During the pandemic, many businesses around the world have been forced to close. Some have found creative ways to keep their business afloat. It’s possible that others have even begun to cut corners to survive.
One way for businesses to thrive long-term is to demonstrate rock-solid integrity. There are many shops set up along the road to Hope Haven Rwanda. Some of them choose unethical practices to make more profit. Others have a reputation for consistently being honest. The honest businesses are typically the ones that thrive, even during difficult seasons.
Our field leaders have worked in this community for eight years, and they have learned to check carefully to make sure that we are not being cheated. They take personal responsibility for the resources our donors have given. They know that we all share a fiduciary responsibility, as leaders in this international development organization, to steward our resources well.
Calixte has been a faithful vendor for many years. As a father of two of our students, Queen and Prince, he has a vested interest in making sure that Hope Haven flourishes.
We treat him fairly, and he treats us fairly.
When you build relationships like this, after many years of trusted exchanges, vendors often become like family. This is certainly the case with Calixte and his dear family. In fact, when I drive by his shop, I’m always tempted to stop in. Sometimes I ask him if he has a soda or snack I can buy, and other times I just want to visit with him as my friend. I’ve spent time in his home on several occasions, where he floods his guests with bananas, crackers and soft drinks.
As a sole proprietor, Calixte works long hours. His wife is often found working alongside him in their shop. It’s a family business and their dreams for their children are big! Calixte knows how important it is for them to study hard and he is doing everything he can to help them thrive educationally!
Our team has observed that Calixte is faithfully applying several Proverbs:
“Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord: but an accurate weight is His delight” (Proverbs 11:1).
“Unequal weights are an abomination to the Lord, and false scales are not good” (Proverbs 20:23).
There is one more Scripture about scales we should never forget. It is a terrifying passage for someone who is living dishonestly. In the Book of Daniel we are invited into the scene of King Belshazzar’s last night on earth. As he celebrated with a grand party, along with his friends, God delivered a dramatic message:
“This is the inscription that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN. Here is what these words mean:
Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.
Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.
Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians…
That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain, and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two” (Daniel 5:25-31).
Whether it is sugar, salt or maize flour, Calixte ensures that the scales are accurate. His integrity is clear, and he has earned a good name in our community, and before God.
Are there shortcuts you are tempted to take?
Always. Choose. Integrity.