PacMoore’s 13th trip to Africa, Part 1: Ethiopia

Oromia Coffee Farmer’s Cooperative Union.“If you’re looking for an excuse, you will always find one.  If you’re looking for an opportunity, you will always find one.”  I highlighted that quote from Mark Batterson’s book, Chase the Lion, on our flight to Africa earlier this week.  I didn’t realize at the time how prophetic those words would be.  As we have spent the last four days in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia we have felt the extreme tension between those two thought processes.  Every day we faced cultural differences, language barriers, undeveloped infrastructure and countless other obstacles that teased our mind with thoughts of throwing up our hands, walking away and taking the easy way out.  If we wanted an excuse to give up we had plenty to choose from.  Looking back to our plants in Indiana, dry blending, extrusion, spray drying, consumer packaging, developing employees, and all the other demands of running a food contract manufacturing organization do not seem as challenging as they did when we boarded our plane a few days ago.

Abbay Food plant in EthiopiaAbbay Food plant in EthiopiaBut as Mark said in his book, it’s a matter of mindset.  While excuses to walk away may have been abundant here in Addis Ababa, each day we also saw countless opportunities.  Employees who need to feel valued through servant leadership, hungry people that need more nutritious food, a country on the verge of transformation and souls in need of peace that only comes from knowing Jesus.  Our eyes have been open to the opportunities and we have had plenty to choose from.

So which one won out?  Excuses or opportunities?  If you know PacMoore, if you know our president, Bill Moore, if you know why we are now in the midst of our thirteenth trip to Africa then you already know the answer.  Our vision to be passionately focused on growing our people so we can be exceptionally good at feeding the world only leaves us with one way of looking at all that has happened the last four days.  Opportunity!  The reality is the challenges are real and they are sizeable, but as long as God directs us we know they can be overcome and by His grace we will turn opportunities into a vision fulfilled.

Abbay Food plant in Ethiopia  PacMoore in Prayer with Ethiopian Official

For information about each photo, see the captions below in order of appearance.

1: Training for some of the leadership team at Oromia Coffee Farmer’s Cooperative Union.  PacMoore is working with them to expand their export markets.

2, 3 and 4: Abbay Food plant in Ethiopia. Some of PacMoore’s partners plan to buy this food plant and invite PacMoore to train employees, advancing the plant’s quality and practices.

5: Praying with a government official who oversees food programs in his country.

Scott Pothoven

Former Global Director of Leadership Management

Prior to joining PacMoore, Scott was a CFP® and owned a financial planning business working with over 400 clients and small businesses to help manage their financial assets. He holds a B.S. in business from Trinity Christian College.