financial backer for the business center. The hope is that businesspeople from PCA churches in the U.S. will consider taking weeklong trips to come alongside the Ugandan instructors at the business center and serve as teachers, mentors, and business coaches.

“The exciting thing about this is that it’s Uganda run,” Phillips said. “[But Americans] can bring in an outside perspective with business expertise. This is a developing economy. Coming from a developed economy, we can really help.”

Are you a businessperson with a heart for missions? Use your business experience to mentor young entrepreneurs around the world! Visit or email [email protected].

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Pray for Christian businessmen and women making a difference through the Business Development Center in Kampala, Uganda.

Pray for BAM efforts in Uganda. BAM helps people provide for themselves, but the ultimate vision is for them to use their businesses for kingdom purposes.

Pray for national believers taking on growing leadership roles in Uganda. 

Pray for the Church in Africa to deepen and for African believers to live holy lives in accordance with God's Word.  

Give thanks for the new growth in Kampala as a Bible study multiplies and the church grows. 

Pray for the South Sudanese church that has formed in Uganda from refugees who have fled their homeland.

Pray for MTW's ministry to refugees in Greece, Germany, Ukraine, Uganda, Panama, and the U.S.

Pray for our ministries in Africa, where many have come to expect broken systems and corruption. Pray that God would intervene and change hearts that would change communities.

Pray for Rev. James Bab and the South Sudanese refugee church in Uganda, that they'll be strengthened spiritually while living as refugees, and be able to be reunited with their families.

Pray for women of the Mama Vao Vao sewing business in Madagascar. It's helping keep Sakalava women out of prostitution and introducing them to Christ. 


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