The 24th annual Silicon Valley Prayer Breakfast, held March 16, featured two speakers – Justin Dillon and Promod Haque – who found strength in faith to address both global injustice and personal tragedy.
Dillon commits much of his time and resources to disrupting the $150 billion business of human trafficking. He told the early-morning crowd at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara of his efforts to ensure that companies steer clear of suppliers engaged in the slave trade. He offered as his objective: “Reduce the chaos in the lives of others – the chaos of slavery.”
Dillon, a former musician born in Los Gatos and raised in Fremont, traded pursuing his “rock dream” for his “soul dream.”
It began with the disturbing vision of children with their hands tied behind their backs, as if captured. Later, he came across a magazine article about human trafficking and described the feelings of anguish and helplessness that engulfed him. But they also filled him with a new purpose.
He launched a digital platform, Made In A Free World, in which more than 30 million consumers and businesses work together to protect freedom in the global marketplace.
He also directed the acclaimed documentary “Call + Response,” which chronicles the pervasiveness of modern-day slavery, with a goal to raise awareness and disrupt a disreputable industry – in other words, “reducing the chaos.”
‘The best investment’
One of Silicon Valley’s most successful venture capitalists, Haque offered a moving testimony at the prayer breakfast detailing his 27-year-old daughter’s battle with bone cancer, a disease she discovered not long after giving birth in 2014. When treatments became futile, his daughter told him, “‘Dad, it’s OK to die,’” he recalled. “She knew she would be with Jesus in heaven for all eternity.”
A senior managing partner at Norwest Venture Partners, Haque’s investments in more than 70 companies have generated approximately $40 billion in value. But he reminded the full house of attendees that such success is fleeting.
“Life is short. Nothing lasts forever,” Haque said, his words landing on his audience in profound silence. “Companies don’t last, civilizations don’t last – only the kingdom of God lasts … and those who believe in Him.”
Haque, who once considered a vocational ministry, quoted Jesus’ words: “‘If you believe in me, you will have eternal life. … If you believe in me.’ Life is more than here on Earth – it’s much more than that. There’s eternity that lies ahead of us.”
The business titan called his choice to follow God “the best investment decision that I have made in my life.”
Haque believes he will see his daughter again.
“I’ve not lost her,” he said. “I’ve just lost temporary contact with her. One day, in heaven, I’ll be reunited with her.”
The Silicon Valley Prayer Breakfast began as the Los Altos Prayer Breakfast in 1995. The annual gathering features business leaders who share personal stories of faith and prayer as vital elements of their lives. Los Altos resident Skip Vaccarello leads and moderates the event.
According to organizers, the events encourage conversations on spiritual topics, and are not associated with any particular church or denomination.
For more information, visit svpb.net.