A Rich Heritage
12 Apr 2023
Three mission organisations. Three regions of the world. Three histories.
One common purpose… to reach those yet to hear.
- A vision for the Islands.
Late in the 1800s, thousands of Pacific Islanders were brought to Australia to work in sugarcane plantations. In His goodness, God raised up Florence Young, a courageous young Christian, and inspired her with a passion to reach these people and their homelands with the gospel. She began sharing her faith and commenced a tiny Bible study. She dreamed of the day when a mission movement would impact all the South Pacific Islands. For years she laboured on. It was difficult, thankless and culturally inappropriate work for a woman. But her vision remained clear, her passion vibrant.
In 1886, a letter she had written found its way into the hands of an Englishman visiting Sydney to preach. He had heard of her pioneering work and her vision for the South Seas. A man of great faith and courage, he wrote a short note: “I think the Lord wants me to help you in this work. Expect great things from God, and you will get them!” With his note, he enclosed two guineas.
This was the first financial contribution to the work of the South Sea Evangelical Mission. The donor was George Muller. In subsequent years, gospel ministry commenced in the Solomon Islands. Vast numbers came to know Christ and eventually the South Sea Evangelical Church was born. More churches were planted, new workers mobilised, and waves of revival swept the Islands. Many thousands of people came to Christ. In 1997, South Sea Evangelical Mission joined with Asia Pacific Christian Mission to form Pioneers of Australia.
- 2. Pioneering the Pacific.
In 1931, the Unevangelised Fields Mission (later, Asia Pacific Christian Mission) was formed in England with a vision to initiate the planting of churches among global unreached peoples. Far away in Australia, a young Bible College student, Albert Drysdale, applied to the Mission to work in Papua New Guinea. Albert arrived the following year in PNG with £12 in his pocket and began a pioneering work at Madiri in the remote Western District. Others soon followed. Even during the tumult and danger of World War II, the first believers of what was to become the Evangelical Church of Papua New Guinea were baptised. And the church continues to grow today.
- 3. From the Niger to the Nile.
In the office of the President of the Church of Christ in Nigeria, in a place of prominence, hangs a dusty, fading photograph of a German doctor, Karl Kumm. Early last century, prompted by the Holy Spirit and a passion to reach unreached people with the gospel, he took survey trips through north central Africa, believing God for the establishment of a chain of churches across the continent, stemming the southward advance of Islam. In 1904, Karl and three colleagues pioneered this fledgling work. In time, 11 mobilisation bases for what became the Sudan United Mission (later, Action Partners) were established. Despite intense hardship, the gospel spread. Today, more than 10 million believers worship in churches spawned from that work.
Pioneers of Australia.
In 1997, after years of prayerful reflection and strategic planning, Asia Pacific Christian Mission and South Sea Evangelical Mission formed Pioneers of Australia and Pioneers New Zealand. In 2001, Action partners joined Pioneers. In 1998, Pioneers International became a reality. And the work continues today.
Pioneers mobilises teams to glorify God among unreached peoples
by initiating church planting movements in partnership with local churches.
Is God calling you to join the mission field? Get in touch.