Rosie’s grandparents served as doctors in India for 10 years and her dad was born there during that time. As a family, they visited India years later, as the country had a special place in her dad’s heart.

“My parents took me to India when I was only six years old,” Rosie says. They also sponsored children in India. “I remember growing up and writing letters to our sponsored children.” 

“That exposure from a young age, my parents being very passionate about social justice and my own faith, understanding what God called me to do, helped me put my faith into action,” Rosie says. 

 

At six, she only caught a glimpse of how people in poverty live. At 13, she went to Thailand with a volunteer group for 4 weeks.

There was one moment that really stuck with her. 

“I was on a day trip to the hill community of the Akha people—at that time they were an unrecognised people group without the rights of citizens.” This meant they couldn’t send their children to school and were living marginalised lives, she said. 

“I had an experience with a family who welcomed me that day and it reinforced for me that relationship and connection are key. That we can find solutions and transformation with a simple decision to act and work together. Which is what Tearfund is all about,” Rosie said. “That was an eye-opening experience that influenced me."

“I was dipping a toe in when I was little, but as a teenager going and serving in Thailand and seeing things from my own eyes and not from my parents, was life-changing.” 


She was so impacted that she became very involved in high school advocating for the needy. She helped promote the 40-hour famine and Amnesty International. 

But she wanted to take her journey to the next level. 

“I started sponsoring a child when I was 17. I went to a letter-writing night at Tearfund, to learn about the best way to write to your child and I met someone from the Tearfund team who told me there was an advocate network if I wanted to get more involved.” 

Rosie joined the advocate network and she met regularly with like-minded people to talk about how they could make an impact for Tearfund and the people they serve. 

She walked a half-marathon and had people sponsor her and she got together with her university friends and made cheese rolls to sell to her church family and friends. They were fundraising to raise money for the Tearfund appeal for the devastating 2011 famine across the Horn of Africa.

blog_rosie3.jpg Rosie prepping cheese rolls in September 2011 at Southlife Church Dunedin.
 

Rosie became an advocate in 2010 and was an advocate for Tearfund for three years. 

“I might have to make a sacrifice, but I do it because I love people,” she says.

After serving as an advocate for three years, she went to live in Papua New Guinea, immersing herself in the culture and community. 

“The more you experience different cultures and traditions, the more your perspective on life changes. I have such a deep appreciation for the way God has created us with such diversity that we can celebrate.” 

After she lived there a year, she came back to New Zealand and did her Masters in International Development. 

A couple of years later, she got a job at Tearfund. 

blog_rosie6.jpg
Team workshop in Nepal with Tearfund's partner. They are discussing livlihood pathways for young women in their district, as part of their protection work in an area that was once the target for human traffickers.

“I have had the conviction, that the things I do has an impact and what I do does matter,” she says. 

“It’s not just a flag that some Christians carry, we all have that responsibility. We are all called to love, to care and to embrace. 

“It’s about leaving a legacy of getting alongside people, investing in people and giving whatever skills and talents we have to see ensure people around us canreach a level playing field. Sadly, this world is full of systems and norms that creates discrimination and deprivation from the moment some people are born.” Rosie says.

Before Covid-19 she would visit Tearfund’s projects once every three months. 

blog_rosie2.jpg
 Rosie with Tearfund's Indonesian partner who focus on community health and nutrition – this was a children’s health club she visited in the remote Nias Islands, 2018.

The projects she is involved with include supporting Tearfund’s partner Medair in their Rohingya Crisis response and ongoing support of Tearfund’s partners in Indonesia and Nepal through the lockdowns and Covid-19 impact. She is also working with Compassion International to support child development during the pandemic. 

"When I visit our partners on monitoring trips, it’s a privilege to see how they steward the funds that are raised by Tearfund and our supporters.

"When I am able to sit down with a mum who has been served by our partner and hear about the brighter future she has ahead for herself and her daughter – that’s what drives my passion and my work – that faith in action can link us to families like hers through a simple choice of generosity and of care for another."

Join the advocate network and put your faith into action just like Rosie. 

 



 

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