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The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy…. They will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God (Isaiah 35:1,2b, NIV).

Rosedale International (RI) is excited to introduce our newest workers: Luke, Gloria, and their daughters Hope and Joanna. Luke and Gloria are no strangers to the mission field, having grown up in families deeply rooted in missions. Gloria’s family partnered with a missions organization in Asia; as a young adult, Luke participated in RI’s REACH program, serving two terms in South Africa and a third in Zambia. Since the couple married in 2019, they have felt a strong call to return overseas, specifically to “communities with little access to the story of Jesus.” In partnership with another mission organization, they recently committed to serve in the region of East Africa, in a country where RI workers have never shared the gospel.

Luke and Gloria are passionate about bringing God’s Kingdom to communities “in need of social and economic transformation.” This vision has led them to partner with an already established team in an East African country. This group of workers lives in the country’s capital city and focuses on planting churches, running a farm outside city limits, and regenerating desert land.

This agricultural work is a vital aspect of their ministry. “Many tribes in East Africa are nomadic herdsmen whose livelihoods are closely connected to the land,” Luke explains. “Years of armed conflict and extreme drought have led to soil degradation. Making a living has become increasingly difficult for the average herdsman.” The slow work of desert regeneration will not only restore their nomadic neighbors’ way of life, but will also create opportunities to build trust and relationships with them.

“We hope to see the Kingdom of God break into people’s lives through the restoring of land, the restoring of livelihoods, and the restoring of hope.”

This work of bringing new life to the desert is a beautiful parallel to the spiritual restoration that Luke and Gloria long to see among their neighbors. Their new home is overwhelmingly Muslim; the country’s constitution prohibits both the sharing of, and conversion to, any other religion. Christians are a minuscule group, ranging from 100 to 200 believers in the entire country. In this spiritual wasteland, Luke and Gloria “hope to see the Kingdom of God break into people’s lives through the restoring of land, the restoring of livelihoods, and the restoring of hope.”

“We are convinced that the primary way God demonstrates the goodness of His Kingdom is through His church—communities of Jesus followers living out the values of the Kingdom. With God’s help, we hope to live out these values in East Africa, and with time, to see local believers trained and discipled to plant churches and train others in land restoration.”

Please join Rosedale International in praying for Luke, Gloria, and their daughters as they raise funds and prepare to relocate to East Africa. Pray for their family—that they would be deeply transformed by Jesus as they model the values of the gospel to their neighbors. Pray for their new home—a deeply conservative society closed off from the gospel. Pray for transformation—that as they work to bring new agricultural and spiritual life to the desert, Luke and Gloria would see the words of Isaiah ring true in their country:

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs” (Isaiah 35:5-7, NIV).

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