Copyright 2010 by Janet & Geoff Benge
All Rights Reserved
David Bussau: Facing the World Head-on
(1940 - )
David Bussau grew up in New Zealand boys' homes, where expectations of the young men were low. But David shattered those expectations, emerging as an enterprising teenager running a rented hot dog stand. Numerous business ownerships and financial success followed, and with that success, a vision to provide natural disaster relief and aid to the poor in Australia, Indonesia, India, and beyond.
Today David Bussau's work continues through Opportunity International, a worldwide aid organization that offers small business loans to help the poor start and grow their own businesses. Certain of his direction, this hero to the world's poor continues to look ahead for ways to use business to advance the the spread of the gospel.
Pages: 205 (paperback)
1) When we first heard of David Bussau, neither Janet nor I had ever heard of him. Yet his accomplishments were impressive and we set to work researching his story. We were surprised to discover that while he lives in Australia, and has done so for many years, David was born and raised in New Zealand, in fact, in the same valley that I was born and raised in.
As I wrote in the Epilogue to David’s biography, I flew to Sydney, Australia, in March 2007,(it’s a tough job but someone has to do it) to interviewDavid. I wasn’t sure how the interview would go; David had seemed a little reticent to share on the phone. When I arrived at his home in Sydney I found David to be open and forthcoming with the answers to my questions. We sat side-by-side in a small recreation room at the back of his property overlooking the garden, and interspersed our long interview sessions with walks in Centennial Park opposite his house. By the time I was finished interviewing David I would have to say he was one of the most extraordinary people I have ever met: He was soft spoken, humble about his achievements, and filled with wisdom and understanding about the plight of the poor and how to effectively respond to their needs. I left Sydney at the end of our time together enriched and enlightened, and eager to get to work writing his biography.
2) During my interview with David, as we talked about his challenging childhood growing up in an orphanage in New Zealand, we stumbled upon an interesting coincidence. Those who have read this book will remember the Christmas party held at Arthur Clouston’s sawmill in the Akatarawa Valley that David and the boys from the orphanage attended. I grew up not too far from the site of the sawmill and knew Arthur Clouston; his son Billy was in my class at elementary school. As well, my father and grandfather, who owned a family motor repair business, fixed many of the mill trucks when they broke down, and I had passed many days with my dad at the saw mill while he fixed broken down trucks, playing on the same field by the river where David attended the party. Sometimes the world can seem a very small place.