As I write this I am traveling. While traveling, I notice markers—mile markers along the side of the road—that tell where I am and how far I have come. Mile markers were once called “milestones.” Now we think of a milestone, not as a measurement of physical distance, but as a marker of a significant event in the life of a person or an organization. The year 2011 is a very significant milestone for World Indigenous Missions as it marks our thirtieth year as a mission organization.
WIM was incorporated as a mission agency in July, 1981. The original board of directors were Myron Anderson, founder and president; Steve Johnson, vice president; Walter Fleming, secretary; Roland Dunteman, advisor. Myron saw a vision of “little fires on the mountain tops” of Mexico. These “little fires” were churches that would be planted in villages throughout Mexico. Over two hundred fifty “little fires” have been started in Mexico since that vision and many more across the world.
The original WIM missionaries came from the parent organization Missionary Revival Crusade. MRC worked mostly in Mexico City with a vision to reach into other large urban populations in Mexico. The founders of WIM had a heart for the rural villages. They began working in the mountainous region known as “The Hausteca” in the state of San Luis Potosí, near the towns of Matalapa, Tamazunchale, and Ciudad Valles. Their desire was to train missionaries who would plant churches among indigenous peoples in the Hausteco and Nahuatl tribes. They believed in and held strongly to principles of planting churches that would become self-supporting, self-governing, and self-propagating. They knew that if these new believers could be taught to finance their church, govern its affairs, and evangelize their own people, they would continue to plant other churches with the same vision without the aid of foreign missionaries or other outside sources. World Indigenous Missions continues to adhere to those proven principles.
All of WIM’s original missionaries were apostolic in their calling to plant indigenous churches. Those original missionaries, still in or closely associated with WIM, are Walter Fleming, Jeff and Wendy Steen, Dale and Kathy Pugh, Gene and Gloria Flanery, Mark and Janet B., and Paul Koehler. The Flanerys and Steens were two of the first to expand into other countries to plant churches. Gene and Gloria went to the Philippines, and Jeff and Wendy moved to Spain. After that, WIM moved into the Dominican Republic, France, Russia, Puerto Rico, Hungary, and various countries in Africa, Asia, and South America.
During these thirty years, WIM missionaries have lived or worked in approximately forty countries. We have had over three hundred missionaries pass through the organization who have led thousands of people to a saving knowledge of Christ, planted hundreds of churches, and trained many indigenous people in countries throughout the world.
WIM has been led by four presidents: Myron Anderson, Steve Johnson, Mark B., and Chuck Hall. All have had the same vision: to win souls, plant churches, and train leaders. In 1997, Chuck Hall wrote the vision down in a mission and vision statement along with the core values. WIM’s mission is to “disciple the nations to reach the world” in accordance with the Great Commission. WIM’s vision statement declares that we will “evangelize the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ, establish indigenous churches where there are none, and equip and serve leaders.” Five core values were determined: indigenous principles, discipling and mentoring, kingdom perspective, covenant relationships, and servant leadership.
Guided by our mission and vision statements and strengthened with our core values, the missionaries of World Indigenous Missions continue to reach into new areas of the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our prayer is that the Great Commandment will continue to motivate us as we seek to fulfill the Great Commission.
We greatly appreciate all of the former and present missionaries, supporters, intercessors, and volunteers who have stood with us during the past thirty years. May World Indigenous Missions continue to glorify our Heavenly Father and establish many more churches during the next thirty years.