I’m encouraged by the growing movement to use business as a way to gain access to unreached parts of the world. For many businessmen and women, the 10/40 Window (that geographic area where most non-Christians reside) is a wide open door. This is from Discovering the Mission of God – Supplement by Mike Barnett & Robin Martin:
“Paul, from whom we derive the word tentmaker (Acts 18:2–3), learned the value of using business to bring blessing to the community. For the same reasons that Paul struggled to stay in Pisidian Antioch and Thessalonica, today’s missionary tentmakers are learning that Muslim and Hindu communities welcome them only when they have something of value to offer. From a Muslim’s perspective, missionaries—unlike teachers or businesspeople—add nothing of value to the local religion and culture. In fact, missionaries are often viewed as subversives who seek to undermine the religion and culture of their forefathers.
Twenty percent of the world’s population lives in Muslim countries, yet only four percent of world trade comes from these countries. When countries don’t make things anyone else wants to buy, they trade less. Less trade means less exchange of ideas and openness to the world. The most open, tolerant cities in the Muslim world today are its trading centers: Bahrain, Beirut, Dubai, Istanbul, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. Author and journalist Thomas Friedman writes, ‘If we’ve learned one thing since 9/11, it’s that terrorism is not produced by the poverty of money. It’s produced by the poverty of dignity. It is about young middle-class Arabs and Muslims feeling trapped in countries with too few good jobs and too few opportunities to realize their potential or shape their own future—and blaming America for it. We have to break that cycle.’”