Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Contextually, the verse is speaking about rejecting the law of the Lord, the knowledge of God’s word. As Christians, we have often used this verse to illustrate that God wants us to have knowledge and understanding of both his word and how things work in the world, so that we do not perish. Knowing the way of the word and the justice of your God (Jeremiah 5:4) is important to not being a fool. As we were driving to one of the rural churches we serve in Ghana, our discussion focused on a lack of knowledge and the ability to provide for your family. Saturday night, we discussed this before another rural congregation who wants to provide, but may not know how.
In Ghana, there are merchants everywhere. The streets are lined with merchants. Some sell used tires, others used household appliances, others cloth, and the list goes on and on. Everybody is a merchant. The sit in front of their containers-converted-to-shops all day long, waiting for customers. You can buy anything. Some of it might even work. The sales for these kinds of businesses are very slim. The profit margins are also very slim. These people are hard workers. And they are intelligent. But few have educations. Many only speak their tribal language. They are buying and selling just trying to make that small, small profit that will put food on the table. There is tremendous poverty. Many sleep in the streets, which may be dirt.
Out business seminar Saturday night was an attempt to educate, to open eyes, to dream a little about how to set up a mission-oriented business. We talked about how instead of just accepting an idea of selling something, actually provide a product or service that has a purpose. We discussed how God has made each person unique and how they have a dream, a passion within, to do their part for the Kingdom. Wouldn’t it make sense to have a business that serves people and gives an opportunity for testament of the gospel. We gave examples of being intentional about your business. In speaking with this group, I saw many of them “lighting” up with ideas. My son, Christian, informed them about the legal aspects of starting a business.
Another entrepreneur talked about business ideas that provide clean water, dried fruit, juice processing and many more. There were several questions and like most everything in this country, the seminar ran very late. Point is, people do perish for a lack of knowledge. Sometimes just sharing information that is very basic to you, can open an entire new world for others. As we left the congregation that night, there were many who expressed their excitement that they had been enlightened to a new approach. Now, like with any discipling, there needs to be follow up. The pastor of this small congregation will work closely with those who spoke to assist and facilitate the best of these ideas. Some things that seem so simple to us, are complex to others. It’s not about a lack of intelligence, it’s about a lack of knowledge.