Our Vision, Mission & History
Our vision comes from Matthew 24:14 — that all people everywhere will hear the story of Jesus.
Advancing Native Missions encourages, equips, and advocates for native missionaries around the world for strategic and fruitful ministry to introduce the Gospel of Jesus to unevangelized and unreached people where they live.
Everyone needs the hope of the Gospel, but not everyone has even had a chance to hear about Jesus. That’s why Christians have been on mission since Jesus gave the Great Commission, recorded in Matthew 28.
For many years, missions was most often done by sending Western (European and American) missionaries to share the Gospel with unreached people groups (distinct ethnic groups with little or no church movement) in other parts of the world. In the late 20th century, as native (local) Christian movements grew and more countries became closed to American missionaries, it became clear that American Christians could make a greater impact by partnering with these native Christians. After all, they already knew local languages and ways of living! But many American Christians had no idea this was possible.
In the early 1990s, Benjamin (Bo) Barredo was working in missions in the U.S. when he recognized the need for a new organization to increase awareness of native missions and raise more financial support for growing Christian movements in other countries. As he expressed it, he wanted “to dig another well for the Lord’s use.” In 1992, supported by a small group of committed believers, he co-founded Advancing Native Missions (ANM).
As a step of faith, Bo visited various churches and pastors to share their vision. His first long-distance trip was to Abundant Life Church in San Antonio in October 1992. The pastor of Abundant Life Church, Gerald Ripley, caught the vision, and the church gave ANM its first offering ($880.87) on Oct. 9, 1992. During the trip, the Lord also revealed to Bo what would become ANM’s guiding scripture passage: Matthew 24:14.
ANM opened for business on October 20, 1992, in a one-room office in Charlottesville, VA.
ANM’s first volunteer, Cris Paurillo, arrived on that first day, and other volunteers and staff soon joined the young organization. ANM’s first native partner was Yogyakarta Missionary Training Center in Indonesia, led by Paulus Wibowo.
The one-room office didn’t last long. Over the next few years, ANM expanded internationally. By the late 2000s, ANM donors were giving more than $10 million annually to spread the Gospel in more than 50 countries. By 2021, ANM donors were reaching 112 countries and more than 860 of the world’s 7,000+ unreached people groups through more than 10,000 native missionaries.
In 2018 Bo moved into a new role as Global Ambassador, turning over the leadership of ANM to Oliver L. Asher, who had previously served as COO and CEO.
Today, ANM continues to spread the Gospel through church planting, caring for children and families, helping communities develop, and more, all through the support of generous donors like you and the work of the native missionaries God has raised up to reach their neighbors with the Gospel.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ has transformed our hearts, and we are on a mission to take that Gospel to every nation on earth.
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