greetings screaming well I am glad to be here I love to be in the house of the Lord I want to share with you this evening the testimony of Econet but I’m only going to give you a little bit because there just isn’t enough time many of you have probably read about us or heard about us he canet first and foremost is a Christian company and I’m going to share with you how the Lord has used us to raise up the testimony through this company we have a presence today in 10 countries including South Africa where we have a head office we have gone from Zimbabwe to Botswana to the suti to Kenya Burundi Nigeria the United Kingdom New Zealand I have even addressed the cabinet of Papua New Guinea we have been invited where in Fiji negotiating a license there we have gone to the uttermost parts of the earth but how have we been able to do it I’m going to try and give you a chronological background with testimony many of you probably heard about the long legal battle that Econet fort in zimbabwe for its first licence it came when I was a baby Christian you must not be a baby Christian all your life but sadly some people remain baby Christians all their lives I remember going to see a very senior advocate in Zimbabwe after the government had turned down our application for a license and somebody had drawn my attention to a provision in the Constitution under what was called the freedom of expression every man has the right to receive and impart information without hindrance it was a little clause in the Constitution and I went to see the senior advocate he read it and he said to me yes I think you would win but I think it would be easier for you to go and steal a tank and drive it into the center of the car of the city because the reaction of the government to what you’re thinking of doing is going to be the reaction they would have if somebody stole a tank and drove it into unity square I thanked him I had been saved not a couple of months earlier than that and encouraged by a lawyer I was consulting in the United States who didn’t understand these things we prepared our papers to file a constitutional challenge to the right of the government to own to be the only ones who operate a telephone company when the papers were ready I sat on them for about six months until the Year came to an end and still the lawyers were waiting for an instruction from me to file them one Sunday morning I went to church I’m so glad I see my good friend Willie Ralph here he was in that service that morning good to see you Willie I went to church that Sunday morning and after the service as I stood outside a friend of mine his wife came up to me and said what are you up to said my husband never slept last night the Lord kept waking him up and said go tell strive do it I said he said that she said yes I said well I did it on Friday and I had filed the papers to find out what happened I think you should just visit our websites and the websites of all the newspapers that you can think of it ended up even in the Parliament of Denmark the battle that came was a five year legal battle it was intense and I became persona non grata I couldn’t even be quoted I once told Winnie Mandela you weren’t the only one who couldn’t be quoted for five years we went through this but every day I had this tremendous grace tremendous encouragement not only because of my faith which was growing but because of the army that the Lord raised around me of prayer partners in the church and throughout the world you know one one morning my mother called me and she never calls me at work and she said somebody just called me on the phone they’re looking for you and she said it’s a woman in the villages she said she’s been looking for you for a long time and she has a word for you I remember discussing it with some of my colleagues at the office and one of the brothers turned around I said she has a word for you let’s go see her I said I’m not crying to the villages for that he said I’ll Drive so we agreed and we went there first of all we asked her about where she fellowshipped which church she went to and she said to us she was from the post aaalac faith mission very educated young lady her husband was a teacher at a mission school and we prayed together with her and she had a prayer group and she said you know the Lord woke me up you’re the man I saw in a dream and I didn’t know about you until somebody mentioned when I mentioned it to you and so the well the Lord says you must fast for the next three days and she said we are supposed to join you we’re your partners in this fast I said well okay that’s six to six that’s righteous no no no three days 36 hours Esther I said that’s fine I used to be a diabetic I was healed some time ago at that time I struggled with it because I’m not supposed to go 36 hours without eating but the Lord gave us Grace and three days later the lawyers called me I said you know in fact it was quite interesting because we got to the church to the offices and the entire legal firm were in the corridors and was a Jewish firm and one the Jewish partner senior partner met me and he said I tell you man it is a miracle I said you should know about those a and it was it was a staggering miracle they have been attender over this license the courts had ordered over and over and over again and each time the government had said no and so they had run a tender and they have decided who the winner was but they then handed us the documents where they made the decision and those documents had been with us all along and as we open the documents there was the entire decision in fact we filed I went through the newspaper and the editor said to me you know I’m not supposed to even talk to you for the government newspaper so I gave him the papers he looked at this and he said you know this will cost me my job if I so much as write about it I said I just wanted you to know and the following day it was the front page he got fired the Lord blessed him in our lives in Switzerland [Laughter] [Applause] and the government decided it was time to give us a license they called me the Minister called me in and he said look we’ve decided to give you the license I said thanks but no thanks and he said but you can have the license I said if I take the license from you you will say you licensed me I want the court to rule so we waited the next six months and one day I had to I went to Boston and whilst I was in Boston I had a dream and the judge was ruling he was reading a ruling I woke up I called one of my colleagues in Harare I said as the ruling being issued he said no I said now there’s a sort of eight nine hour time difference I said check with our lawyers and he rushed off to the lawyers and they said today’s a public holiday judges don’t rule today I went back to bed two hours later he called me said the lawyer just called the judge has been promoted and he wants to rule today because tomorrow is the judge of the Supreme Court and so Econet was established in Zimbabwe today it is the bubblers largest company by market capitalization it controlled banks it controls insurance companies Econet is the largest single tax payer in Zimbabwe the Lord says I’ll lay a table for you in the midst of your enemies we have a very good relationship with the government today we don’t have a problem then a brother came to see me one morning and he said to me the Lord has spoken to me concerning Econet in Botswana and he wants you to go there I said I’ve never been been to Botswana said well I told I made the mistake I guess I told my wife she said you better go in fact she was so insistent she bought the tickets and I went to Gaborone for the first time and I went over to the regulator his office and I walked into the wrong office and there was a man sitting there and he looked at me he said you’re the little man from Zimbabwe who caused Mugabe all those troubles I said yes he said you’re too late if you are here for the Botswana license it closes in two weeks time he says anyway since you’ve come all this way I’ll give you a set of the documents him that was a big mistake I went back to the hotel I put the documents on the floor I lay on them and I prayed and I said Lord do something you brought me here the rest of the story where the second largest company in Botswana today you’ve probably heard if you’ve ever been to Botswana you probably heard of mass comm wireless it’s the only company that sort of recognizes me in any small way it actually stands for my serial communications but you know we beat vertical in the auction for that license we beat MTN and I won’t mention whose name it was but one of them flew to Botswana and so the vice president of Botswana whose Petronas current president and he said how can you give a license to a company with no operation anywhere in the world do you know who we are how can you tell us this and president Festus mahai said yes before you came I asked for a report as you know we brought in consultants from Sweden and I don’t know anything about this but their report says that they won by 45 percent so how am I supposed to overturn that and so we we thank the people of Botswana for their honesty and integrity and so in December 1999 as the year came to a close the Lord moved in my spirit that I had to fast for 40 days because he had something to say to me and so I fasted and the fast was the end on the last day of 1999 and I got a word and it was an awesome word and what was interesting about that word is a few weeks later I flew to New York and I I remember to call Bishop Garlington some of you might know Bishop Garlington Michael Bishop Garlington he says Oh strife I have been looking for you I have a word for you and you know what the word was the Lord had given us some to verse 8 ask of me and I’ll give you the nations for an inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for a possession [Applause] you know many people have often asked me you’ve seen so many things the Lord does these amazing things in your life why you we don’t see some of these things and I said and I’ll tell you now why just after I was saved I had an amazing hunger for the Lord I bought a Bible and read it in two weeks flat from Genesis to revelations already I went looking for everything I could find and amongst the things I went I found was an interview of Kathryn Kuhlman being interviewed by Oral Roberts and he asked her the same question and her answer is the answer I’ll give you tonight I was prepared to pay the price that’s what she said and when I heard that I got on my knees and I said Lord I’ll pay the price and the Lord showed me in a dream one night I was walking with a child and we were singing we were singing a praise song in my mother tongue Shawna and it says there is power power in the Word of God so remember that as we received that word I understood almost immediately that I had to leave them public does not yet in crisis that it is in today I have not been to Harare for seven and a half years because the Lord told me you returned when I tell you to return we relocated to South Africa we set up an office we had no money and as a Christian I wasn’t prepared to do anything even though we had a successful company I wasn’t going to break the exchange regulations I went over to Escom and met some of their managers I said you’re a power utility they said yes I said do you know you’re also a telephone company said really I said yes you’re the second largest telephone company in South Africa and I showed them how it was sold through their infrastructure and I said you know why don’t we get into business since you have all this telephone capability which you don’t know about I can help you make some money and if it okay show us so they gave me a team and we bid for telecom the suti the government telephone company and we won the bid and in terms of our understanding I could put a team to run the company which we did and when the time came the Lord said to to them you sell them to you sell your shares to us and we said that’s fine we always knew that’s the way it’ll work and so we were established in the city then I got a phone call from a group of Maori in New Zealand and they said come and work with us and I remembered you see the word said ask of me and I’ll give you the nations for an inheritance and that was I’ll give you Africa for an inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for a possession I said I’m on my way now I went the wrong way I didn’t know that you’re supposed to go east I went to London then I flew to LA then I flew to Sydney and I arrived in Auckland 37 hours later and as I arrived in Auckland the guy who collected me from the airport said would you like to see Auckland I suggest of course he said there’s a place called One Tree Hill you can see the whole city and the Pacific Ocean from there so I said fine so we went in sure which was one tree hill there was a tree there and there was a hill we climbed up to the top of the hill as we went up the top of the hill I saw two old men exercising and this must have been seven o’clock in the morning and as I stood looking at the hill one of them called out and said hey you black man from Africa who’s Jesus Christ I said he’s Lord he said don’t you forget about it welcome to New Zealand I said look as we went down the hill they were not there they have gone so the New Zealand government called a public tender to auction a new cellphone license and all the ugly sisters of the telecoms world came burner phone orange Telstra Hutchinson Whampoa Andy cadet the pretty one now we file and we filed our bid and they they decided to issue a number of licenses I think they issued about 300 passing the Mallory’s and we did that I think it came to something like 6 million dollars and we were given our freak what we call the frequency band and we had one month to pay now we bid and we didn’t have the money but we knew who our provider was and there was no presumption we had prayed we had prayed and the Lord had said go ahead but still you’re challenged and we were running around in the banking system of the world in search of 6 million dollars and would we get it came to the very last day now there 12 hours ahead of us so we’re kind of about this time and my wife and I are my wife is there tits he will get up and greet you everywhere city and now somebody wants awesome in Zimbabwe they said you know in all those five years did you ever think of quitting I said yes once so what happened that’s my wife said she wanted to quit and so how what happened then I said she decided she wasn’t gonna quit so I decided I wasn’t going to quit you cannot do these things alone all right we we got to about 10 o’clock at night and I said to see we’re not it’s nothing we can do now I’m going to bed she said no I’ll stay up and I’ll pray through the night so I called my colleague in New Zealand I said look we’ve not been able we had secured the money but we had not been able to move it across I said it’s too late I think I have an idea why don’t you go to the government and ask them for an extension he said it’s a public government tender you can’t ask for an extension its payment by five o’clock today because he was insolent as if nothing I can do okay I’ll fly to Wellington and I will make the appeal it’s when I woke up and I always sleep because I’m a child of God it doesn’t matter what the circumstances I have been told of amazing things that have happened on aeroplanes and I was the one sleeping so got up at 7 o’clock in the morning fully rested city was at the edge of the bed she’d just finished praying I said well did text call to say if the New Zealand government had agreed he said no he didn’t call I said but the money’s not gonna get there so I called the guy it’s Friday evening and he said you know what strike I paid you want he said I paid how did you pay see I got there and there was Vodafone and there was Telstra and orange paying for their licenses and I knew I’d never get any room so I took my checkbook out and I signed a check and I gave them this see and I concluded that since it’s Friday and this money is really on its way you have Saturday and Sunday to get it to me and they won’t deposit the check by Monday I said you’ve you’ve ruined me I mean I flew out of the bed I I you know I just didn’t even shower I went to the office to work to get this money through Monday morning it wasn’t there wasn’t there a week later it did the wire transfer had disappeared we’re trying to get it transferred into his account now if you’ve ever dealt with wire transfers they disappear in the system banks do this so that they can earn the interest on the money three weeks later we still hadn’t found that transfer we finally found it money hid his account two days later they presented the check some guy put it in his drawer and went on holiday for three weeks so the Lord said now you go to Nigeria I said Lord I’m not going there I’ve heard about that place and the Lord said you’re going to Nigeria so we went and I decided I really needed some big partners they were going through an auction process so we talked to Transnet I hope there are people here from Transnet we talked to Transnet they said yeah we’ll be your partners said we’ll put in a hundred million dollars we were going into the auction and the reserve price was a hundred million dollars you have to bid 100 to get your twenty million dollar deposit back and together 20 million dollars and I get to Nigeria and we one of the guys says to me you know there’s a Christian sister who owns a bank and she’s asked you if you’d go to service to her church today with her and her husband we’re running around the banking system whether it’s a small bank sister Christian say yes and she said I said okay I’ll go to service with her and we’ll go to the service and we pray and as well going back she says brother strife I’m so excited I’m the one who’s been used to give you the 20 million dollars and she says I got together some Christian Brothers and we put you the money so now I had to save it with a reserve bid of a hundred and I was busy looking for the hundred and so Transtar says Constance’s look we’re good for a hundred so the bids have been set the dates have been set and we’re off to Nigeria and I’ve got a hundred million dollars in my pocket and I’m hoping the bids will will close at about that level plus 20 as we were heading to the airport the banker who had organized it all called me and he said Stryver I think he better call off the trip strong said Board met today and they said because they also Cheryl does an MT n which is bidding they can’t be seen to back you they’ve withdrawn the hundred in fact they’re about to issue a statement on it so I said okay so so what do we do I said we go to Nigeria he said we don’t have the money I said well let me I’ll tell you a story on the plane so he comes in and he’s not a believer he comes in any system he says what’s the story I told him about Gideon I said you see we don’t need them and the guy says listen we have a serious problem in your telling me about some old Jewish story I said yeah you see for God’s glory to come through they had a go he says well God better pick up pretty quickly because this auction is in two days so we we go to to Lagos at night and the Lord doesn’t always invited me in dreams and it’s always important whatever I say about it you say about a dream you must anchor yourself in the word but I think the Lord needed to encourage me in the same way he encouraged Gideon that night and it was quite extraordinary and some of you are gonna find this pretty hard I had a dream that I was in a board room and on the board were the names of the bidders and there were five of them we all knew who the bidders were and by the way the Nigerian press was having a field day about us and on the table on the board were numbers which I immediately recognized and I told a companion to write them down and they were the numbers of all the various bids that would go in and so we went to the auction and we didn’t we had commitments but we didn’t have the money and we battled we had and I said we’re going into the auction and it was a three-day auction there were each of us locked in a room we had a team I had a team of four five of us international bankers and lawyers and everybody there MTN was in another room others that maybe many of you do not know perhaps there are five bidders we got past the hundred on the first day so at least the 20 million was saved we could drop out and the guys were saying look we’ve saved the twenty now let’s drop out I said no that’s okay let’s just wait and see how far we get when we hit one hundred and sixty-five million dollars on the bids I got up and I said the first bid is about to exit and the auctioneer walked in and said we just lost the bidder you are now four of you we went a few more bids and I said the next bidder will Exeter the next one so the next one bid collapsed and I had the so they said where did you get those numbers I said the Lord told me now you you can imagine how difficult it was for these people and I said have any of you ever prayed so now I was ministering to them I got them into a circle now they totally believed and they said so when will the auction end I said three or four bids time and I called him over and when we got to the last bit I said gentlemen the auction is about to end now I just need to thank the Lord we all got into a circle and I prayed with him and the auctioneer walked in and handed us the provisional license 285 million and nine days later we paid we have two weeks of course many of you know about the battles that have taken place in Nigeria and I’m not going to go into that as I said we could write a lot about this and books would be filled last year we were given exactly 30 days to raise 1.5 billion u.s. dollars it was all raised on time and as the Lord told us it would be raised our mission is a simple mission and I was so excited pasta when you when you put up the slides because it really ministered to me our mission is to give glory to God Sir Richard Branson called me and offered to buy one of our businesses and he put a very exciting proposal to him it’s very good for the kids you know and because when I walked back in and they were you talking to us at Richard Branson and it was really I said yes and I was telling him about the Lord see he put the proposal to me and I said to him Sir Richard said kept saying call me Richard I said Sir Richard I’d only sleep in one bed at night and I Drive one car and I still haven’t figured out how to live in to sleep into bed at the same time let alone drive two cars but limit he says how can you be so sure that this isn’t what you’re supposed to do I mean this is a great opportunity I said to him you know what I would rather be wrong lose believing God was with me than to win knowing he wasn’t you know when God is not with you it’s about stewardship I want to encourage you to think about that many brethren in in Zimbabwe prayed for Econet license wasn’t our prayers alone today eConnect funds in Zimbabwe the school fees of twenty six thousand orphans so on the largest programs of its kind I remember sitting with the chief executive of one of South Africa’s largest banks at dinner one night and he said to me what percentage of your turnover I mean this is a huge cost and it’s a public company what percentage of your turnover is this right older me if I can’t believe it that’s my entire margin I said did you know what ever since we did it we became more profitable we are interested in God’s mission it is not I have no doubt in my life but Econet will be one of the biggest telecommunications companies in the world because God said so and that settles it however it is not because we will be the biggest company in the world when I want when I walk into heaven I’d look to seeing the people whose lives which we touched because we thought we printed we paid for the printing of Bibles because we we paid for churches we paid for conferences because we helped evangelists move around the world which is what we do today because when we heard the cry of orphans we were there we have a program that sends the children of pastors widows to school today we were working on a program to distribute to send disabled young girls to school the most vulnerable of the most vulnerable when people don’t have money and they have two sons and a daughter and one is blind and the daughter is blind do you think they’ll send her to school they won’t not because they are mean but because those are the hard decisions that people are making out there in the community in this place where we live and God is using is raising us up as businessmen a stewardess conduit the Bible says that don’t muzzle the ox that treads the corn yourself as that ox you be allowed to eat as much as you want God is not saying you can’t have the portion the Mercedes and the big house but don’t lose sight of the mission it’s about stewardship I have many of whom to me and say they want to be in partnership with us but you know what I can’t be in partnership with them if it will result in them effecting a decision which I might make for the kingdom you know one day there was a big boat race going around the world and a big international company called me and said to me will you join us in sponsoring this I said what do I get this is well one of the boats will have Econet written on the side of it I said how much will it cost he said well the response of the boats 40 million US dollars we all get our name on it I said 40 million US dollars this is very good don’t you know the TV coverage you’ll get and the Holy Spirit said to me you see this is how the world uses its resources what you’re doing with yours I called our managers and said listen for church walks in Ian says they want a conference paid for you pay for it I said in fact go out and look for them and tell them that you will pay for their conferences if they want an international speaker to come in and we’ve got the money you pay for it and if anybody asks you tell them to come and see me it is about our stewardship but you see when we when we’re faced with this we wish we we come back and we say no no you know this is not right you know we can’t be seen to do this we cannot separate our value systems our our spirituality for want of another word from our work our our work is our ministry the place you now you know that’s not to say we insist that only Christians can work for us now that’s not true in fact it would be a great tragedy can you eat a meal that is just salt salt requires something to be salted so we want you to be there and we will never preach to you but you’re not I’ll close with this where we raised the 1.5 billion last year for a transaction they refused to sell and we were we got into another major battle and we were bitterly it was hard even for the most seasoned veterans in our Christian camp and one day I was sitting in my office and the young man works for us never thought of him as a believer and I knew he wasn’t a believer walked into my office and he says try hard you feel I said it is well I said you know where that comes from he said tell me about it so I told him about the Shunammite woman whose son had died and she rushed over to see the Prophet Elisha and of course she met his servant along the way you all know the story her son was dead and the Southern said how is it with you how is it with your son and she said it is well so I told him the story and he looked at me and he said that’s not the part of that scripture I would have used as it really he said yes that part of the scripture that applies to this particular situation is when she converses with the Prophet I said so teach me now he said okay see she says to the Prophet did I ask for the child since you see what you’re telling the Prophet is that you brought this child you notice through you now it’s broken now you fix it you see the Lord just raised 1.5 billion right I said yes so this just asked him to fix it just like the Shulamite woman I looked at this guy and I said Lord that’s more important than anything we could possibly have achieved I’ve told you a testimony about the strength of God because the Bible says my strength is made perfect in your weakness we’ve gone up against Vodacom MTN all of them and we always say Lord who can be weaker than us surely now is your strength made perfect and so that is my message for you today if you’re a believer I hope you have been encouraged and if you’re not I hope you’ve been disturbed enough to want to find out more and if you have been I leave you to pass to James and city life thank you very much praise the Lord amen you know as strive was speaking I saw a blank piece of paper and my mind’s eye on it it said just one word across the whole page I said Lord what are you saying to us and you know what it was obedience this man has obeyed the Lord and the Lord and he’s favored God’s righteous cause and they said Lord I’ll do whatever it takes I’ll pay the price if I have to wait five years and battle the government single-handedly to do what I know you put in my heart to do I’ll do it even though I’m nothing in my own flesh of my own ability I know that with you I’m the majority and wherever you may stand today whatever’s going on in your business in your life wherever you are you may be small in yourself but if you have tapped into the mind of God your few fish and your few loaves of bread can do more in the hand of God then you can even think of right now so take some advice from a a short Sharna man hear and understand that God wants to do more than you are willing to see right now no matter how old no matter what your education now we’re not talking about get-rich-quick we’re talking about tapping into the will of God being willing to pay the price and sticking with it through good times and bad times and being a person of faith this is what obedience is and so this this evening we’re a church who believes in impartation can I hear an amen you’ve heard some information tonight but I believe the thing that is going to change your heart and change your life is importation and so what I’d like to do tonight is I want to ask brother strive tonight to to pray over all of us tonight that there would be an impartation that even as the Lord spoke to him he would speak to you to be faithful with what the Lord has already put in your hand amen put your hand out like this and say this with me Jesus show me what you have put in my hand today I choose to be faithful and obey you with this thing in Jesus name TVafrica,bible,business,christian,christian billionaire,christian billionaire entrepreneurs,christian business,christian business motivation,christian genius billionaire,econet,financial biblical principles,forbes,god in your business,gods word,his testimony on how he started his business econet,how to start a business as a christian entreprenuer,jesus,strive masiyiwa,use words word to build,using gods business principlesgreetings screaming well I am glad to be here I love to be in the house of the Lord I want to share with you this evening the testimony of Econet but I'm only going to give you a little bit because there just isn't enough time many of...Doing business God's way