Having a long-term perspective in this ministry is critical. It takes time to build relationships and networks, and then see how the Lord brings these pieces together. This has been demonstrated so clearly through the story of David Harmony, a young entrepreneur in the food and beverage industry, who, after studying and working in Dubai and Bermuda, had returned to Myanmar in 2013. He was running a successful business in travel and tourism; however he still dreamed of opening his own restaurant.
He was being mentored by Yean and Khoon, a couple from Kuala Lampur, whom I towards the end of 2013. They had been training leaders in Yangon since 2007, and one of the young promising leaders they were coaching was David. They introduced him to me around the same time and asked me to mentor him. David and I met soon after this, and he mentioned that his desire was to start a restaurant and eventually a hotel in Bago where a new airport is opening in 2022, and so we went and scouted that city but quickly concluded that this was a dream beyond our reach. I was impressed by him but his project sounded too big for B4T.
Networks However, through another contact, Dr Saw Ivan, I had met Ko Ye, the owner of two restaurants in Bago, which David & I had visited in January. In early September 2014, Ko Ye called me to see if I would know of anyone interested to buy his restaurants as he was short of cash, and so I arranged a meeting with all parties in September 2014.
The negotiations on how David and his two partners could take over Ko Yeís restaurants were bumpy; finally, however, an agreement was reached and David and his team now run the highly successful Hanthawaddy Restaurant in Bago
More opportunities From the beginning, Yean & Khoonís dream has been to create jobs in Yangon, and one of their ideas was to get David to start a training school which will give potential students theoretical training and then use Davidís restaurants and others to give practical experience. The students who excel could be funded and mentored by B4T; and so David was given seed money by Yean & Khoon in March 2015 to build a training centre in Insein on an existing plot where his relatives lived.
Dreams become reality
New Training Centre shell has just been completed; at present, there are no appliances or furniture, and it will take another year to get the place fully functional. In the meantime, a catering business will be started and teachers will be recruited. Please pray that all the resources will be in place by 2017 end
A Fruitful Partnership Itís been an incredible partnership between the four of us; over the time David has been able to get Bago restaurant, his own home and the training centre up and running; Yean and Khoonís dream is becoming a reality. I continue to mentor David, hopefully towards greater heights. God has blessed the work of our hands and we are so grateful.