Sustainability of ministry was a topic that resonated with us when we first met with Ethnos360 Aviation leadership to discuss working with them. Being sustainable and helping sustain others in their ministry is one of our family’s primary aims.
“Sustain” means . . .
To bear (a burden, charge, etc.):
Since Christ’s ascension, the Church has carried out His charge to be witnesses “to the ends of the earth”. Yet today millions of people are “unreached”, with no Christian witness in their communities. This is an evangelistic challenge we are called to be a part of, trusting in Christ’s promise to always be with us and to build His church (Matthew 16:18; 28:19,20).
To keep up or keep going, as an action or process:
The specific goal of Ethnos360 missionaries and their international partners is to plant thriving churches that can sustain themselves – churches that are rooted in God’s Word, growing through the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives, nourished by mature spiritual leaders, and ready to reproduce themselves by continuing to spread the gospel.
To endure without giving way or yielding:
Ethnos360’s required training is designed to prepare missionaries for long-term service and equip us to endure the daily pressures of cross-cultural ministry on our walk with the Lord, our marriage and family, and our relationships with co-workers and national believers.
To keep (a person, the mind, the spirits, etc.) from giving way, as under trial or affliction:
The process of learning an unreached peoples’ language and culture, translating and teaching through the Bible, and discipling national church leaders is measured in decades. The aviation ministry we are a part of is critical to supporting missionaries through years of living in remote areas without medical or educational services, among extreme poverty, and surrounded by deep spiritual darkness. Aviation not only gives them access to the people they are trying to reach, but also connects them to the fellowship and services they need to stay engaged in ministry year after year.
To supply with food, drink, and other necessities of life:
An airplane or helicopter is also used to supply missionaries with everything from toilet paper to 2x4s. When disaster strikes or a medical emergency arises, it delivers relief and is a lifeline for their communities.
To provide for (an institution or the like) by furnishing means or funds:
None of this is possible without God providing through the prayers, encouragement, and financial support of fellow believers. It will take committed ministry partners to sustain us through the years ahead. We are incredibly grateful for the churches and individuals that are already partnering with us! Will you consider being a part of God’s provision too?
Ultimately, it is God who sustains His children and His purposes in this world. We merely reflect His character and become channels of His grace when we join Him in His work. Knowing this, we have every confidence that He will sustain and complete the work He has begun!
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:3-6
“Sustain.” Dictionary.com. 2019. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/sustain. (June 8, 2019).