A business with purpose

written by Simon Marijani

In 1980, South African Francois van Niekerk started an IT company called Infotech with less than $200 USD in capital. After operating for eight months, Infotech ran out of money and faced possible bankruptcy. A client that would bring in enough money to continue running the business said they wanted to place an order but only the next year.

In desperation, Francois made a vow that he would give 30 per cent of the business for the expansion of Christ’s kingdom if God helped him. Years later he reflected that he didn’t know the Lord well when he made the promise but thought God might consider helping Francois if he offered the deal.

The business was indeed saved, and Francois followed through on his impulsive offer to give God 30 per cent of the business, transferring the share holds in a registered trust—the Mergon Foundation Trust.

Today the Mergon Foundation Trust funds over 130 strategic initiatives committed to transforming the lives of people both practically and spiritually as they seek to expand God’s kingdom.

It is through such a commitment that Mergon has supported several projects across Africa and the Middle East. "We believe we are part of His story, and we are merely stewards of what God is doing," said Marnus Klopper, the regional manager of projects in the Sub-Saharan Africa region at Mergon.

Faithful partnership

Melvin Chiombe, director of OM in Africa, said Mergon has provided invaluable support to the expansion of God’s kingdom in Africa. "The Africa Area is a service hub for fourteen fields in Africa. Most of these fields do not have service professionals like accountants, personnel managers, IT and media professionals. Mergon helped us for three straight years while we built our own capacity,” he said.

Melvin explained that Mergon did not stop at supporting the area office but provided for several other projects in different countries.

Through Mergon’s generosity, “we were able to serve all OM fields in Africa, but they continued supporting several of our field work,” Melvin explained.  

As an OM partner, Mergon has helped equip Jesus followers to serve God through successful church planting efforts in Malawi and pioneering work among the Masai people of Tanzania. Further, Mergon continues to contribute funding for transformational work in Madagascar and several pioneering initiatives in North Africa and the Middle East.

“Our vision is to see God’s Kingdom expand, to see the unreached come to faith in Jesus Christ, to see people being discipled into living relationships with God and assimilated into faith communities,” said Marnus. “To this effort we allocate financial and human capital to ministry partners across Africa and the Middle East, enabling them to greater multiply their kingdom impact. Through their efforts, we see true redemptive power of the gospel displayed in a life transformed, a community uplifted, a future intact and an assurance grounded in the unchanging goodness of God.”

South Africa: Beautiful jacaranda trees in Pretoria, South Africa.

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