2 May 2013 by Adeline Lum CM-
On 27th of April, Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) had a ‘Walk Right, Work Right, PROSPER?’ conference with an influential man of God called Graham Power.
His company, Power Group, is one of Southern Africa’s leaders in the field of civil engineering construction, turnkey property development and infrastructure. Boasting a list of achievements and accolades, Power was recently awarded in 2012 as the ‘Entrepreneurial Leader of the Year’ award by the World Evangelical Alliance in Vancouver, Canada.
“I have the privilege of being here 4 times in the last three years and I want to say that it is the country outside my hometown that I visited the most in the last two years. So, I want to thank you for your hospitality, the warmth, the love that I have come to experience from your people,” said Power.
Hailing from beautiful Cape Town at Africa, he is the third-generation of the Power Family in Africa.
“I may be a white but I am an African and I am proud to be an African. I believe God has placed me there for a reason (though) many, many of my friends… many, many people who were in school with me have immigrated to New Zealand, Australia and England,” said Power.
A Void Unquenched by Wealth
Growing up in a fairly poor environment, Power had four siblings. His eldest brother and sister had to leave school at 16 years old so that the younger siblings in the family can complete schooling.
His father was a motor mechanic while his mother would ride her bicycle to work every day to ensure that they would have one pair of school shoes each. And Power eventually got a bicycle with many coats of paint on it, as it was passed down by his family members.
“Probably because I grew up with so little, my burning desire was to acquire wealth, to grow, to climb the ladder, and I did many things that I am not particularly proud of,” said Power who started working at 18 years old, the year his father passed away.
He started off in his early 20’s as a surveyor, quantity surveyor and finally project manager. And after ten years of working, he received a promotion to become one the youngest director in his company at 28 years old. But he decided to start his own construction company instead, called Power Group.
At that time, he would tick himself off in the census form as a ‘Christian.’ But what that meant was he was born in a Christian family. A nominal Christian, although Power and his wife would attend a Methodist church, he would only go to church every month or more upon the prompting of his mother or when the television did not broadcast good sports.
“On a Sunday, I was a Christian. But on a Monday to Saturday, I would do whatever that was necessary to grow my business- influence the politicians, influence the engineers, influence the clients, as best as I could in order to grow my business,” said Power.
He recalled coming face-to-face with corruption as a 23-year-old project manager. His company was hiring machines, in which many of the machines were due to be put off. An owner of a plant came to negotiate with him saying, “I believe you are putting off a lot of the equipment. If you keep my equipment and put off the others, I will give you $5 for every hour that these machines are working.”
“What I want to say to you is that this was the first time I came face-to-face with corruption; a direct bribe. And at that point, I have the conviction to say to him: Listen, if you offer me as the project manager this kind of bribe. Imagine what you’re doing to the man who’s going to sign off the clock and the junior foreman,” said Power.
At that time, he believed in his heart that direct corruption was not right. But when he came out to start his own company, he recalled that he had been struggling to grow his young business. And when his company eventually grew to what he described as a ‘little threat’ to the bigger contractors, Power recalled receiving a call from an owner of one of the biggest contracting firms to have a casual tea. The casual tea snowballed into a continual collusion among contractors to increase profit-making.
“What I want to tell you is that I was progressively sucked into that. In fact, I became one of the leaders in making the call for the meetings,” said Power.
An Angel of Prayer in the Company
But unbeknownst to Power, he had a dedicated Christian secretary who prayed for him for a few years.
“She went along and did some crazy things when I was not there. She would go pray in my office, even taking oil to anoint my desk and my door. If I knew about it at that time, I would have probably fired her. Friends, I want to say that, that secretary’s prayers ultimately brought me to the Lord. She ended up rounding up four or five of the ladies in the office and they used to pray for me weekly and probably daily,” said Power.
At that time, an organization called Nation-Building would hold a gathering every two to three months, where they would invite a Christian speaker to speak specifically about construction building. Power was invited for three to four years before he finally attended a gathering; he was told that it would be massive with 300 top people of the construction industry attending, a great opportunity to network!
“That morning, the speaker spoke right into my heart. And I was challenged big time. A few months later, that same organization had another gathering and this time, they had one of my sporting heroes. He was the captain for South Africa’s cricket game, Peter Pollock. That morning, in that breakfast, Peter Pollock ended up telling us his life story and he got a very sly way about him,” said Power. “At the end of his talk, he said: Now I like to pray with you, close your eyes. He used the sinner’s prayer and asked us to keep our eyes closed. He then asked the crowd: If you say your prayer for the first time, would you raise your hands? And I raised my hand,” said Power.
“Somebody must have opened their eyes because they phoned me the next day. And I want to tell you that my life was turned around from that moment going forward,” he added.
A year later, he did an Alpha course with his wife in 1999.
The LORD says Fulfill the Instructions I Give You
In July 2000, God gave him a vision of how things would roll out from South Africa into the whole globe. He was with his wife in Spain for a holiday.
“The instruction was clear. I am in Newlands, the 50,000-seated stadium where I would challenge Christians from all the different denominations to come together for a day of repentance and prayer. And then God showed how it would roll out across South Africa, Southern Africa, Africa, and around the globe. There was huge resistance; I went to speak to bishops, big church leaders, etc. And they said: you’re crazy, the biggest gathering we had was 5000 people,” said Power.
But as God showed it, so it happened! On 21 of March 2001, not only were the 50000 seats full but they had to do a direct satellite broadcast for the overflow of people. At that time, South Africa also had 22 bombs which exploded over 18 months which were propagated by a mafia group involved in drug trafficking. So, one of the biggest issues they prayed for was for God to protect Cape Town. And from 2001 to 2013, not a single bomb plotted had exploded in Cape Town. Praise the Lord!
My Wealth Comes from God
“As a businessperson, one of the bible verses that has impacted me is Deutronomy 8:17 to 18,” said Power.
17 Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’ 18 But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
A hard worker, Power worked 12 to 14 hours a day. Hence, he thought his success came from his perseverance.
“But slowly and surely as I made the commitment, as the Lord entered into my life, I came to realize… Graham, your talent, your body, your health… Where do you think that comes from? I could walk out here and be flattened by a bus, have a heart attack, find out that I have cancer, lose my wife, lose one of my children, and lose my business,” said Power who owed his every success to God.
I am Not Ashamed of Ethical Living
And on 6th October 2006, God gave Power a powerful vision, which he described as ‘instruction’ from God!
He woke up at 4 in the morning with a feeling of electricity running through his body till 7:30 in the morning. During that time, he was shown three waves that would start from Africa to the world!
“The first wave has already started which was the Global Day of Prayer. The second wave would be a wave of ethics, values, and clean living. And I came to understand this particular scripture,” said Power.
Citing 2 Chronicles 7:14, Power shared that if we were to pray and turn away from our evil ways, God would forgive our sins and heal our land.
“I believe this is the kind of recipe like if you’re baking a cake, there are certain ingredients you got to put in. And I believe this is something God is telling you and I. If we do that every day, meaning if I humble myself and make time to pray each day and also turn away from my wicked ways by living in ethics, values and clean living, God would heal our land,” said Power.
For the second wave, Power founded www.unashamedethical.com where leaders and individuals worldwide would sign a pledge form professing their ethical stand and clean living. Names registered would be collated into an electronic database where people could access for reliable and trustworthy service. People who did not adhere to those rules can be reported to the organization to be investigated and banned or suspended if found unethical.
“This is not man’s plan. The Global Day of Prayer rolled out from one stadium to all 220 nations in the world with over 400 million people participating by the year 2010. That is not thanks to any man, any committee, or any great organization… No person, people or great team could coordinate and facilitate that which people said is the largest prayer gathering in all recorded history. I cannot claim any credit for that. And I believe for this next wave of ethics, values and clean living, God promise to heal our land,” said Power.
To sign in for a pledge form, please refer to http://www.unashamedlyethical.com/Commitment/
“I want to tell you that more company, more profits, more turnovers, more material things could not fill that void. It took me until the age of 44 before I made that commitment and invited Christ into my life. I trust whether there’s one or a hundred people tonight, I trust that God would sum up my experience and may be speaking to you right now. Consider whether you have made that commitment. I believe I could not have inner peace until such a time as I made that commitment. I also ask you tonight whether you are prepared to join thousands of people around the globe in 91 nations to sign this pledge,” Power said.
The service ended with many people placing their pledge forms in the box as a declaration to the church and also to God.
What if No One Appreciates our Ethics?
To conclude his talk, Graham Power ended it by sharing Mother Teresa’s quote:
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
For more information on the Power Group achievements and accolades, please visit http://www.powergrp.co.za/achievements.htm. As mentioned in the website, ‘each accolade is a testimony to the team- and to the ceaseless Grace of God.’
For more information on being part of unashamedly ethical, please visit and register in http://www.unashamedlyethical.com/Home/default.asp
For more information on DUMC and the audio sermon, please visit http://dumc.my/resources/sermons-online/
Pictures are credited to DUMC