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 How ICCC started

ICCC was birthed in 1985 from a vision given to Swedish businessman, J Gunnar Olson. The vision extends to a worldwide network of people committed to Jesus Christ who exchange prayers and products, ideas and services and who assist one another in their business and their walk with God.

Membership to ICCC extends to over 70 nations. International gatherings have been held on every continent with meetings in Moscow, Washington DC, Manila, Pretoria, Bournemouth, Stuttgart and Jerusalem.

It was in the late seventies and early eighties that the vision was formed and plans were made to lay the foundation of the International Christian Chamber of Commerce (ICCC). ICCC was registered in Brussels, Belgium in July 1985 as a Non-profit International Association (AISBL).

The aim is to put the Kingdom of God as the first priority in our business lives and to teach and train men and women to respond to the biblical challenge of a walk with Christ in the marketplace.

ICCC chairman and founder Gunnar Olson often speaks about a release under the Lordship of Christ when he is teaching. Drawing on insights and wisdom from walking with the Lord in his own business life, coupled with the foundational Word of God, he wants to show that, through the redemptive work of Jesus, there is indeed a freedom from slavery to be experienced also in our professional and business lives. The door into that freedom is Jesus, and is accessed through faith in Him.

PROPHETIC START

At the end of 1984 a conference was held in Vrebro, Sweden, with the theme Big Brother or the Kingdom of God? This conference, with Intercessors International, became the platform from which Gunnar shared for the first time his vision and dream of an International Christian Chamber of Commerce. I had carried the vision for several years, but now the Lord showed me that the time had come to take a bold step and dress the vision in words. Close to the time of the conference, and full of fear about making a mistake, I cried out to the Lord for a sign.

The Lord answered my heart's cry and encouraged me, through an American businessman who called from Paris and wanted to see me at Arlanda Airport in Stockholm. He would fly in just over lunchtime and return later the same day. When meeting him at the airport he said, Now is the time to speak what you have in your heart. And this shall be your sign! When I asked him what are you talking about? he answered, I don't know. As he spoke, he reached into his briefcase and handed over 2,000 lapel pins. This is today the ICCC symbol.

This was the first in a series of prophetic confirmations which led to the initiation of the ICCC. The Bible tells us that we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. I experienced the truth of these words; everything was prepared beforehand Gunnar says.

In the same supernatural way God led Gunnar to each of the five other founding members of the ICCC. One of them was Australian, two were Americans (one of them living in Belgium), one a Canadian (living in the US), and one a Belgian citizen.

Among these was Dr Willard Cantelon of Washington DC, who was chairman that year of the Presidential Prayer Breakfast in the USA. Immediately following the Intercessors conference in Vrebro, Gunnar flew to Switzerland to meet the well-known TV evangelist, Dr Fred Ladenius, in Lugano. As Fred and Gunnar were dining in the Ladenius' residence, the telephone rang and a man brought forth a prophetic message to Gunnar. What you have initiated has much greater dimensions than you can now appreciate and understand... he said. It was Dr Willard Cantelon calling from Washington; Gunnar had only met him once before at a luncheon for several hundred businessmen in Brussels two years earlier. In spite of the fact that the two did not know each other, Dr Cantelon had, at that time, shocked Gunnar by saying, We will have much to do with each other in the future. After that luncheon they had no other contact until the telephone conversation during the dinner with Dr Ladenius.

To this day I cannot understand what happened in any other way than that the Lord directed my steps in detail in a supernatural way Gunnar says.

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