It was 2010 and five of us sat with Rahil in Central Asia and listened to his story. Rahil was a Muslim stonemason and met Jesus during his time working in Russia. He came home and became the most effective Church Planter in the country. Then disaster struck – a recession! The company he was working for went out of business. He went to his friend who was a mission leader and laid out the issue. “I think I am going to have to get a labouring job 6 or 7 days a week and 12 hours a day, in order to support my family. That will leave me no time or energy for anything else”.
The mission leader suggested business, but Rahil replied, “I am a stone mason and not a businessman.” He then began to explore with Rahil what he had in his hands as a start. He replied, “My brother and I own land out in our village. We know sheep because we looked after them as boys. We only have one sheep and you can’t really build a business with just one.”
So they sat down and began to work backwards from how much he and his brother needed to live on and how large the flock would have to be. They ended up with a business plan that involved the purchase of 50 pregnant sheep. They would sell the lambs, produce milk for a year and then get the sheep pregnant again. Total capital needed around US$5,000.
David, who was with us on the trip, said, “I love this guy and what he wants to do. I would be delighted to invest $5,000 in his business.” And so it happened. As he left the country David said, “That was the best investment I have ever made.” Three years later the loan was fully repaid with interest and Rahil and his brother still had 50 pregnant sheep. The brother looked after the sheep and Rahil, in his new role as a businessman, sold the product and visited many with the Good News of Jesus.
Last month, 7 years later, I visited Central Asia again and in a conversation with a friend asked, on the off chance, if they had ever heard of Rahil. “Oh yes!” came the reply “We call him the Apostle Paul of this country! He and his sons are opening a new restaurant here in the capital”
Kingdom Business strikes again. What an impact.