An International Movement
By Donnie Scearce
(reproduced from Pioneers Canada)
It has been said that organizations move through four developmental stages as they grow: man, movement, machine, and monument. While not all organizations achieve these milestones at the same pace, and some do not grow at all, God has been faithful to build Pioneers from the vision of one faithful couple into an international movement.
Pioneers was founded in 1979 when God gave a vision to businessman Ted Fletcher and his wife Peggy to begin a ministry that would focus on those with the least opportunity to hear the gospel. Their vision for the unreached was clear, their passion for God was strong, and their faith in God was resilient. That is what is needed to establish a ministry that will last.
Their ministry began out of a local church in Sterling, Virginia USA that offered to pray and financially support the Lord’s work. By the mid-eighties, the vision began to take hold in the hearts of university age people across the U.S. The mission was just beginning to expand. By the early to mid-nineties, momentum had picked up significantly and there were dozens of people annually who were volunteering to go to some of the most difficult places around the world. These were exciting days for the mission, but God was arranging for a new path to be taken, one that would expand the vision even further and cause it to become more of a global movement than ever before.
To quote from Ted’s autobiography When God Comes Calling: “To all the world” has certainly been our call. But there was another call as well: “From all the world.” We didn’t want Pioneers to be just a U.S. based ministry. To reach the entire world effectively, we had to represent the entire world—to find workers who were from all the world and send them to all the world.
Over time, and through a variety of means, including mergers and the initiation of new works, God began to cause the vision of internationalization to become a reality. Pioneers Canada came into the organization through the merger of World Outreach Fellowship and Pioneers in 1994. By 2000, Pioneers had sending bases in Africa, Australia, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States. The mission was well on its way to becoming an international movement.
Today, in 2015, the ministry has expanded to include offices in Latin America, China, and the Middle East. God is truly raising up workers from all the world to be a part of His greater global work. Ted, who is with the Lord now, would have never guessed the mission would have grown to include nearly 3,000 global members working in hard-to-reach areas of the world. But he would be thrilled to see that God has led Pioneers beyond himself as the man who started Pioneers to become a movement led by the Holy Spirit spreading the gospel from all the world to all the world.