4.5 years ago, the executive team of PacMoore commissioned me to move to Nepal to learn how we could make a positive difference for the people of this country through business and by our Christian values guiding us along the journey. During my time in Nepal, I’ve received death threats, encountered the evil effects of human trafficking, experienced major earthquakes that devastated both the cities and countryside of Nepal, observed the negative impact of aid when not distributed wisely, and witnessed the negative effect of a society whose government and business climate are outwardly and inwardly corrupt. I also experienced the powerful connections that learning a new language can build and the wondrous power that hope holds for people who never give up.
PacMoore sent me by myself to a country that I was adopted from when I was 4 years old. I am grateful for the opportunity to have made an impact in my birth country and want to share some lessons or nuggets of wisdom. I hope this can help guide someone who desires to expand their business overseas, feels called to work in marketplace ministry, or desires to help those in the developing world in a more impactful way than what has been accomplished in the last 50 years.
What is transformation?
Business can be transformational. Transformation isn’t limited to new technology or making things easier through better services. Business can be one of the methods that people use to dig themselves out of a cycle of poverty, discrimination, and/or societal and family marginalization. It can also introduce them into a world of opportunities. It’s time we shift our businesses, churches and organizations away from aid and handouts and towards encouraging people’s skill sets, creating more jobs instead of more fundraising, and bringing dignity through work.
Another lesson I’ve learned during my time in Nepal is that relationships matter. Those of us in business especially know this to be true. However, relationships or networks aren’t so easily understood in non-western countries. Global companies tend to minimize the time they spend with those overseas due to the costs associated with traveling. However, it pays in the long run to invest in global relationships. While living in a developing country for a few years, I’ve seen the negative effect it leaves on the locals when representatives from the private and public sector quickly fly in and out. It’s important to stay for extended times to build relationships with everyone you work with, especially those in another country whose relational rules work differently than your own.
I want to thank Bill Moore, CEO of PacMoore, my boss Scott Pothoven, Global Manager of Employee Development, and everyone at PacMoore for the 4.5 years of continuous support and love I’ve felt while living in Nepal. It’s been an incredible journey and I look forward to what’s next!