Ron Garrison was born in Nova Scotia, the third of six children. When he was young, his family moved to Toronto where Ron spent the majority of his growing up years. In high school he showed remarkable skill at various sports, especially cycling, winning many first place trophies in various bike races. During the cycling off season, Ron worked in a staple factory. His factory supervisor, who was a Christian man, led Ron to the Lord. One night the factory had an explosion and Ron was badly burned on his face, chest and arms.
As Ron lay in his hospital bed, not knowing his future, God called him to go to Bible College. However, Ron had a severe speech impediment and could hardly talk. People, even good friends, laughed at the idea of Ron becoming a preacher. But Ron applied to Bible College anyway and, by God’s grace, was accepted. During his third year, he had a to preach a sermon to the whole college in order to graduate. Everyone asked him what he was going to do. Ron was determined to try and when he stood behind the pulpit and opened his mouth, clear words came out. He felt the anointing of the Holy Spirit for the first time.
Heather Garrison was born in Toronto, the oldest of two children. After high school, Heather attended nursing school and graduated three years later as a registered nurse. During her nursing training she become friends with a fellow student who was a Christian. Her friend witnessed to Heather for over a year before she accepted Jesus Christ as her Saviour. When Heather was invited to her friend’s church, she started attending. That is where Heather and Ron met, as Ron was already attending that church. They soon fell in love and got married.
After Ron graduated from Bible College, he and Heather started ministry, pastoring five churches in Ontario. Though their leadership, two of the churches were able to build new church buildings while most the churches grew in size dramatically. They had two children, Faith and Allen, born during those years. The last church they pastored was in London, Ontario. It was right where God wanted them for the next phase of ministry He was calling them to.
One day in 1988, Ron was approached by a Ukrainian pastor in London to help sponsor some families to immigrate to Canada from the Soviet Union. Ron’s church owned an unoccupied house next door so it seemed this was meant to be. Within a few years, Ron and Heather got to know many Slavic immigrants in London. Their church began to hold weekly services in Russian and they sponsored several more families to immigrate. All this preparation was part of God’s plan and led to Ron’s first trip to the former Soviet Union in 1991.
After that first trip and a subsequent visit the following January, God began to work on Ron & Heather’s hearts and they felt inspired to start a new ministry, Mission Partners International, to the newly dissolved Soviet Union. Beginning in August of 1991, Ron and Heather began a 25-year journey of hard work and sacrifice, striving to meet the spiritual and practical needs of people in the former Soviet countries while motivating Canadians for missions. After so many years of nurturing the ministry of Missions Partners and giving so much of their hearts to the needs of others, Ron and Heather are getting ready pass the vision on to others who will carry it on into the future as God leads.