The Testimony and Insights of Powerhouse Business Couple Peter and Jaime Teong
Can one be a missionary and a businessman at the same time?
“If you have been trained by the Lord all these years to be a king in the marketplace, to be a priest in the marketplace, [then] walk with our brothers to the nations,” encouraged Peter Teong, a successful Singaporean businessman.
One Voice Magazine had the privilege to interview Peter and his wife, Jaime Teong. They are specialists on human resource and have businesses catering to Management Consultations, Work Place Education, and Investment & Financial services. They’ve conducted numerous financial advisories and training for entrepreneurs in their career. Being in the marketplace for nearly two decades, they saw how God used business as a powerful instrument—especially for missions to the world.
“Wisdom tells us how to rethink, reach out and go disciple nations,” Peter continued. “For that matter, if you understand evangelism in [closed countries], you do not share questions [regarding others’ religions], you answer their questions regarding your belief.”
The 62 year old man looks at us with urgency in his bright, wise eyes. “ We have to do things that [will cause others] to be surprised, to be blessed, so that they will ask, ‘Why do you do this? Who is this god that you worship?’”
A Christian businessman who holds authority in the secular realm, Peter Teong makes his message clear: When we do our business excellently and with integrity to bless society, people will be drawn to us, and they will be drawn to Jesus.
“Business is a transformation tool,” he said.
The State of “Traditional” Missionary Work
Peter and Jaime Teong have had their feet journeying from the confines of offices and into countries like China, East Timor, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Africa, and some Middle Eastern nations where Christians are the minority. They noted that missionaries who come out from these nations ran into common problems.
“[When they go out],” Peter explained, “They have no passport, no visa, no finances. It can take the full wages of 3 pastors to sustain a missionary couple for a month!”
The missionary-sending churches in these areas work underground and often lack finances as a result.
God’s Word on Business
Business—in its redeemed form—is a tool God designed to expand His Kingdom. “Missionary work is like an arrow,” Peter explained.
The businessmen are the arrowhead, spearheading into marketplaces and financing God’s work. The pastors are the shaft, holding steady foundation for evangelism. The tail feathers of the arrows are the intercessors, the people who catch the wind of the Spirit and pray in accordance to His will. In the “traditional” approach of missionary work, the church worker often relies heavily on support systems, which is challenging since financial resources are not consistently stable.
“Business [was meant to be] a wellspring to bless others. A real business digs a well and [out] springs up water. It blesses the missionary, their family….it blesses [the] people who work under them. It blesses the community, the taxes you pay.”
True business was meant to bless the whole society.
There Will Be an Astounding Spread of the Gospel through Business
The world is about to come face-to-face with an influx of new opportunities for entrepreneurship. For example, recent developments in China include their “Belt and Road Initiative” which will encompass Chinese ports around key countries in Asia such as Pakistan, India, and other Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia. China’s Maritime Silk Route is on the works as trade expansion rises. This ambitious project seeks to increase China’s global influence through improving transcontinental connectivity, while ideally boosting the third-world countries’ economies and reducing poverty rates.*
What seems like a mere opportunity to increase worldly wealth will actually be a highway for the gospel to spread from the East to the West, and even back to Israel.
Revival is coming in this drastic, new form.
New jobs will open in the near future. Opportunities for managerial positions, sales, enterprise, technology, language, and education will be coveted by many, and by God’s grace, be occupied by Kingdom-minded people. “Missionaries” will be prohibited to work as “missionaries” in these places, but “Businessmen” will be welcomed and even celebrated. If businessmen took up the mantle of a missionary, and if missionaries embraced the avenue that business provides, revival will swell in the midst of closed countries like a tidal wave.
The church without walls is rising. It is the time for Christians in the marketplace to awaken and to carry the gospel to unreached places.
A Singaporean Chinese himself, Peter Teong urges his fellow Chinese brethren in free countries to take their positions and to seize the opportunity springing up before them.
“That is what I want to say to all the Christian Chinese in the free world,” he said, the resolve in his voice unwavering. “We are in the last push into the Kingdom.”
Read PART 2 of this article next week, when we release Jaime Teong’s thoughts on business and missions.