What’s Pioneers All About?

Is there anything magic about the number “38”? No, not really. But 38 jumps out at me because that is how many new missionary candidates came to Pioneers’ in January, for a week of orientation. They came from all over the US, from one coast to the other…a total of 19 different states.

There were singles and couples, with ages ranging from 20 something to 50 something, from all walks of life and a variety of experiences. They did have one thing in common; a hearts desire to serve God, in difficult places, where most people don’t want to go. That’s what Pioneers is all about!

Candidates Web

Here is a photo of all 38 candidates in our training center listening to each one give their testimony.


So, what did Kelly and I do during that week? We interviewed and evaluated candidates, and during meal times (breakfast, lunch & dinner) we met individually with them to find out about their church and how our team could serve that church.

This is just the first step for these new candidates. They are in the pipeline now. Over the next 1 to 2 years, some will get more training, they will raise financial support, put all their affairs in order, and one by one…deploy to the field.

We will repeat this process 4 more times this year. This too, is what Pioneers is all about.

We’ll be right back…

It’s good to see that you are checking out our blog. We will be updating it a couple times a week, so you can check back every so often and see what mischief we are up to.

Who do you think these two are?

Kelly Grade 1 Web

Connie Grade 1 web

Most Unreached City in US Hosts Missions Event

Could the city noted repeatedly, as the most “unreached city” in the US, actually attract over 8000 to the largest 2 day mission conference event of its kind in the Northwest? When, what, where, and why…?

It’s true! Kelly and I were there and experienced the excitement of it all! On Jan 18th and 19th we attended the Mission ConneXion Northwest 2008. The city is Portland, Oregon, and Rolling Hills Community Church of Tualatin hosted this massive missions conference sponsored by over 200 northwest area churches. That’s the when, the what and the where.

The “why” is: to ignite and mobilize churches and individuals of all denominations to a greater understanding of where they ‘fit’ in God’s Global Purposes. It’s all about fulfilling the Great Commission.

What Was It Like?

There were keynote speakers like Luis Palau (International Evangelist) and Heather Mercer (the missionary to Iraq, held captive by Taliban in Afghanistan). Dynamic! The workshops covered a wide range of topics from mission strategy for churches, to mission programs for children workers.

Kelly Web

Kelly and I represented Pioneers as one of about 70 mission agencies hosting exhibits and providing information about work being done – and needing to be done – in countries around the world.

From Friday afternoon & evening, and all day Saturday, we shared and prayed with people of all ages about the practical ways they could help take the gospel to the least reached peoples of the world.

Connie PDX web

Mary, (not her real name) was a 62 year old saint with a heart and ministry for prison ministry.

A short-term trip with her pastor to Africa had ignited a vision in to make her remaining years on earth count. Her desire is to “set the captives free” by showing prisoners that no sin is too great for God to forgive, no matter what they may have done. I got to hear her testimony and pray for her.

There were many others; the 24 year old school teacher with a heart for the Middle East, an American-Indonesian couple wanting to see the Gospel taken to Southeast Asia and many more. (Oh yes, Kelly & I got to practice our Indonesian with them even though their English is excellent.)


Well…I’ll just let you read the email that was sent to all 70 of us who were exhibitors…

Life Impact is a ministry providing missionary care in hosted facilities. Our home in Sunriver, Oregon — The Oasis — has been serving missionaries since 2004. Each year at the MissionConneXion we hold a drawing for a 3-day, 2-night free stay at the Oasis. This year the winners were:

Kelly & Connie McClelland
Director & Assistant Director of Church Partnerships

This resort is located south of Bend, Oregon in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains with a myriad of outdoor activities, from skiing, kayaking, fishing, rock climbing, biking, and much more. So, don’t be surprised when some time in the next year or so, you read here on our blog that we are back in Oregon enjoying the great northwest high-desert scenery. GOD IS GOOD!

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