In 2000, Global Frontier Missions (GFM) was founded as Grant and Jennifer Haynes served among the 30 unreached people groups of Oaxaca in southern Mexico. Their goal was to see the Good News of Jesus being preached and disciples made among the 80 villages that had no believers, no Bible, and no churches within two hours of their mountain market town of Tlaxiaco. To fulfill that vision, they hosted short-term mission teams, summer interns, started an indigenous Bible school for the national believers, developed a missionary training school to equip more laborers, all while spending time in the villages doing evangelism, discipleship, and church planting. The ministry began to grow over the years and God expanded their vision to not only reach the lost in Mexico, but to be used by God to raise up laborers to serve among the remaining 7,000+ ethnic groups (nations) worldwide that are still considered unreached with the Gospel.
In 2006, GFM began traveling into the 10/40 window where over 80% of the remaining unreached people groups live. After sharing the state of the world with short-term mission teams for so many years, it was time to go out into the harvest field and do something about it ourselves. We started in Morocco, and then went on to India and Thailand. As we scouted places to send potential short-term missions groups and long-term church planting teams, the Lord laid on our hearts the “THUMBs Up” vision. THUMB stands for Tribals, Hindus, Unreligious, Muslims, and Buddhists. In 2008, we sensed that the Lord was asking GFM to expand beyond Mexico to establish mobilization, training, and multiplication hubs among each of those main religious groups.
In 2009, GFM began to earnestly seek the Lord as to what the next step was in fulfilling this THUMBs up vision. While considering new locations in the 10/40 window, GFM leadership sensed God telling them to consider the United States, which sounded contrary to our vision of taking the gospel to the remaining unreached people groups. However, we researched and discovered that people from at least 361 unreached people groups were coming to the US as refugees, immigrants, and international students. God changed our hearts and missions strategy and we began dreaming about what would happen if we were able to make disciples of these “foreigners,” and see many of them return to their own people as a witness for Christ.
As we began to understand globalization and diaspora (movement of people) missiology, we saw how strategic it would be to not only send people TO the 10/40 window, but also to welcome those coming FROM the 10/40 window. We developed what we call “the Jerusalem strategy.” Jesus had said that the gospel would be preached to all nations starting in Jerusalem. Why there? Acts 2 tells us that people from many Gentile nations were gathered in Jerusalem, making it a great launching pad from which to inaugurate the Great Commission. When the Holy Spirit showed up on the day of Pentecost, He shared the Good News in many languages. We believe that some of those people, such as the Ethiopian eunuch, took Christ back to their own people. So, GFM began looking for “melting pots,” economic/cultural/religious metropolises in the United States and throughout the world where God is gathering the nations, global gateways, “Jerusalems.”
GFM now has a two-fold approach to reaching the unreached people groups of the world. There are still thousands of ethnic groups that have never heard the name of Jesus, so we must continue to GO to them! However, the nations are coming to us, so we must WELCOME them! We believe the movement of people (diaspora missions) in today’s world is a great opportunity to aid the fulfillment of the Great Commission. As unreached people groups from all over the world come to us, we are mobilizing and training the church to reach out to this mission field! By offering short-term missions and outreach events for individuals and our strategic church partners, we educate and empower people to share the gospel and make disciples locally and globally. We aim to equip the body of Christ to reach out to Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and others living on our doorstep.
In 2009, we launched our Atlanta “home hub” which was our first base in the United States followed in 2010 with the launch of a “home hub” in Houston. In 2012, we sent out our first team to the 10/40 window to focus on unreached people groups in South Asia which was the beginning of the fulfillment of the THUMBs Up vision. In 2013, we decided to implement an online version of our missionary training program. In 2015, we added Richmond, VA as our next “home hub” in the U.S. and launched our first international “home hub” in Syndey, Australia which is 47% foreign born. In 2018, we started running a missionary residency for people that wanted to be “tentmakers” or do Business as Mission. In 2019, we started a “field hub” and SLICE program in South Asia to help missionaries during their first year on the field. In 2020, we launched our Step In study to mobilize even more Christians to Great Commission involvement.
Over the past twenty years, the Lord has used Global Frontier Missions to see hundreds of people go through Short Term Missions Trips, Summer Missionary Internships, and Missionary Training Schools. Many of those participants have been called to long-term missions and are working in different parts of the world. They are in places like India, Bangladesh, Vanuatu, Morocco, and Thailand serving with partner organizations such as Pioneers, Frontiers, Operation Mobilization, SIM, and Team Expansion. Others are involved through prayer, giving, mobilizing, and welcoming internationals.
We are committed to doing our part in reaching the remaining 7,000+ unreached people groups of the world and will always have a focus on places where there are few to “no believers, Bibles, or bodies of Christ.” Our goal is to see indigenous disciple and church planting movements started among all peoples of the earth. Pray about how YOU can get involved in reaching those that have never heard.
To read more about our vision for the future, both in the USA and the 10/40 window, go to the future of Global Frontier Missions page.