"In this world we go through trouble. Our God will never crush us - we may be pressed down, but not crushed."
Despite all he had gone through under a toxic leader, Kani preached the Gospel to me. The leader of the international organization for which he worked fired him after he confronted corrupt ministry practices.
As a ministry in Africa to refugee children, there was much good being done to raise up the devastated youth; providing training, equipment, and capital to create businesses. The laws of the land did not allow refugees to seek employment outside their refugee camp and the organization was doing some creative problem-solving to provide opportunities for employment that was legal.
Kani was a project coordinator, in part overseeing supplier bids for equipment needs. When the supplies, like computers and peripherals, were delivered he also went through the packages to make sure everything matched what was paid for.
That is where Kani ran into trouble.
When a shipment arrived in 2019 Kani was surprised to see computer equipment that did not match the specifications of the bids they received. The computers were worth much less than what the ministry paid.
Kani said the organization could not accept the equipment.
For his attempt to be financially accountable and to provide quality help to the refugees he was confronted by the national Director. A meeting was called that included the supplier. When Kani would not back down, the Director shouted at him in anger. He told him he had made a mistake and to check again.
Kani checked again and it was very clear that the bid did not fit the equipment recieved.
Kani explained, “It was likely someone was involved with the supplier. Sometimes suppliers will give 10% to someone inside the organization bribe them purchase from from the company.” He said this was not unusual.
Kani was not willing to be part of that. He would not allow them to steal from the stakeholders.
All Things Happen for the Good
But leaving the organization was problematic. In a poverty-torn nation, there were few jobs and to leave could be financially devastating to his young family.
When it happened a second time in 2021, Kani was not given that choice. His employment contract was ended.
Kani was encouraged by fellow employees, beneficiaries of the ministry, and friends to fight the firing. He certainly had grounds for writing to the organization’s main office and complaining of the clearly toxic environment he was enduring.
But Kani said, “All things happen for the good and God is in control.” He explained that he knew that God would take care of him. He was not suffering for “doing wrong” as Peter wrote:
If anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name . . . Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.1 Peter 4:16, 19 (ESV)
Kani said that some saw his suffering as punishment, but he knew God would “make a way.”
In those difficult times, not knowing how he would put food on the table and care for his wife and new baby, Kani found solace in the biblical books of Daniel and Esther. He saw all the “stories of people trying to do something bad and evil.” But God was working all things together for the good of those who love Him.
Scripture was pouring from his lips as he shared the help he found in God’s grace.
Kani was learning that he couldn’t “put faith and hope in a job.” He said, “I needed to stay grounded like a tree planted by water. It won’t whither. I will bear fruit in season.“
Following being “let go,” Kani received word from those left behind in the organization that the leader had been confronted for financial mismanagement and sexual impropriety with minor girls. He was fired.
Recently, Kani was contacted by a project coordinator for the ministry and was asked to meet with him. He ended up meeting with the coordinator and a consultant who began by apologizing for the horrific treatment he had received. Kani welcomed the vindication.
They then proceeded to ask how the organization could be fixed. I asked if it was an exit interview of sorts? Kani replied, “Yes, it was a bit like that . . . just way too late.”
Kani hopes they will investigate and take steps to root out the corruption.
A New Life
His wife, Nao stuck with him through it all and within a couple months he had landed a new job in another aid organization based in the United Kingdom.
However, this one was not a Christian organization. But, Kani noted wryly, “People are hiding behind christian organizations.” He said, “In the my new organization people love each other. It is very diverse and inclusive – it demonstrates love.” There is common grace at work.
As we talked, I was struck by Kani’s trust and dependence on the Lord. It was evident that he had been deeply hurt by the organization’s leader (and others) but that, despite the fears he had about losing a coveted job, Kani was unwilling to leave his integrity at the church doors. [see this article]
Taking that kind of risk – not going along with financial mismanagement to save your job – would be crazy. But only by the world’s standards.
But Kani does not live by the world’s standards. He was willing to put his head on the chopping block that Christ might be glorified in his life.