In 1989, Pastor Ron Garrison (the pastor of a small church in London Ontario) was approached by Pastor John Zinchyk about sponsoring families to immigrate to Canada from the Soviet Union. Despite having only a few dozen members, Ron and the leaders of the church agreed to help. One of the men who was sponsored to come to London with his family, Anatoly Melnichuk, was himself committed to helping people in the USSR.
In 1991, Anatoly invited Ron to travel together to the Soviet Union to preach and minister. The trip was successful and they returned full of the sights and stories of what God was doing in Soviet controlled eastern europe.
Glasnost and perestroika had greatly increased religious freedom, and had allowed foreign ministers access to the country. Little did Ron know that this was just the beginning of something that would change his life forever!
In January, the following year, Ron made another trip. This was one of the most significant trips he had ever taken. It was the middle of winter, and it was cold. Ron and his traveling companions spent days traveling from city to city in an unheated bus filled with humanitarian aid.
Midway through the trip, the group spent their first night in a hotel room, albeit not much of one. Between the oppressive heat from the room’s boiler, and the snoring of his five companions, sleep evaded Ron that night.
In the middle of one of the most miserable nights of his life, God opened the window of heaven to give Ron a startling vision of the future of the Soviet Union. There was nowhere to write it down except on the fringes of a old Russian newspaper. After receiving this vision, Ron returned to Canada with a burden on his heart to do more.
With the burden of God’s vision still on his heart, news of the collapse of the Soviet central goverment sent shock waves throughout the world. Ron began to ask God why He had shown him this vision. After all, he was just a visiting pastor with a church and a life in Canada. Gradually, he began to realize that it was God’s will for him to take up ministry full time in the now post USSR countries.
The path was clear! Ron subsequently resigned from his church and took on the full-time calling of a ministry he pioneered, along with his wife Heather. This ministry would later become known as ‘Mission Partners International’.
Today, MPI (as it is commonly known today), reaches out with the love of God to hundreds of street children, orphans, seniors, and pastors in many cities and communities in various formerly Soviet countries. MPI continues to faithfully follow that vision, to help as many people as possible, as much as possible, as long as possible.
Follow one of the following links to discover more about MPI’s history:
How did MPI begin Helping Children?
How did MPI begin Helping Seniors?
How did MPI begin Helping Pastors and Churches?
How did MPI begin Providing Christian Literature?
How did MPI start Sending Mission Teams?
How did MPI begin Helping Drug Addicts?
How did MPI begin Sending Humanitarian Aid?