Most Asian–American families let their oldest son take over the family business, Simon Lee says. “We don’t talk about it. We don’t pray about it. It was just the expectation.” And it was what was expected of him when he graduated college.
But Simon had been going on mission trips. Between 1995 and 2010, God provided a way for him to see poverty first–hand – in Kenya, Panama, East Asia, Bolivia, Peru, Russia, South Sudan, and Mexico.
“God was using these trips to chisel away at my selfish desires,” Simon says. Over the years, ambitions he had related to wealth, power, and an easy life were slowly disappearing and being replaced by new desires to become a servant, a giver of wealth and a lover of the “least of these.”
“Please don’t get me wrong,” Simon says. “I still struggle with materialism and the love of money from time to time, but it no longer has a grip on my life. I give thanks daily for the transforming power of God’s grace and love.”
God used one of these mission trips in particular to change his life, and he started thinking about what it meant to be happy. Money wasn’t it.
When he came back from the trip, he had a recurring dream – so recurring, in fact, that he began to seek the Lord to find out if he was going crazy. He couldn’t stop dreaming the number 50 – for 30 nights in a row! He came to understand what it meant.
He worked up the courage to tell his parents that he wanted to start his own company, and he wanted to give 50 percent of his profits away.
“It didn’t go too well,” Simon says. “But I knew that my father loved Jesus.” So he asked his mom and dad to pray. Was the Lord indeed calling him to this?
Simon’s parents did soon catch his vision for a God–glorifying business. And Simon established a company which he committed fully to Jesus. He and those who work for him at his company, Buy on Purpose, now try to make as much money as they can … and then give as much as they can away.
Watch the video to learn more about Simon’s story.