For many entrepreneurs, there is a moment in their lives when they feel called to something greater, something bigger than themselves. A moment when they can see their goals laid out in front of them with stunning clarity, all of their hopes and dreams within their grasp.
For Patricia Ralijemisa, this moment came in 2003 when she was set on her current journey by a divine call. She has since worked tirelessly to improve the lives of people around the world, through her mentoring and her work with schools and communities globally.
Born in Madagascar, she earned her undergraduate degree in accounting from Madagascar and has since earned masters degrees in Business Administration, International Relations and Theological Studies from American universities. She uses her accrued knowledge, empathetic awareness and faith to guide her on her path.
Did you always want to be an entrepreneur?
I was born in Madagascar but have been living in Switzerland since 2014 with my husband and our two children. I’ve lived all over the world from the United States of America to Europe and Africa and travelled to over forty countries. I love travelling because you get to discover new cultures and learn new languages; I speak Malagasy, English, French, and Spanish.
My background is in working for international corporations in both the private and the non-profit sectors. I have advised management on utilising their resources effectively to achieve greater economy and efficiency. I enjoyed the work but slowly came to the realisation that there must be more to life. We live in a world where we’re studying, working then retire and I wanted to do something that would really change the world and bring me some true fulfilment. It was an event in 2003 that lead me to the path I’m on now.
Can you tell us more about that?
God touched my life in July 2003 and I was supernaturally transformed. Before that, I was only concerned about pursuing a career and becoming an accomplished professional woman. Not long after that, I got a revelation of my purpose in life, which is to share the saving love of Jesus Christ to the world and teaching Biblical principles that change people’s lives. Through gradual revelation and increasing compassion for people, I have discovered that I have also been called to minister emotional healing to the brokenhearted and provide freedom for those who are held captive in their own souls.
With my husband, through our outreaches in Madagascar, we have been blessed to be able to help the needy, feed the poor and care for the hurting. We see all of these works as ways of sharing the love of Jesus Christ. We regularly provide lunches to 200 children in primary schools. We also donate funds to a center which provides a home, education and a healthy life for more than 120 children who are orphaned, abandoned, mistreated or forced into work. During the Christmas holiday season, we help bring joy to families and children by giving out food, clothes and toys – feeding over 500 people and reaching more than 200 families.
Can you tell us more about your work ?
We want to do so much more as we know that what we currently do is like a drop in a vast ocean. We want to have a significant, positive impact on the world. We want to be part of a greater whole, where people create wealth through entrepreneurship but then also give back more to society.
I teach people how to live their lives based on God’s design and will, which is the best guarantee for achieving success, happiness and finding peace and joy. I also mentor and coach those who need more personal help on an individual basis for a certain period of time.
What is the best thing about your mission and what keeps you inspired?
This idea was first in my heart and I could not get rid of. Finding your passion in life is like that. It’s like the air you breathe. If you don’t do it, you know you will be dying little by little. That keeps me inspired.
The best thing about what I do is seeing the positive transformation in the lives of the people I mentor and the revelation they experience through accepting the love of God the Father. Seeing these transformations in my mentees encourages me also to persevere and do more for the people that connect with me. Every day I get to share the love of Jesus Christ through my work and that is something truly fulfilling for me, something that keeps me going on this path.
And what is the most challenging part?
The world is very noisy, with everyone struggling to be heard over the cacophony. It can be difficult to have your voice heard, particularly on the internet. I know that I have a life-giving message so I am able to keep going and to remember that my voice is important.
What is the best piece of advice you can give someone starting their own business or organisation?
To me, success is an alignment of one’s life to God’s plan for him or her. If I am accomplishing my life’s purpose then I am successful because it has been divinely designed. Success is more than having lots of money, lots of material things and fame etc. It is more about creating something of worth and being able to bless and love others through acts of kindness.
For anyone out there looking to start their own business or organisation, I would say follow your heart, listen to God, persevere, and never give up. There is a perfect timing for everything.
Patricia Ralijemisa specializes in mentoring people by helping them to break free from past emotional hurt that might still be causing them distress. She equips people with life transforming principles that help them take steps towards fulfilling their life’s purpose and achieve their personal and professional goals.