Grand County missions reach across the globe
April 7, 2009
By sharing their experiences from recent trips abroad, two Grand County men hope to inspire others to make the world a better place.
Their mission: Reach out to the leaders of places that may not normally hear the word of God.
When friends from Indigenous Ministries International asked James Campbell to be a guest speaker in India, the Grand County Sheriff’s Department lieutenant eagerly accepted.
“It was time to do something,” he said; he felt called “to really ‘walk the walk,’ not just talk the talk.”
Although he had traveled extensively through service with the Navy, this trip was his chance to make a difference, and he hopes to let others know the opportunity is there for them as well.
“Missions and reaching out locally and globally are very important to me personally and to our Stillwater Church family,” he said in an earlier interview.
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IMI is dedicated to helping pastors and church leaders reach their own countries with the gospel. With Hindus and Muslims more predominant, he and the Christian pastors in India had their work cut out for them. Campbell was one of a few select guest speakers at the national church leadership conference and one of six Americans in the group.
Through the help of a translator Campbell talked to the Indian church leaders about how Christianity could help people overcome worry, discouragement and fear. They were three “giants that people face in their lives” that could be understood across social boundaries.
The experience really opened Campbell’s eyes. He spent most of his time in Amravati, a densely populated area in central India with many challenges.
“Believe it or not our poorest have it made compared to what I have seen here,” Campbell e-mailed friends back home.
Campbell had known IMI founder John Cook through Stillwater Community Chapel, where Cook, now of Monument, sometimes delivers services in Pastor Jim Weber’s stead. With India being such a poor country, Weber said, the community was (and is) encouraged to make donations to help support the efforts to reach countries like India.
Campbell agreed. “You have to get involved with the people you can,” he said.
At almost the same time Campbell was in India, Weber had traveled to Cambodia, “a nation inundated with sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking.” He and a team of six Americans, including his wife JoAnn, were on a similar mission with Global Connection International.
The team toured several key sites, including the Tuol Sleng Prison, the Choeung EK Killing Field, Siem Reap, and Angkor Wat. With the government school system in “a state of disarray,” GCI has been “committed to establishing strong Christian schools in churches throughout the country.”
This was Weber’s fourth trip to the country and he now serves as the Country Project Coordinator for GCI. Overall, the goal is also to bring the gospel into the most challenging places in the world.
Between the two, Campbell and Weber must have more than 500 photographs from their journeys, “along with many stories to tell,” Campbell said. He and Weber look forward to sharing their tales at Stillwater, once the part-time summer residents return to Grand County.
“GCI and IMI provide lots of opportunities to get involved in things that matter, in a variety of places around the world, and Stillwater Community Chapel has been blessed richly by our involvement with them,” Campbell and Weber agreed.