Rosedale International (RI) is excited to introduce Roger and Susie, our newest workers on the field. In partnership with another mission organization, the couple has committed to serve in South Asia, and recently arrived in their new home.
Roger and Susie made this commitment to long-term work as a couple; however, theirs is a story that begins long before they met. From day one, Roger’s life was influenced by missions. At the age of nine months, his family moved to England as workers with Operation Mobilization; at the age of eight, they returned to the States and became deeply involved in refugee ministry.
At the age of twenty, the death of a roommate shook Roger—and the idea of giving his life to serve God’s kingdom took hold of him. “As a twenty-year-old, it’s shocking to realize that you could die. I’d figured that you just do the program—you go to college, you get a nice job and a family and a big house—and life works out. But that was proven a lie.” While contemplating this reality, Roger attended the conference of his parents’ sending organization. “At the end of the week, they honored the workers who had died over the last four years. It was a lot of people,” he remembers. “Some of them died from cancer, and some of them died because they got shot or were, you know, in prison. I thought, these people clearly understand the limitation of their life. They’re not in a dream land where things work out, yet they’re still willing to die for this cause.” In that moment, God truly laid the call on Roger’s heart.
Growing up on a dairy farm states away, Susie also encountered God’s call. “I first was drawn to missions at my church’s summer camp,” she remembers. “I was walking back from the chapel to my cabin and praying about what [the speaker] had said. I felt God say, ‘I want you to spend your life overseas.’ I was like, what does that even mean? I didn’t know anybody who had gone overseas, so I didn’t really have a framework for what that looked like.” But God quickly provided. That same summer, her church invited a worker couple from Thailand to speak. Soon after, Susie heard about RI’s REACH program and decided she would sign up after high school. “I knew REACH would be a good testing ground.” Two years in REACH confirmed to Susie what she already knew: “yes—missions is what God wants me to do. I’ve been walking that path since then.”
“We both were interested in living overseas, in the Muslim world, for our lifetimes if God allowed.”
God calls some workers to a specific location; others, he directs to a certain religious group. When Roger and Susie began dating, they agreed strongly about the latter. “We both knew we wanted to work with Muslims. We both were interested in living overseas, in the Muslim world, for our lifetimes if God allowed.” Their agreement on an overseas location was a different story. Before marriage, Susie had planned to join a team in the Mediterranean, while Roger was drawn to a country in Southeast Asia. “We were actually specifically uninterested in each other’s locations,” Susie recounts, laughing. “We had to work through that when we first talked about getting married.” A year into their marriage, the couple began to engage with teams in both of these regions, while remaining open to other countries.
In 2022, they began talking with a director of missions in South Asia. Through these conversations, Roger and Susie learned of the one-to-millions ratio of Jesus followers living among Muslims in the region. Now, they share this fact with tears in their eyes. “We were blown away by the lack of work with Muslims in [our country] specifically. We felt very drawn to the region. God kept opening doors, and we kept feeling peace to move forward. It kept making sense that we would walk toward South Asia.”
Last month, Roger and Susie finally arrived in South Asia. Under the guidance of a partner organization, they will spend the first two years learning language, receiving mentorship from established workers, and gaining the specialized set of skills needed to engage with Muslims in their region. Beyond this period of development, Roger and Susie are unsure what shape their work will take. “We have ideas of what we want to do long term, but we don’t feel God telling us to engage in a certain way,” Susie explains. “Our team leaders have asked us to come in open-handed and seek how the relationships in our city will lead us. It’s very open ended, which is scary, but also the point—to discern how God wants to use us and our skills.”
Names and locations have been changed or omitted for security.