Wednesday, January 5, 2011

KOWH Business Teaching: Week 1

Alongside the weekly Bible studies, I prepared six sessions of simple business teaching for the entrepreneurs of Konoweka Orphans and Widows Hut. Because these women are always working to earn money for their children, and because many of the women also make and sell handcrafts, they were very excited to learn business principles to help them improve their livelihood. With just a little help they made the connection between the Bible study and the business teaching and they seemed eager to learn more.

The first week’s teaching was on ethics: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, and care. When asked to define the words, most women struggled to understand. Together we learned about the meaning of these words, we found their principles in Scripture, and we applied their meaning to both personal and business life. One additional step was understanding how we teach our children these principles.

For example, we defined trustworthiness as being honest; not deceiving, cheating, or stealing; being reliable; doing the right thing; and being loyal. We looked at Matthew 22:16, “‘Teacher,’ they said, ‘we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are.” When the women were asked to given an example of someone they trusted the only answer they could give was God. We talked more deeply about why they could or could not trust the other women in the room. We talked about what happens when trust is broken and why it’s so difficult to regain trust. And among other things, we talked about their businesses and how their coworkers or customers would respond to trustworthiness – the benefits and seeming detriments to being trustworthy. We discussed God’s trustworthiness and that he would honor their trustworthiness even when it meant losing a sale.

Next week’s Bible study is about prayer and the business teaching is about finances and tithing. I’m told to expect double the number of women in attendance because they were so happy to receive the teaching they’ll be telling their friends.