The Business Of Mission #4: Big Changes – Big Questions

Aug 31, 2021 | The Business of Mission | 0 comments

The Business Of Mission #4: Big Changes – Big Questions

Onno Weststrate

In my previous blog I talked about the process that I was going through in my life – enjoying the job I was pouring my life into whilst at the same time becoming more and more aware of the change that God was unveiling to me.
In 1998 , I was given the opportunity to move to Singapore with my family to work for our marine gear repair division. It was a dream job and I was so excited and convinced that this was our next step that when we visited Singapore with the family I actively started looking at schools and housing. In response, my wife Diana said that if it was in God’s plan she was happy to follow, but was it?

How much of this was my own desire and how much was it God’s plan for our lives?

We prayed about it and submitted our ideas and plans to our elders for them to weigh but with the understanding that at the end of the day we would have to make our own decision.

Was this new opportunity in line with what God had put into my heart – using my talents to set up small scale businesses in deprived locations and supporting local Christian to make a living?

The honest answer was No; but it did take some time, letting this whole idea go. I remember that this decision was hard for me. Sometimes in following God, your mind can become misted by your own desires and so I had to learn to give up my desires and to listen for His voice – that was tough, very tough and I struggled to let go of this opportunity. But looking back now, I can see that it was the right decision. God was at work in me, moulding me, getting me ready.

A short time later, I met Marian Noronha at a bible week in the UK. Marian – a Christian business owner and entrepreneur who I’d already met a few times at trade shows – asked me to come and work for him. I remember him asking me if it was time for me to leave my current job? His company Turbocam was (and still is) operating in the same industry that I was working in – turbo-machinery. I was interested, but I told Marian I needed more clarity from God so that I could better understand the direction that I needed to go in.

It was obvious that I had to leave my current job but was this new opportunity with Turbocam my next step?

In February 1999, I visited Turbocam in Dover, New Hampshire in the US at the end of a business trip I had in the New York area. The atmosphere in the company was warm and welcoming but making a decision about my current job was still hard for me. I told Marian that before making my decision, I first wanted to take a trip to South Africa to visit a couple of small business projects, set up through the church. I wanted to see small scale Christian businesses in action. I wanted to see it with my own eyes and to hear the stories of impact for local people.

And so in March 1999, Diana and I visited Cape Town and Pietermaritzburg to see a number of projects that had been started by a local church to generate income for local entrepreneurs. It was clear that this was not an easy thing to do and we learned then that to be involved in work like this, you need to be in it for the long haul, if you are going to be in it at all.

Was this something that I should be involved in and if so, how and when?

Diana and I returned home, knowing that it was time to make a decision.


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