When Rosea’s* grandmother met a few Jesus followers at a leprosy hospital and saw how they lived out Christ’s love to those most people deemed untouchable, she committed her life to serving Jesus. She shared her beliefs with her children, who, in turn, raised their children to know the Lord.
Born in a small village in South Asia, Rosea remembered her father telling her Bible stories as she grew up and her family going to church every week. The area where she lived was mostly a mixture of Hindus and Buddhists with Christians being the minority. “It was an opportunity but also a challenge,” she recalled about sharing her faith with her friends growing up. When she was 14 years old, Rosea accepted Christ as her personal Saviour, having felt the life of Scriptures and realising only in Jesus is there salvation. One of the things that stood out to her was the grace of God –– how no matter how hard she worked it was only through the grace of God that that she was saved, and that salvation is truly a gift.
Rosea attended Bible college in a neighbouring country and, upon returning home, began helping in two churches doing youth group, Bible studies and whatever else was needed. From the start of her involvement with the churches, she emphasised that the small local church was part of the larger family in Christ and had a part to play in sharing the love of Jesus to others, whether that meant a nearby village or a country across the world.
Finding the needs
Through friends, Rosea met her husband Bhima*, who worked in the training department for OM. After the wedding, she joined him. “In the beginning, I didn’t have a role,” Rosea shared. “I found the needs. One of the needs was translation, so I did translation. Sometimes I used to teach.” Throughout the years, Rosea’s role grew to focus on people care and hospitality. Workers from all over the country travel to the base for training and fellowship, and Rosea loved meeting with the believers and helping them with whatever they needed. “I have a passion for meeting one-on-one to talk with people and pray and hear their stories,” she said. “I think that’s one of the major passions I have. To get to be with people and talk with them.”
Rosea explained that she is not naturally outgoing but has seen how God used her to talk with people and build trust so they can share what is on their hearts. “I don’t think that I have things to offer, but then God works in it and it’s really amazing,” she said.
“I really feel that it is very important how we care for those caring for others or those who are doing ministries in remote places,” shared Rosea. One of the problems workers in the field commonly struggle with is the caste system. In some villages, people have difficulties living and working because of the caste they were born into. Rosea encourages the workers, reminding them that God made everyone equal, and the caste system was created by people –– not Him. His love is for all people.
Though Rosea’s country has a long history of foreign believers arriving to share the gospel of Christ, the idea of local believers reaching out to their neighbours remains a challenge –– both the concept and the logistics, particularly finances. Rosea does not let the challenges deter her. “I know what when we go out for God, God will provide. And God has been providing. Sometimes it can be more or less, but God provides it all,” she remarked.
“I see so many things to be done,” admitted Rosea. When she gets busy or things seem overwhelming, she asks herself: “What’s my priority?” Seeing the tasks that need to be done, Rosea has learnt to not let herself be carried away by the work. “God has taught me the priority is God Himself,” she said. “I do love my ministry, but then God is always the centre, and He should always be the focus. …I need to follow His plan. I need to sit down and listen, otherwise I could be doing something, and, at the end of the day, not be really satisfied.”