Endure International: Promoting the Welfare of the Church in the Middle EastEndure International

Philosophy of Missions

Many churches and organizations have undertaken to define and write up their philosophy of missions. Ours at Endure International is not and cannot be totally innovative. It also is not and cannot be exhaustive. Yet our uniqueness lies in three distinctives on which we place special emphasis. These three distinctives are 1) that local believers engage in reaching their own Jerusalem, 2) that suffering is part and parcel of the Gospel, and 3) that the Gospel's mission and therefore our mission is holistic. As in every other aspect of our ministry, we base these three distinctives on the Word of God.

  1. Acts 1:8:

    But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

    Whereas some mission organizations and churches define missions as fulfilling the Great Commission outside one's own geographic context, we not only include one's Jerusalem in our definition and philosophy of mission, rather we make that a guiding principle. For while we strongly believe in the "sending forth" element in missions since we ourselves fall into that category, and while we believe in carrying the message out to the ends of the earth, yet it is our conviction that the work of missions starts at home, even in those countries where there are few believers such as our regions of ministry. It is incumbent on all believers to reach out, including those that live and minister in less friendly and more hostile regions of the world. As a mission organization, our calling is to empower and equip believers 'outside' our borders to be witnesses in their Jerusalem. We cannot allow ourselves to deny them that privilege and/or relieve them from that responsibility.

  2. Matthew 16:24:

    Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."

    Suffering for the sake of Christ and the Gospel has gradually disappeared from the general definition of Christian missions. That void was filled with a new concept for which the term prosperity was coined.

    Since the dark ages of Europe when Christians were burned at the stake for their faith, and over these last centuries, most Christians living in Western Europe and later in North and South America have lived in free societies where the exercise of their faith did not require much in terms of "bearing one's cross." Their fathers and forefathers, similar to the early fathers of the church, did that on their behalf, almost redemptively.

    That sadly is not the case today in many other regions of the world, where antagonism towards Christianity and Christians is on the rise. From Asia to Africa passing through Central Asia and the Middle East, Christians continually face diverse forms of discrimination, harassment and persecution. To untold millions, bearing one's cross is not something that died in the Middle or Dark Ages. It is a reality they have to learn to live with. As with evangelism and personal witness where we take a secondary role and encourage and equip the local believers to take up their responsibility to reach their Jerusalem, so also we do with regards to suffering for the cause of Christ. Teaching them to both expect and accept suffering as part of the Christian package, and whenever necessary set the example before them becomes our role and responsibility. Moreover we sense the undeniable moral obligation to provide emotional and material support.

  3. Matthew 9:35:

    Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.

    Our ultimate example in doing mission work is our Lord Jesus Christ. His was a wholistic ministry, attending to both the spiritual needs, as well as the material and physical needs of men. Man is more than a soul with two ears. Man is also a soul with a mouth that needs to be fed, and a body that needs to be clothed. Except that the physical, material and emotional aspects of this ministry never take precedence over the spiritual impact that we hope to realize.

    The physical, material and emotional needs come in different forms and thus require different venues of dealing with them. These include making basic and vocational education affordable, providing means of regular sustenance, helping create jobs, giving out small loans to start micro-enterprises as well as offering counseling services.