Albert Howard is the first person in U.S. history to receive a statewide New Hampshire Primary Recount.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The Amazing and Enduring Testimony and Ministry of Pastor Sunday Adelaja
We have come a long way in the journey during the first eight years of Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations. Here are some statistics as of 2002 that demonstrate how the grace of God has blessed our church:
Over 20 services are held every Sunday in various auditoriums in Kiev.
There are 48 daughter churches functioning in the Kiev region-20 in the city of Kiev and 28 in outlying districts.
There are over 200 daughter churches in the countries of the former Soviet Union, the United States, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and the Netherlands.
More than 1 million people have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior through our ministry.
There are over 2,500 home groups with over 3,000 leaders of home groups and outreaches.
More than 50 percent of the members are actively involved in volunteer ministries.
Over 300 ministries and outreaches function in the church.
More than 2,000 people have been set free from drug and alcohol addiction in the church's rehabilitation center.
The church is attended by a wide spectrum of the society: from former addicts to pop stars, senators, major business tycoons and so on.
In the church's soup kitchen, 2,000 people are fed daily.
The church ministers to hundreds of abandoned street kids.
The church has made printed and recorded resources available, and I personally have authored over 30 books and have recorded over 1,000 sermons.
The church's Christian television and radio programs reach approximately 8 million people weekly.
Tens of thousands of people from different cities and countries gather for the anniversary of the church and the various conferences that are conducted regularly.
With over 20,000 members in Kiev, Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations is widely regarded as both the largest evangelical and the largest charismatic church in Europe.
My goal in ministry is to raise up leaders and teach them what the Lord has taught me. To this end, I have raised a team of 12 pastors and leaders, whom I train as apostles and with whom I spend up to 10 hours weekly. My first apostolic team has already been sent out by God's direction to plant new churches in other parts of the world. I continue to mentor and train a second apostolic team.
Pastor Sunday Adelaja is the Founder and Senior Pastor of The Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations in Kyiv, Ukraine.
He is a Nigerian-born leader with an apostolic gift for the twenty-first century. In his mid thirties Pastor Sunday has already proven to be one of the world's most dynamic communicators and church planters and is regarded as the most successful pastor in Europe with over 25,000 members as well as daughter and satellite churches in over 35 countries worldwide.
The congregation includes members from all spheres of society, from former drug and alcohol addicted to politicians and millionaires. Its high percentage of white Europeans (98%) also indicates that boundaries of racial prejudice have been surpassed. In the same country where Pastor Sunday has been called "chocolate rabbit" and several attempts have been made to deport him, thousands join hands and support his mission to see Ukraine and the whole world affected and saved by the gospel of the Kingdom. Pastor Sunday is recognized as an unusually gifted teacher of the Word of God, with an extraordinary operation in the gifts of the Spirit, especially the word of knowledge. He receives numerous speaking invitations to several countries in all continents of the world yearly, as well as invitations to meetings with heads of states and other politicians.
Pastor Sunday's influence in the areas of church growth, prayer and evangelism has been noted by Charisma Magazine, Ministries Today and many other Christian periodicals. The secular world media, such as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Washington Post, Reuters, Associated Press, CNN, BBC and German, Dutch and French national television have all widely reported on him. The Wall Street Journal called him "A Man with a Mission" set out to save Kyiv and the Ukrainian President Yushenko acknowledged his strong involvement in the Orange revolution for democracy in Ukraine. Former Mayor of New York City Rudolph Giuliani stated: "Sunday, God bless you in your important mission. When I next come to Ukraine I would like to be at your church".
In August 2007 by invitation from the employees of the UN, Pastor Sunday Adelaja was invited as a speaker for three sessions. It was the first time in the history of the UN that a pastor speaks in the main hall of the UN. There were 500 organizations and missions from different parts of the world and leaders from 30 countries that participated in these sessions. From then on the Embassy of God started its preparation to enter the UN and become a member of this organization.
The church's radio and television ministry reaches approximately eight million people weekly in Ukraine and millions more through weekly TBN programs in Europe, Russia and Africa. He is also one of the main speakers at the Global Pastors Network, organized by the late Dr. Bill Bright.
The church's "Stephania Soup Kitchen" feeds 2,000 people daily and ministers through outreaches to hundreds of needy street and abandoned children.
God has used the "Love Rehabilitation Center" to touch the lives of more than 3,000 drug and alcohol addicts, setting them free from the bonds of addiction.
Pastor Sunday's passion for Nation Transformation has driven him to maximally spread the word of God. He has written and published over 80 books of which some have been translated to English, German, Chinese, Arabic and Dutch. Also, thousands of sermons have been recorded. He organizes annual pastors leadership seminars where over 1,000 ministers regularly attend, studying the topic 'Pastoring without Tears'. His passion is to ignite these ministers with fire and power to transform their cities and countries.
Every year Pastor Sunday organizes Pastors Seminars that take place in the church. He is also the main speaker there. During this time more than 1 000 servants learn how to be a pastor without tears and learn the keys of getting success. Also every year Pastor organizes a summer and winter fast which aiming to equip servants with fire and power to change their towns and countries. Nowadays, the apostolic ministry of Pastor Sunday has gone far beyond the boundaries of Ukraine, making him a desirable speaker and a Pastor to pastors in many nations of the world. To date, he has visited over 30 countries.
Pastor Sunday is happily married to his "Princess" Abosede, and they are blessed with three children Perez, Zoe and Pearl. Out of Africa
CHAPTER TWO GO TO A LAND THAT I WILL SHOW YOU! Sunday Adelaja
Sunday Adelaja is a young, visionary, Nigerian-born leader with an apostolic gift for the twenty-first century. Now in his mid 30s, Pastor Sunday has already proven himself to be one of the world's most dynamic communicators and church planters. He pastors one of the largest churches in Europe, with a congregation of over 20,000 members. Remarkably, he does this in Ukraine. His church, Embassy of God, which is only eight years old, has already planted over 200 churches in other countries such as the United Arab Emirates, the United States, the Netherlands, Russia and many others. Adelaja is recognized as one of the most gifted teachers of the Word of God in our time, with an unusual operation of the gifts of the Spirit, especially the word of knowledge. His teaching and use of these gifts have contributed in no small measure to the rapid growth of his congregation. A proven leader, Sunday is well known for his strategy of discipling groups of 12 leaders, whom he subsequently sends out to plant new churches. Sunday is happily married to Bose, "Princess," and they are blessed with three children, Peres, Zoe and Pearl.
The world news on the Nigerian television channel 10 had just finished. The young 19-year-old viewer was contemplating whether he should keep watching to see what the next program might be or to look for something better to do. The seemingly insignificant decision to keep watching ended up changing the whole life of that teenager, who, as you may have guessed, was me. The next program was a stadium crusade featuring Pastor William Kumuyi. Through his anointed preaching, I clearly understood the gospel for the first time, and immediately I committed my life to the Lord. Little could I have imagined that my experience back in 1986 would eventually affect a whole nation on the other side of the world! But God knew!
Like many young Nigerians finishing high school, I began searching newspaper advertisements for a government scholarship to study in one of the leading Nigerian universities. The tuition and the cost of living in a university was something my family could no longer afford.
I say "no longer" because the Adelaja family at one time was prosperous, one of the most highly respected families in our part of Nigeria. Not only did we easily send family members to study at a university, but we also provided scholarships for less fortunate families in our region. Then tragedy struck! The three brothers who were the pillars of my extended family all died unexpected, violent deaths within just a few months of each other. Without the pillars, the family crumbled and was left destitute.
That is why I became one of the first of the prominent Adelajas to find himself "begging" for a scholarship. My search narrowed down to two options: Columbia State University in the United States or Byelarussian State University in the former Soviet Union.
The advantage I had is that I knew God, and I could pray and ask Him for advice. He directed me to go to Russia in a way reminiscent of the call He gave to Abraham: "Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you" (Gen. 12:1). Even though I was a new believer, I had the faith to accept this as God's sovereign assignment for my future destiny. Later I realized that this was actually my missionary call; just as God called Paul on the Damascus road, so He was calling me. However, He did not reveal it to me then, because I would have had no way of even understanding what a missionary call might possibly have been.
A Not-So-Smooth Beginning
After two weeks in Russia, I wanted to go home. I found myself in a dingy hotel room. The tall, drab apartment buildings, the gray weather, the look of hopelessness on the faces of the people and the spiritually dry Sunday mornings with no church or fellowship with other believers all fed my growing disillusion. My naive image of Russia's being a super economic power just like America came crashing down in a matter of days. Just as I was contemplating returning to Africa, I heard God whisper in my heart, "I directed you here and I have a purpose for bringing you to this place."
These words convinced me to push forward. I settled into my studies at Byelarussian State University, majoring in journalism. I immediately started a search for what I had heard called the underground church. A few days later, I came across a couple of Christian foreign students who met secretly on the university campus. I joined them, and then the struggle to escape the all-penetrating eyes of the KGB began.
My Clash with the Law
The only encounter I ended up having with the law occurred because I was becoming too bold in displaying my faith. My offense was having hung a picture of the Crucifixion over my bed. It was a cold afternoon, after the day's classes, when loud banging at my door sounded the warning. Four men from the Youth Communist Party as well as my professors came in. They demanded that I remove the picture of Jesus or be dismissed from the university, since Soviet law prohibits religious propaganda. My flesh wanted to enter into a dispute to defend my Lord, but the soft, sweet voice of the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart again, "Let them remove it; only don't allow them to remove Him from your heart." After I removed the picture from the wall, the conflict with the government died out as simply as it had begun.
Not all of my classmates and colleagues were as fortunate as I, however. As time went by, some were dismissed from the university, while others ended up in psychiatric confinement before being sent out of the country. Survival during Communism's dictatorship demanded much wisdom, silent worship and many narrow escapes by the power of the Holy Spirit-lessons never to be forgotten! During the six-year journey to my master's in journalism, there were many instances when I thought I would either go crazy or be deported once and for all. But the mercy and goodness of the Lord were with me.
As difficult as it was to survive the presence and persecution of Communism, there were many more Christian casualties as a result of other factors. Sadly, sex, money and carefree living stole the faith of many of the Christians who came into the former Soviet Union. In a society in which God had been officially declared nonexistent, sin and immorality became the order of the day. Since there was no God, there could be no sin.
This deception actually took the life of my close friend Brother Tom. We had entered the country together as professing Christians. We prayed together and lived in the same dormitory until, after language school, Tom was transferred to Kiev to continue his studies. The next time I heard about Tom, he had become a womanizer and an alcoholic-another lesson for me. The only strategy for survival in such spiritually challenging circumstances is the fear of God.
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate (Prov. 8:13).
The fear of the Lord kept me focused till the year 1990, when the God-ordained reformations of Mikhail Gorbachev began to take effect. For the first time, we were able to meet with Russian believers. That turned out to be the beginning of my full-time ministry. However, the call of God on my life had occurred some time before that.
My Missionary Call
In one of the underground meetings, the leader of the group of foreigners, while encouraging us to remain steadfast in the Lord, asked us to seek the face of the Lord as to why He might have brought us to Russia in the first place. I heartily accepted the challenge. I prayed morning and night for two weeks, asking God to show me why He had brought me to Russia. At the end of the second week, something extraordinary began to happen to me. For three consecutive nights I had a dream of God showing His plans and future for me. My diary records: October 31, 1986
Today is the third day I'm receiving such a visitation from the Lord. Today also, I had a dream in which I saw myself before a large crowd of thousands of people. I saw myself on the stage ministering beside one of the leading world ministers. He seemed to step aside and hand the microphone to me, then I continued to minister to the people. Immediately, after waking up baffled, I opened my Bible spontaneously to Isaiah 61, a passage I had never noticed before:
The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers (Isa. 61:1-5, KJV).
After receiving this, as well as other Scriptures, I went to Brother Paul Dahunsi, the leader of our group. Later that day, in my diary I wrote: Today, November 1, 1986, Brother Paul told me God had given him a message for a member of the fellowship last night. As soon as I finished narrating my story to him, he said the message was for me. "God cannot afford to give precious materials to cowards or careless children. God needs people who will not toy with firsthand information-people who will not give what is meant for the children to the dogs. You must be trustworthy, careful, ready, serious and observant before things can be entrusted to your hands. Be prepared!" This was a confirmation of my call.
Though I was finishing my studies in journalism, I knew by then that I would not be going into professional practice. The revelation that I was going into full-time ministry was burning in my heart. I strongly and urgently felt I needed ministry preparation, so I got in touch with a famous charismatic Bible institute in America. I was accepted, but as I prayed about this, God gave me an unexpected answer. He clearly said, "I have different ways of preparing my generals. One way is by linking them with existing leaders in the Body of Christ. Another way is through Bible school. A third means of preparation is raising up the leaders in the context of a strong local church. However, when I want to do something truly extraordinary, I take My generals to the wilderness. Russia is your wilderness. It is the Bible school I have prepared especially for you." That revelation from God gave me much understanding about all I had been going through under Communism. I was in Bible school in the wilderness!
Once we began enjoying President Gorbachev's reforms, I started traveling all over the countries of the former Soviet Union, planting churches, preaching and teaching. This continued until some of my friends and I were rounded up in one city of Belarus by the KGB-I had just finished my master's program in journalism. The Belarus government and the KGB ordered me to leave the country. I managed to stay in the country and fight the deportation until the Lord moved me to Kiev, Ukraine.
My Call to Ukraine
It was years later when I finally understood that I was actually resisting God's will by praying against leaving Belarus. Kiev was where God had wanted me all along. Thank God He didn't answer my prayer to remain in Belarus! For me to get into Ukraine, God had to perform a series of miracles, since I had never even considered Ukraine as an option. If I left Belarus, I naturally thought that I would go back to Nigeria. But through amazing circumstances, God put me in Kiev.
During my period of struggling to stay in Belarus, I received a call from some of my African friends in Ukraine. Due to their semester and school engagements, they couldn't accept an invitation to translate for Pastor Jeff Davis of Tulsa, Oklahoma, who was going to give a series of teachings all over Ukraine. They wanted me to step in for them. Only God knew how much I resisted that assignment-for one thing, I did not have the money to buy a ticket to Kiev-but God enabled me to beat the odds by sovereignly guiding my footsteps. So I served as Jeff Davis's interpreter.
It was not more than a few weeks after I had returned to Belarus that I received a call from Jeff Davis. He had just signed a contract with an independent, commercial television station in Kiev, and he needed a person who could represent his interests. That person had to be, first, a Christian and, second, a professional journalist. The only person he knew with such qualifications was me, he said. This happened at the exact time I was praying about where to move after leaving Belarus. A few months later, my Ukrainian visa, an apartment, a company car and a director's chair were awaiting me in Kiev, Ukraine!
From Television to Pastoring
As I worked at the channel 7 television station in Kiev, the general director, Slava Bun, discovered how different I was-I did not smoke, drink or run around with girls. My explanation for not doing these things was that I felt called to share the gospel with him and my other coworkers. Slava became so curious that he asked me to create a program based on Christian values. That is how God opened up the opportunity for me to minister for a year in a weekly hour-long program-and all for free!
By the end of 1993, I could no longer resist the urge of the Spirit to plant a church in Kiev. In November, at my apartment I started a Bible study program that attracted about seven people. I trained them three times a week, with a three-hour lesson each time, for three months. By February 1994, we had grown to about 49 people. At that time the new church went public under the name Word of Faith Bible Church, which in 2002 became Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations.
As I kept asking God to show me His purposes for the church, He told me first that it was to be a megachurch to win and minister to thousands of people from the Kiev area. And just as important, the second purpose for the church would be to send missionaries into the world, especially into China and the Arab countries. Just as the world used to know the former Soviet Union as an exporter of weapons of mass destruction, so now God wanted these nations to be exporters of life through the gospel of the kingdom of God. Today I stand amazed at how the Lord has helped us through the years to be faithful to this call.
A Church to Keep
When I had first arrived in Ukraine, I had determined not to start another church because I couldn't understand why God had me leave Minsk, Belarus, and the new church I had started there. All of my plans had been in place, and I knew God had told me to plant the church there; but then suddenly I was gone. Although I had planted several other churches in Belarus and then had turned them over to nationals, this time I felt that I should pastor the new church. I felt that giving up the leadership of the church in Minsk was like a breast-feeding mother giving up her suckling infant.
When I asked the Lord why He didn't allow me to pastor those churches, His answer was unforgettable: He had instructed me to give them up in their infancy because He never wanted my heart to be embedded in them. That is to say, He didn't ever want me to see a church as my own corporation with myself as the head, owner and operator. It was then that God specifically taught me never to build a denomination. Neither did He ever want me to build a pyramid or hierarchy answerable to me. Instead, I was always to see myself as the manager, who is entrusted only with the temporary caretaking of God's church. That meant that at any time, the true owner of the church could order me either to leave that position or to give over the church to someone else as He instructed me. God knew that I needed to learn to detach myself from the churches I planted in Belarus, despite the fact that they were only in the birthing stage. I learned that the church must never be my own thing! Even though the Lord may use me to start a church or ministry, I must not see myself as the president for life or the supreme authority. I am there only as long as He allows me to be, and I should always be ready to relinquish it if need be, maybe for another mission field or another country.
Once that lesson was firmly established in my heart and in my mind, God released me to plant a new church in Kiev. This time He directed me to pastor it, not to turn it over in its infancy to the charge of another.
Today, by the grace of God, our church in Kiev is well over 20,000 people strong. But because of the lesson the Lord taught me-never to attach my heart to the work but only to Him-I am ever ready by the grace of God to hand over the ministry to someone else at anytime, as the Lord instructs. This freedom is probably one of my greatest assets in ministry today. Nor am I afraid to release pastors, ministers, evangelists and apostles from our ministry to independently start a fresh work.
We now have 20 branches from our church in Kiev; they all have their own church name, structure, financial policies and accountability. This is also the case with over 300 more daughter churches. All are free to relate to me as the senior pastor, or apostolic covering, which they gladly do. Thanks to this policy, we have never experienced a split or break away from our church. All of our churches know that they have already been released to become an independent work if they so wish. My obligation is to help them get their feet on the ground, help them financially for a year, train them spiritually and release them to accomplish God's will through them. From then on, they have the choice whether or not to remain affiliated.
My relationships are so strong with the ministers I mentor that I have decided never to build an organization. I want to invest my life in building leaders. My dream is not to leave behind an organization when I die, but rather it is to leave a legacy of men and women who have a vision to spread the good news of the Kingdom worldwide. I think this focus is one of the reasons the Lord has chosen to bless our work, giving us over 300 churches in only eight years.
I do not doubt that in the years to come we will see an even greater acceleration of growth, because it is only now that most of our new believers are attaining maturity. There is nothing that can stop the potential of a church that is totally released to do for God anything that the Lord calls it to do. There is tremendous freedom when people know that they are not building an empire for the person at the top. When church members know that they are not being used by their leaders, but rather that their leaders are there to serve them and add value through them, nothing can stop them.
The High Price of Growth
The growth that we have experienced didn't come without a price, however. Over the first three years we moved to six different locations in the city, each time losing a number of people in the process. The church was miraculously registered with the government-despite the vows of some government officials never to allow that to happen. The story we will never forget, however, is the conspiracy, which began after our third-year anniversary, to close down our church and have me deported from Ukraine.
During one of our conferences, we were worshiping and celebrating the greatness of God. The halls were fully packed. The parking lot was too small. People were standing everywhere, including outside the building. As we were rejoicing inside, the police force was mobilizing to put an end, once and for all, to this "uncontrollable sect." On the last day of the conference, our building was surrounded by the police. Fortunately for me, I was not arrested that day, but I was summoned to the police station the following morning. That was the beginning of a horrible chain of events that would last for two full years. All imaginable and unimaginable excuses were found as the basis for deporting me from the country and closing our church.
For example, one of the problems was caused by worldly parents who didn't want their children to attend our church. They claimed that we were desocializing their children, because several children had stopped watching television, others had stopped dating, while some others had begun to criticize the ungodly behavior of their peers and family members. Consequently, I was accused of brainwashing the youth. It should be noted that the youngest of these "youths" was 20 years of age. As this case became public, it precipitated so many arguments in the media that the government set up a committee of psychologists and psychiatrists to investigate the matter and to submit a report on our church and the people who attended it. To the glory of the Lord, the commission came to the conclusion that nothing abnormal could be noted in the health or psyche of our church members.
Soon after the conclusion of that investigation, the secret and intelligence services began another investigation into the charges that I was planning to overthrow the government and take leadership of the country. My passport was seized, my visa was canceled, and a deportation letter was issued by the Ukrainian attorney general. Other charges included dealing drugs, being a Nigerian, making illicit business transactions, embezzling the church's money and so on.
The church was desperate for God to stop this unfair assault on us. My deportation at that stage of the church's development could have dealt a deadly blow since we were only three years old. Moreover, 90 percent of the church consisted of new believers. We appealed to the Body of Christ all over the world to pray for us, and huge numbers fervently did so. Our church declared a 40-day fast. I had always believed and taught that if there is a long-lasting problem, it is only because we have not prayed or we have not prayed enough. On the basis of that belief, I locked myself up for days, praying as much as 16 to 18 hours nonstop each day and fasting. After all, I reasoned, this nonsense had been going on for months and instead of the problems disappearing, they seemed to be getting worse!
A Midcourse Correction
Suddenly I realized that God wanted to correct something. God showed me that the mere ritual of prayer and fasting was not enough. Along with that, I had to learn to say, "God, please don't stop this problem until I've learned all the lessons You want to teach me through this trial." It began to dawn on me that my maturity in faith would not be possible until I passed through the crucible of trials, persecutions and even suffering.
"Though he was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered" (Heb. 5:8).
The lesson was well understood. When I face a situation and I pray and bind and resist the enemy, and yet nothing changes, I may need to look inside myself for the answer. Maybe God was allowing these hardships. In my situation, the horrible newspaper articles continued to be written on a daily basis, but I stopped reading them and stopped being concerned about them and, for that matter, about my visa and passport. I left myself in His hands!
Then the signs of a turnaround appeared. Members of parliament started joining the church after some major miracles of God occurred in their lives and in the lives of their family members. As a result, they started lobbying for me in parliament, where they were able to get 50 parliamentarians to sign in my defense. This momentarily put a hold on the decision of the attorney general. The only thing that could settle the dispute between the executive arm of the government and the parliament was the court. There were 22 lawsuits against the church involving different government agencies, media, government officials and so on. At the end of 2000, my ordeal, which had begun in February 1997, ended with the courts decreeing that I should not only be acquitted of the charges but that I also should be issued a resident permit to enable me to lead a constructive and needed institution in the land.
As the years of persecution by the government, press, media and traditional Orthodox Church continued, I continued to tell God that if there were only 20 members left in the church, I would count it worthwhile to keep pursuing my missionary activities in Ukraine. I sincerely felt that 20 would be a good number, given all the social, mental and governmental pressures to which church members had been subjected. But contrary to my expectations, by the time the persecution ended we had grown from 3,000 to 8,000 members. Two years later, the church had 20,000 members with over 300 other churches worldwide.
Principles for Growth
I am still a young man and I have much to learn. Nevertheless, I feel that I should conclude this chapter with some personal observations on the guiding principles that I have followed so far. As I look back, I think there are three primary factors responsible for our growth: the call and purpose of God for my life; the purposes of God for Europe, Ukraine and the former Soviet Union; and most important, the grace of God.
Here are some other important factors:
A high level of dedication and God centeredness Character, integrity and honesty with God and man Sound and powerful teaching of the Word Constant demonstration of the supernatural Social involvement of the church in society Strong structure and administration Recognition of women as equal partners in Christ for the harvest The ability to mobilize and motivate the church for action Strong and fervent prayer Freedom and an environment focused on individual fulfillment The ability to overcome cultural barriers Work, work and more work