Ross grew up on a small farm in southern Ontario. Thanks to a neighbour who took him and his siblings to church, Ross gave his life to Christ as a pre-teen. He attended Bible college to strengthen that commitment to God’s call on his life. While there, he learned about the work of Wycliffe Bible Translators, and felt God affirming that Bible translation was where the Lord was calling him to serve.

In 1972, there was no linguistics training in Canada, so Ross ventured all the way to the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, to attend a summer program offered by SIL, Wycliffe’s key field partner. He really enjoyed the analytical tasks of figuring out how languages work and did well in his coursework.

He also met Ellen there and before the summer was out, they were engaged, and together they were accepted into Wycliffe.

Ross and Ellen moved to the Philippines in 1975, along with their 12-week-old son, Peter. Another team invited them to join the ministry among the Cotabato Manobo people in the southern Philippines. Ross and Ellen faced many challenges, including a major earthquake, hiking in to a very remote location, house-building, political insecurities, illnesses, not to mention language learning and early attempts at translating God’s Word.

By the time the New Testament was completed in 1988, there were about 30 small groups of Manobo believers, where before there had been just one. Thousands learned to read through the literacy program. People were eager to receive the words of life in their own language.

Later, while Ross continued to work part time on the Old Testament translation into Manobo, he also filled other important roles such as finance manager and translation consultant (doing an accuracy check on the work of colleagues).

Currently Ross supports and advises a team of Manobo translators as they work to complete the entire Old Testament.

Ross and Ellen have two children: Peter and his wife Esther have seven children, and their daughter Kathy is now in heaven after a 13-year journey with cancer.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Proverbs 3:5,6 (NLT)