What do missionary biographies, 1 Corinthians 10:13, and the book PEACE WITH GOD have in common? They were all used by God to show a determined and energetic woman her need for a Savior and to point her from a worldly life to a life lived in service to the God she now loves!
Rosalie was born on Swans Island off the coast of Maine. Her mother (8 months pregnant) died of a ruptured appendix when Rosalie was only 1 year and 3 months old. Because her father was an engineer on a steamboat and had to often be gone from home for his job, Rosalie and her two sisters as well as three of her four brothers were put into two different foster homes. Those were difficult years for Rosalie living there – mostly working hard whenever she wasn’t in school. By the age of 13 (after leaving that foster home) she lived at home on the island with her dad and her new stepmother and three half-siblings. It seemed to her that she was unwanted, so she left home – living with different families and basically working for her room and board. In her teen years she got in with the wrong crowd and lived a very worldly life. Rosalie moved off the island as soon as she was old enough to leave and get a job on the mainland… which she quickly did. (She never lacked for a job. Each employer always highly recommended her because Rosalie was a hard worker.)
One Sunday night Rosalie unintentionally heard Billy Graham speak on the radio. She decided to listen to him preach even though she always thought that she was too bad to be loved by God. “It doesn’t matter what you have done. God still loves you and has provided a way for you to have eternal life. He sent His son to pay for your sins. Don’t turn Him away; accept Jesus as your Savior. Ask Jesus to forgive you now. You may not get another opportunity.” Billy Graham went on to say, “You may have hated yourself… may have been hated by others… but God loves you!” Oh, how she wanted to believe that! She ordered the book PEACE WITH GOD that Billy Graham told about on his radio program and read it over and over.
Rosalie began attending church and had a desire to become “a good Christian” or not be one at all. Now, when she looks back, she can see she still felt she had to “help God.” Her habit on Sunday nights after church was to listen to Billy Graham and one night she got on her knees and asked the Lord to “save me for Jesus sake.” Rosalie was SO happy and knew she was saved! She knew she had a lot of wrong habits and wanted there to be nothing between her and the Lord. With God’s help she was able to quit smoking and drinking immediately and saw her temper and bad attitudes change. I Corinthians 10:13 became imbedded in her mind. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Once she was saved, Rosalie wanted to become a full-time servant of the Lord. She began reading missionary biographies and studied the Bible on her own. Even though Rosalie applied to several Bible Schools and mission boards, her lack of education always became an issue. She was not to be deterred though as she prayed and prayed daily that God would open a door for her to serve Him full-time. One Saturday night she attended a hymn sing and heard some challenging messages from some New Tribes Mission (NTM) students in missionary training. “Everyone can serve!” was something that pricked her ears that night, so she sent in an application to NTM. In time Rosalie was accepted into their training program.
In August of 1964, Rosalie entered the NTM training program. (She was thirty years old at the time.) In April of 1967 she went to (what was then) New Guinea and began working with the Sinasina people group. Rosalie was involved in teaching the Sinasina to read and write in their own language but was also concerned for their need of personal evangelism. That led to opportunities to teach the new believers the basics of God’s Word. From 1981 to 1993 she became a literacy consultant throughout what is now called Papua New Guinea (PNG).
In 1993 Rosalie returned to the USA to work out of the New Tribes Mission home offices in central Florida as an International Literacy Consultant. Traveling to different countries she has been able to train other missionaries not only to teach literacy but to become literacy consultants themselves. From time to time she would take a leave of absence from her consultant responsibilities in order to return to PNG to work with the Sinasina church leaders – helping them with the development of Bible lessons in their own language. “I’ll go where He wants me to go and do what He wants me to do.” In her forty-four years of service with NTM, Rosalie did just that – helping missionary teams in seventy different language groups!
Retirement came for Rosalie in July of 2010, but that did not stop her from working in ministry. She continues to be an International Literacy Consultant – traveling around the world helping New Tribes Mission teams with their literacy programs. She makes a difference wherever she goes and however God chooses to use the one who had her beginnings in an island town off the coast of Maine!
To learn more about Rosalie’s story – what life was like both before and after the Lord touched her heart, go to Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com and look for her book GOD, IF YOU ARE UP THERE, DO YOU CARE? (It is also available on E-book.)