The Fletchers’ Story
One Mission Society sends out missionaries all over the world, but what goes on behind the scenes before those missionaries hit the field?
Joshua Fletcher, with his wife Allison and three kids, have been accepted as OMS missionaries to Cuenca, Ecuador, and have been preparing for their departure through raising financial and prayer support and spreading the message of where God is calling them to serve.
Joshua felt a call to Ecuador after he had been in ministry for almost 14 years serving as a pastor, artist, and writer. His home church, where he worked, focused heavily on missions, so he had the opportunity to go on several mission trips over the years. After one particular trip, Joshua felt a stirring in his heart, and during a period at home when he came down with an illness, the Lord told him to go to Cuenca.
Allison, being a former missionary kid in Ecuador, had always wanted to return to that country. When Joshua told her about God’s calling, her dream rekindled. At that time, the Fletchers didn’t know they would serve in Ecuador with OMS. All they knew was that they said yes to God’s calling and would wait to see what God wanted them to do.
After Joshua and Allison prayed and sought God’s will, they felt him telling them to “go with your heritage.” Allison’s parents had been missionaries in Ecuador through One Mission Society; therefore, understanding that their missionary heritage is with OMS, the Fletchers applied there. Their application went through and was accepted, and they attended OMS orientation in March 2015. Throughout the whole process, they felt like this was the place God called them to be.
Taking further steps of obedience, the Fletchers began to raise prayer support and funds for their missionary journey to Ecuador, and they put their house on the market. Their home sold within three days with three investors bidding for it.
With their house sold, the Fletchers have been living at a friend’s home since May 2015. During this time of behind-the-scenes work in preparation for the mission field, the Fletchers continue to take steps of faithful obedience to God and look toward their time in Ecuador.
Joshua and Allison aim to be liaisons in Cuenca, to work alongside pastors and churches and encourage them in their spiritual journeys. Joshua will also teach and train people in theological education. He sees God moving in Ecuador through the potential relationships and continual spiritual growth between people—not just in the good situations but also in the conflicts. Joshua sees an environment where missionaries don’t necessarily lead the churches and people but come alongside them and encourage them, especially through their conflicts. Through these relationships, people from all backgrounds and cultures can be more like Jesus.
One of the ways that Joshua shares this vision during the funding process is through his art. Through his paintings that are full of blended colors and bold strokes, Joshua not only puts his heart on the canvas in worship, but he also can share spiritual truths and his family’s calling to Ecuador. He hopes to use his artistic skills while in Ecuador to minister to the people and to worship God.
The first piece that Joshua created as an act of worship, a watercolor painting titled “Helser’s Tree,” is a work that is “the fruit of an encounter with God, the meaning of which I am fleshing out every time I paint” (taken from Joshua’s booklet “Masterpieces With a Mission”).
The tree in Joshua’s painting thrives. It is full of vibrant leaves on a hill of green and brown, designed in a way that might remind someone of a stained-glass window. This painting may be finished, but it stands as a reminder that God’s work is still not yet complete. The more Joshua paints and worships, the more he grows to understand God’s will and relationship with him.
In a way, the painting parallels the Fletchers’ journey to the Ecuador mission field and the belief they hold close to their hearts: that they must take steps of faith, say yes to God out of obedience and love, and await the Lord’s mighty hand to continually work in their lives. With each brushstroke—with each step closer to the mission field—the Fletchers’ encounter with God grows and develops.
Please take a moment to pray for the Fletchers on their journey to Ecuador. Pray that they will continue to take steps of faith and that God will speak to them and guide them, in both behind-the-scenes work and on the mission field.
To learn more or to donate toward the Fletchers’ mission, visit https://onemissionsociety.org/give/TheFletchers.
By Jess Mitchell, summer communications intern