Josh Davis always knew he would end up in mining. His birthday, August 17, is the same day gold was first discovered in the Yukon. His passion continued to grow when his grandfather gave him a coin from the first gold poured when one of his mines went into production. In his business dealings, his grandfather demonstrated integrity, generosity and kindness. These seeds sprouted up in young Josh, creating a desire to work in mining.
With the mining industry often being a dark place and significantly focused on money, people frequently get involved for the wrong reasons. This creates credibility issues and sometimes causes damage to the communities where the mines are located, both financially and environmentally.
Can faith play a part in a place like this? Yes, but it took a while for Josh to understand it.
After he stopped going to church at the age of 18, Josh lived what he describes as a “worldly life” during his university years. Eventually, he realized his life was empty. He had an understanding of who God was, but did not have a personal relationship with Jesus. Following some traumatic experiences, he began questioning life and what his purpose was. During this time one of his friends invited Josh to lunch to tell him about how his life had been transformed by Jesus. However, it wasn’t until August 2011 that Josh started going back to church and began living for Jesus. Almost immediately, the emptiness in his life was filled.
Seven months later he met Tim Ernst, a Navigator who works with business professionals in B.C. Tim introduced Josh to a weekly study group designed for business professionals to meet over lunch and study how the Bible and business intersect. For Josh, the study has had a significant impact. “It’s pretty powerful meeting with other Christian businessmen who are older than me, talking about Jesus, praying and being there for one another.”
Tim and Josh meet one-on-one, talking through life and various issues, and have become close to each other’s families. “He’s a solid rock in my life,” Josh says, “always there for me, even when I’m going through any struggles or face big decisions in my business or personal life. He’s definitely been a huge gift to me.” Tim is investing in Josh and Josh is identifying with the values and calling of The Navigators, desiring to embody the Navigator mission where he is planted: the mining industry.
When his grandfather was diagnosed with cancer, Josh was one of his caretakers. In the time they spent together, Josh learned more and more about his life. “Through mining he was able to touch a lot of peoples’ lives and create jobs. This was something that always intrigued me. Something was birthing in me during the year and a half I was with him.”
Now, through a series of circumstances, Josh is working in the same mining company that his first gold coin came from. “I first got involved to continue my grandfather’s legacy,” Josh says, “but now the reason I’m passionate about it is because I have an opportunity to be a light in the often dark world of mining.”
This passion for setting a Christ-like example has forced Josh to approach mining differently. As he sets up investment plans to acquire projects and companies, he says negotiating deals can be difficult, especially when dealing with businessmen whose strategies are legal and par for the course, but not always in line with God’s way. “One of my business mentors helped me realize my goal is not to just run my business for profit, but to help lead people to Christ through my actions.”
He says his priorities are to operate with integrity, to serve and to be good stewards. “We want to help build community, create jobs, build schools, hospitals and meet the needs in the communities we work in. For me, it’s not about the gold or silver or copper or whatever we’re working in, it’s about letting God direct my steps.”