ORLANDO – Pioneers, a global missionary outreach ministry, was established in 1979 by Ted Fletcher, former National Sales Manager for the Wall Street Journal, and his wife, Peggy.
That same year, Pioneers supported its first missionary, Ruth Wright, in Nigeria. In 1980 Pioneers sent its first missions team to Papua New Guinea.
Along the way, the organization has cooperated or merged with other vital missionary outreach ministries, including World Outreach Fellowship, Asia Pacific Christian Mission, South Sea Evangelical Mission, Action Partners, Ameritribes, and Arab World Ministries.
Nearly 5,000 workers minister with the support of Pioneers in 104 countries, seeking to reach the unreached.
Understanding that the proliferation and availability of the digital world and social media extends even into difficult areas – either because they are remote or because evangelism is restricted – Pioneers is developing internet and digital media strategies “to connect those seeking the Truth with Pioneer’s missionaries.”
The impetus for the digital focus came, in part, from an encounter with a young Yemeni Muslim boy who, along with his cousin, had moved to Turkey to avoid the mounting tensions in his home country. As he was browsing the internet one day, he saw an online ad offering a chance to talk with a Christian. The advertisement was specifically targeted to the region in Turkey where the young man was living. The “Click” led to a conversation, and the discussion led to both cousins coming to Christ.
Amazed by the Gospel message, the young man inquired, “Why didn’t someone come to our country and share this message with our people a long time ago?”
Pioneer and its global partners in the Arab world, China, India, and Indonesia will be developing additional strategies and digital media resources to reach the unreached in their own homes and communities. The digital outreach of Pioneer partner, Arab World Media, accounted for 227 Muslims coming to the Truth in just six months.
Digital media is opening new opportunities to spread the Word, and it is proving to be effective where other methods have either failed, become outdated, or are otherwise hindered.