Sri Lanka is a country on the rebound in every way. Just a few years ago, the nation endured a bloody civil war with the Tamil Tigers. In the midst of this rebound, the message of Christ has brought hope to many people, lifting them out of the hopeless grip of despair and poverty.
Recently, Global Advance had the privilege of hosting several amazing men of God who represent thousands of churches in Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan.
The same week that I was with these amazing Kingdom leaders, I also met a local Kingdom leader. He happened to be the owner of the hotel we were staying at. His name was Presantha. One of the men with whom we had convened knew my heart for marketplace leaders. He told me, “You must meet my friend Presantha!”.
I love meeting Christian business leaders like Presantha. They are so vital to developing countries like Sri Lanka. Believers in the marketplace play a key role in battling corruption, creating jobs and generating resources to help others.
We sat down in his office and he began to share his story. Presantha is a young man in his middle 30s. In his 20s, he had developed a software company that became very successful. He was prospering at every level and his company was flourishing. He employed 55 people. Everything he touched seemed to flourish - that is until late 2008.
The U.S. (and global) economic crisis absolutely devastated many businesses in Sri Lanke, and his was one. To top that off, Sri Lanka was in the middle of a civil war with the Tamil Tigers. Overnight, the work orders stopped. Presantha found his company bleeding cash, and with no income, he began to drain his personal savings just to try to keep things going. The banks gave Presantha three months to work it out. The end of 90 days came quickly with things at their very worst. Presantha had no options and no income. He had done all he could to keep his staff employed. Now he was facing almost certain bankruptcy.
He left his office at midday and went to his home. Presantha got on his knees and cried out to God. “God I need you to move.” These were the only words he could express in his desperation. He returned to his office that afternoon and there was one email in his inbox.
The email message was from a new company in Canada. They wanted a huge amount of work! This company from Canada ended up providing all the revenue needed to keep Presantha’s business going.
After about a year of doing business together, Presantha decided to personally fly to Canada to thank the business owner for all of their work orders. This company was in the middle of nowhere in Sachashewan. The Canadian owner met with Presantha over a meal on Saturday night. Presantha thanked him for their business. “I want you to know that the amount of business you have given us has blessed more than 50 families in Sri Lanka. They were able to keep their jobs, and the company has been able to bless them.”
The Canadian business owner began to share with Presantha. “I have always had a heart for Sri Lanka, and God told me to help build the nation through working with Sri Lankan businesses. Now I’m guessing you are a Buddhist, but I am a Christian.”
It was at this moment that Presantha stopped him. “I am a Christian, too!” Not only that, they discovered they belonged to the same denomination. Presantha joined him the next day at their church, and together they shared the testimony of what God had done.
God works everything for the good of those who love Him.
This unexpected occurrence gave Presantha the capital needed to move forward with the hotel. Now the hotel is up and running with great success. Presantha is mindful to glorify God through the hotel business. He has weekly meetings with all the staff where he shares biblical principles on integrity, excellence and hard work.
It’s such a joy to meet young creative entrepreneurs like Presantha around the world. God is raising up business people to further his kingdom.
I’m writing a book which will document in greater detail Presantha’s story, as well as the stories of many like him around the world.
Please pray for Global Advance as we encourage and equip Kingdom business leaders throughout the developing world. They are a vital part of fulfilling the great commission.
If you want to be a part of supporting our Marketplace Missions efforts around the, world please contact us.
President, Global Advance