The Marketplace ministry returned inspired for greater things after the Transform Our World Global Conference.
Contributed By Jeremy Chua
|PHOTO COURTESY OF VICTOR WONG|
In The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, author Malcom Gladwell described a “tipping point” as the threshold wherein sociological change breaks forth. Hardly anywhere else in the world could these many tipping points and sociological changes be seen in one place other than the 20th Annual Transform Our World Global Conference.
Held in Honolulu, Hawaii from Nov. 9 to 14, the conference saw decision makers and change effectors in the realms of education, business and politics receiving an impartation from Ed Silvoso and his ministry. Silvoso has been impacting cities, regions and nations with his message of marketplace transformation.
The Marketplace ministry from City Harvest Church was invited to the conference, and there, they heard for themselves how Christians are transforming the world they live in.
Each day was packed full with activities that inspire as much as they equip and educate. Every morning starts bright and early at 6:30 a.m. with a devotion session, followed by powerful preaching sessions with Silvoso. Attendees also had the opportunity to hear from people all over the world coming to share about the work that God is doing through them. Among the testimonies shared were faith-building stories of the move of God in Newark, New Jersey and Phuket, Thailand.
Newark, New Jersey in the United States was a city plagued with crime, so much so that Money Magazine dubbed her “The Most Dangerous City In America” in 1996. A group of like-minded individuals, church congregations and businesses came together with a burden for their city, and started the PrayForNewark Adopt-A-Street initiative, which saw members interceding for the 900 streets of Newark daily. In the first month of starting this initiative, Newark saw 43 straight homicide-free days; an occurrence not seen for half a century.
Phuket, a tourist destination familiar to many, has also been changed in a great way. Brian Burton, a pastor, was on the streets of Phuket when he encountered a lady who was sick. He prayed for this lady, who was a spiritual medium, and she was healed and saved. She in turn reached out to the mayor of Phuket through an ice cream cart she had purchased, and she brought him to church.
Upon hearing the message on corruption preached by the pastor, the mayor undertook a major upheaval in the system. He went on a mission to eradicate corruption and crime, and spoke to the business community to return the taxes they owed the government, and used the money to help the community. He also addressed an increasing concern of the people, the burgeoning immigrant Burmese community, and came up with solutions that were wholly government-funded. Thanks to these efforts, Phuket was voted the most uncorrupted city, and the mayor the best mayor in the whole of Thailand. The church also grew from 43 people, to over 2,000 people in a span of less than five years.
At the conference, workshops were conducted in the afternoon to equip attendees, and the nightly preaching sessions were held as well. There were also special lunches and dinners where The Marketplace ministry team met pastors and business people transforming their cities.
One such pastor from Chicago started off wanting to empower the black people in his city, believing that Christians should carry the resurrection life of Jesus. His church bought and developed many run-down Chicago malls and now his church is the largest land developer in Chicago.
Many business people The Marketplace ministry met called their companies “kingdom companies” and give up to 51 percent of their profits to God. They discovered that one American business person gave US$400 million over the course of a few years!
Goh Yock Kiang, chairman of The Marketplace, says of this trip, “We realized that the Cultural Mandate is not only about helping people make money and prosper, but also giving them a kingdom mindset.” Goh mentions, “I feel that we should really live our lives to influence the world. Sometimes we think we can’t influence a company, or a city like Singapore, but all these things were accomplished by ordinary people.” He concludes, “This trip was a reminder that we in Singapore mustn’t grow complacent, and we have to keep doing what God has told us to do in the marketplace.”