Onno Weststrate – Netherlands
This will be my last blog about my journey in life and in particular about setting up a business in Romania and my heart for Eastern Europe.
After my recovery from cancer I was ready to go full steam with our business in Romania. However, I was to face another challenge – this time from our one and only customer who we had at that time. Many of you may remember the 2008 financial crisis that crashed global economies. The knock-on effect of this hit our customer badly and so they called to inform me that their orders were drying up and so in a few months time, there would be zero orders for us. So Lord, what to do now?
I had no other option then to go back to God and to pray and I reminded Him that I was following what He put on my heart many years ago. From then on – slowly but steadily – we started to get work from other customers and within a few years’ time we had grown from 5 employees to about 20-25 employees. The work was challenging as we did many things for the first time but somehow we managed to stay in business.
Cash was very tight for a long period but then in 2010 we were given the opportunity to get involved in a contract for the automotive industry that our parent company (Turbocam in the US) and our facility in India had been working on and from that time, things really took off.
At the same time more customers were being added and so more work was coming in. We started to hire more people and invest in more and better equipment. We grew so much that we started to fill up all the empty buildings that were available around us. In addition to what we had in Tirgu Mures we started another company (30 minutes drive away) for metal treatment and also a mission project – a wood working business (Recycle Art) with a vision to employ disadvantaged people.
At point of writing we have approximately 125 staff with 3 companies and we are still growing. Our goal right from the beginning was to bless the nation of Romania by generating employment for local people. And we are doing this.
Looking back it has been an amazing journey:
- setting up a facility in a country that I hardly knew;
- trusting God for the finances to come through and for the right staff to hire;
- work and contracts to come in, in large volumes;
It is still challenging to operate a business with Christian principles in Romania but we have seen that God is good and that whatever we undertake in His name, will be blessed.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. (Proverbs 16:3)