Ryan Sluban is TWR Canada’s Communications Intern. She is finishing up her master’s degree in media journalism and communication. Her passion is to see God glorified through her work, which is how she ended up here with us. The next two Journey to Hope blogs will be feature stories written by Ryan in a journalistic style, telling the stories of how one of our board members and myself have been impacted by the ministry from a fresh perspective. Click here to read more about what Ryan is doing this summer.
What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus, to contribute to the fulfillment of the great commission? Ross Campbell, a financial business owner, husband and father of five, shows that it can look like faithfully supporting, guiding and propelling missions from behind the scenes.Ross is the TWR Canada board of directors’ chair and a TWR International board member. On a board comprised of many outgoing and fun-loving personalities, Ross’ humour and liveliness somehow still stand out in the group. In my interview with him, I was surprised to hear how fearful and insecure he was as he joined the board in 1993. Ross says he had no clue what he possibly had to offer the ministry and believed that he didn’t have any talent compared to the rest of the board. But God knew what he was doing.Twenty-six years later, Ross is convinced that no matter who you are or what you think you’re capable of, you have a responsibility to practically and regularly serve the Lord, trusting that each step of the way he will use you for his glory.James 2:14 is a verse that reminds Ross of the importance of serving the Lord. The verse reads, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” Ross has been blessed by his time spent serving in ministry, and he says his heart is to see believers join in the blessing of practically serving the church.Ross says he was humbled by the experience of joining TWR Canada. “It was a real story of God putting me in the right area of service. I didn’t look for it; I didn’t want to be in that spot; it was just circumstances were such that I ended up there. That was me getting started at TWR.”Ross is still encouraged, after all these years, by how God is miraculously changing lives through the ministry. He posed the question of how we are to expect unreached people groups to ever hear the gospel. He says it would be great if we had missionaries going out into every people group in the world, but he knows that’s not happening. TWR Canada is assisting the church, and he is proud to see that work being done. “The bottom line is that every day we can touch a potential 4.8 billion people, and we can all be a part of that! Whether it’s by giving to the ministry, praying or by going ourselves to be a missionary.”
TWR Canada coverage map (grey area is radio coverage and red dots are the places TWR Canada is doing ministry).
Ross knows that discipleship is an integral part of fulfilling the great commission. “You can hear the gospel on the radio, but if you don’t have community and you don’t have teaching, you’re not going to grow.” He says he loves TWR Canada’s commitment to partnering with the local church in all the countries they minister to.
With the rise of persecution against the Church, Ross says the importance of using media in strategic ways to reach the world is becoming more important. He says TWR has various methods of media for continuing to provide the gospel in countries where there is persecution of Christians, like China or Russia. “TWR will continue to look towards different kinds of communication technologies to reach the world for Christ. We are the world’s best kept secret,” Ross says.
Ross was on a trip with TWR Canada in China where he met a house church leader. They gathered in a hotel room to hear the man’s testimony; the television volume was on full blast to ensure no one would hear the conversation taking place, as it would be a threat to their security if someone had.
The man began his story by unbuttoning his shirt to reveal a missing pectoralis major muscle in his chest. Ross said he was stabbed with a scythe that poked a hole in his heart. The man was put on a cart and dragged by a donkey for 30 kilometres to a hospital. The man was reportedly dead on arrival, Ross says, and the doctor who was there had little surgical experience, so he chose to sew up the dead heart for practice. The man was then put in a morgue.
As Ross continued to tell me this story, he began to chuckle as he explained that two days later this man came back to life and lived to tell Ross himself of this miracle of God.
“There are so many ways that people come to Jesus Christ,” he said with excitement. This house church leader truly felt that the Lord had brought him back from the dead.
The church the man started in China now has 2,000 members. “They’re underground, and they’re persecuted, but they’re faithful. They are sharing the gospel at a cost; they’re in the middle of nowhere, and our radio messages are reaching them and teaching them and making a difference in their lives.”
Ross says that God used this man’s story to expand his understanding of how people get saved. Testimonies like this reveal the great treasure of God revealing his gospel. Hearing how God is using media to reach people and build his church around the world grows his heart for the ministry. He is also encouraged watching his brothers and sisters lay down their lives for the spread of the gospel.
“Meeting people like Ray Alary who quit their jobs and go out on the mission field to difficult places, who experience the cost it has on their families — you’re moving your kids to a different culture, environment and language — it’s really humbling to see their sacrifice, but it’s very satisfying also to see their fruit.”
Ray Alary (president), Mike Comtois (recent board member) and Ross Campbell celebrating Mike's 10 years of service on the board.
Ross says he has one message he wants to share to those reading: “Get involved, ask for wisdom and allow the Holy Spirit to direct you as you role up your sleeves and do something. Your something could be ushering in your church, giving to and educating others on the work of the great commission or becoming a missionary on the other side of the world.” He says the only thing he ever did was get involved. Everything else he has accomplished was all the work of God. Every story of salvation, of discipleship, of church planting movements in the ministry — it’s all God.Ross Campbell wants others to experience the joy of serving the Church locally and globally. The Lord calls us all to participate.Humbled that the Lord has allowed him to serve and continue serving alongside the ministry, Ross comments, “It’s not always fun and it’s not always easy, but I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the gospel work of TWR Canada and experience the joy of serving the Church.” And with one final statement, he says, “This is all for God’s glory.” We invite you to join the mission that TWR Canada is on. You can explore and learn more here.