As an offspring of SEND International, MDE is a new company with a rich history. SEND International itself began in the late 1940’s as two ministries–one in Japan and one in the Philippines–joined forces in order to “strengthen the work afield, unify our efforts, reduce expenses of administration … and thus be a spearhead for the Gospel." (Quote from SEND’s charter resolutions.) SEND’s vision has essentially been the same ever since—to see churches planted among the unreached. As a result of this passion, missionaries were sent to unreached communities throughout the world. In many of those places it became readily apparent that to truly engage the community, or in some instances to be allowed to stay in the community, the team had to provide some service. Teams began doing so in a variety of ways—some good, some not so good.
In October, 2012, SEND’s International Director invited a number of SEND members and SEND supporters to a summit to discuss SEND’s vision for Business As Mission (BAM). At the end of that summit, the participants affirmed: “that Marketplace and Development Enterprises (MDE) is an essential strategy in engaging unreached peoples to establish reproducing churches. And we see an urgent need to grow our capacity to mobilize, prepare, and support workers in MDE initiatives in collaboration with other like-minded partners.” In 2013, the current President and CEO of MDE was appointed to move this directive forward.
The summit participants realized that to create a truly new enterprise that employed new strategies and methods it might be necessary to create one or more new entities. After spending a significant amount of time researching, praying, and debating this issue, it was decided that a new entity was in fact best, and Marketplace and Development Enterprises of SEND International, Inc. was born. While sharing the same focus on church planting among the unreached, MDE has its own unique mission, its own values, its own strategies for partnering, recruiting members, supporting members, and engaging communities. We are excited to see how God has allowed and will allow us to partner with his disciples to make disciples for his glory.