“The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called tress of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”
When Marlene and I began our journey together with the Lord in 2011; we began with two simple words…”YES LORD!” We both had given our lives fully to the Lord to walk and live as laid down lovers and disciples of Jesus Christ. Our heart cry was “YES LORD”, we wanted to dive right into the heart of Jesus saying YES to whatever and however He wanted to use us to spread the gospel and Glorify His beautiful name.
Our ministry began with the Lord calling us to the “least of these”, a group of abandoned orphaned street boys living in the streets of Tete, Mozambique, Africa. Marlene had been living as a missionary with Iris Global in Tete for a year prior to her and I meeting. I graduated from the Iris Global Harvest School of Missions and went to Tete on an extended outreach. While in Tete, the Lord broke my heart for these fatherless young boys sleeping in a trash dump and picking through the trash daily to find food.
We married in the states in January of 2012 and moved to Tete in February, only one month after our wedding day. We founded PIONEER61 Inc. from the scripture Isaiah 61. In Isaiah 61:1-3 it is written, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the sprit of heaviness; That they may be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” The Lord spoke to Marlene and I and said, “ I want you to walk out what I began, go and preach my good news to the poor…”
He told us that we were His “little pioneers” and that we’d pioneer generations into fulfilling their purpose for the Kingdom. As a growing ministry family and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit we’re building Healing Homes to rescue orphans and child slaves, discipling widows in the gospel and creating self-sustainable jobs for ladies in the sex-slave trade. Like Isaiah 61, our focus is preaching the good news of the gospel of Christ to anyone and everyone we cross along the way.
Jesus Christ is the reason for everything we do. We want to exalt His Holy name in every aspect of our lives and our ministry. We have a vision to see nations rise up in adoration of Jesus. We want to walk in the apostolic and create Kingdom change in cultures throughout the world. As pioneers we want to launch God’s children into their destiny.
These core values have been adopted entirely from Iris Global with which we are affliated. Their priorites in ministry are identical to ours.
We understand that we can find God, and can experience intimacy, communication and companionship with Him in His Presence, if we share His love for righteousness.
We are totally dependent on Him for everything, and we need and expect miracles of all kinds to sustain us and confirm the Gospel in our ministry.
We look for revival among the broken, humble and lowly, and start at the bottom with ministry to the poor. God chooses the weak and despised things of the world to shame the proud, demonstrating His own strength and wisdom. Our direction is lower still.
We understand the value of suffering in the Christian life. Learning to love requires willingness to suffer for the sake of righteousness. Discipline and testing make saints out of us, and produce in us the holiness, without which we will not see God’s face and share His glory. With Paul we rejoice in our weaknesses, for when we are weak we are strong.
The joy of the Lord is not optional and far outweighs our suffering! In Jesus it becomes our motivation, reward and spiritual weapon. In His Presence is fullness of joy, and with Paul we testify that in all our troubles our joy knows no bounds (2 Cor. 7:4). It is our strength and energy, without which we die.
We want to walk in the apostolic and affect change in cultures throughout the world.
God is sending us to the nations to build Healing Homes to rescue the homeless, the broken, the poor, child slaves and children prostituted as sex slaves. We were created to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, give shelter to the homeless, pray for the sick and visit those in prison.We believe that through the Love of God we can help the least of these see who they are as sons and daughters in Christ. As pioneers we want to launch God’s children into their destiny.
In the beginning of 2009 Papa God gave Nick a mountaintop revelation that would forever change his life. Called to leave the secular business world behind, Nick began the life-long journey of laying down his life so that God's purposes could be fulfilled through him. Five years later he now calls Tete, Mozambique his home. Living solely to walk in the fullness of what God has for him, Nick feels called to be a father to the fatherless as he leads generations into their God given destinies. As he strives to be completely obedient to the will of the Father, Nick's vision for PIONEER61 is making the name of Jesus known throughout all the nations as Papa sees fit.
Marlene grew up without fully understanding the agape love of Papa God. Raised without ever meeting her earthly father, she spent the majority of her adolescence running away from God and the calling He had for her life. After three near death experiences in a matter of just four short days, Marlene decided to surrender to The Lord and devoted the summer of 2010 to Jesus in Pemba, Mozambique. While there, Marlene found herself searching for answers to a life-long question of whether or not God truly loved her. It was shortly after that she finally experienced Papa's true nature of overwhelming, radical love. After experiencing the love of The Father she laid down her desire of becoming a fashion designer and moved to Africa in pursuit of God's true calling on her life. Now burdened with an overwhelming urgency to share the love that the Father has for all people, Marlene spends the majority of her time and efforts aiding the poor and prostitute of Tete, Mozambique. After surviving sexual abuse herself, Marlene's passion is to pioneer the way to a world free of orphans, sex slaves and prostitutes one soul at a time.
In 2012, through a simple prayer request for Pioneer61, from a Sunday School classmate, God spoke clearly to Brett's heart, "support their ministry and use the gifts, talents, and life experiences I've equipped you with to do so." From that moment, Brett, his wife Traci and their four boys, have been all-in! Brett and Traci believe in the mission of Pioneer61 and believe wholeheartedly it is God's will for their family to support Nick and Marlene's visions as the Lord leads and guides the ministry. Brett feels called to use the experiences he's had during his past career in baseball and his current career in Sales/Marketing to help grow the reach of Pioneer61 while sharing the message of Christ's love and purpose for every soul. Brett is honored and humbled to serve as part of the PIONEER61 team.
Bruce and Angelique Woest beliefs are founded in furthering the Kingdom of God through encouraging and empowering others to walk in their God given gifts and talents. As they serve on board the PIONEER61 leadership team their values and principals are firmly rooted in integrity as they live out their God given destinies. Both Bruce and Angelique are driven by a willingness to allow God to use them in areas of building relationships within the mission field, church community and family. Their experience has grown out of a genuine love and understanding of who God is, His abundant daily provision and the faithfulness of what He is doing in their lives.
Studying apartheid during high school classes in the mid 1970's, Papa created a desire in Tina's heart to help stop the atrocities suffered by the African nations. However, finishing school, getting married and raising two amazing sons pushed that dream into the background of her life. Almost 40 years later, at the wedding of her younger son Daniel, the South African minister revealed to Tina that God does not always fulfill our desires in a way that is predictable. Tina's firstborn son is Nick, and as in the story of David, the love was first born in the parent but God's plan was for the son to live out the dream. In reality, Tina now has a part in the dream of her childhood as she partners with Nick and Marlene to take the gospel to the ends of the earth through PIONEER61.
On January 2, 2015, God spoke to Kevin and told him that his “Kingdom” destiny was going to be serving with a ministry in Africa and leading worship in a local church. That night God released a passion in Kevin for worship and Africa. God immediately pointed Kevin to Pioneer61 and gave him a love for orphans and ladies bound in trafficking. January 2, 2017 Kevin officially joined the Pioneer61 team and became a worship leader in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. God continues to show his timing and will is perfect for His children. Kevin’s heart and desire is to be a voice for Pioneer61 so freedom can come for more orphans and ladies stuck in sex slavery.
Wynand and Beaulah Theron started their journey in 2016 after the Lord, the author of all creation, brought a new purpose for both of them into existence. Both of their hearts collided with Pioneer61 as their hope is for the broken to be healed, the shackles of the poor to be broken and the oppressed to be set free.
Wynand, who studied engineering and Beaulah Social work, decided to devote their lives to advance the Kingdom of God. They use their skills and abilities to teach, equip and empower the poor and vulnerable through agriculture and skill development. They also have a love for nature and adventure and are devoted to bring forth resources, mobilize and conserve the environment.