Called: Rosina Ferdinand
By AfriGO Team
From child of the island to mission leader of the island, Rosina Ferdinand has walked a path of faithfulness. But she did not always know where it would take her.
Rosina was raised on the island of Nosybe off the coast of Madagascar, in a family that worshiped their ancestors. Her people are the Sakalava, and very few Sakalava are Christians.
Rosina came to know Jesus in her teens. Later, near the end of her studies, the university promised her a teaching position, an offer that assured her family she would support them and pay back their investment in her. However, God had other plans.
Within the same month, three different ministry opportunities were offered her: to work with Radio FEBA, to direct a large Christian school, and to serve in university student ministry with IFES. Overwhelmed, she said, “Lord, you want me to work in your field. Tell me what to do.” He revealed the path clearly: full-time student ministry.
A huge conflict arose with her mother about her choice to decline the university job, especially since her father had passed away. Rosina says, “I was so misunderstood, and was under a huge amount of pressure from my family, because even though I tried to help and did my best, it was never enough.”
Rosina served in student ministry for 12 years. During all that time, her family and others could not understand her choice, nor why she had not married or had children. Despite the hurt, her heart remained for her people who were bound by ancestor worship.
In the village, Rosina’s mother continued as a spirit medium and became possessed by the spirit of their dead king. But through God’s providence, her mother turned to Christ. Greatly dismayed and believing the kingdom of their ancestors was broken, the villagers put a death curse on her mother. But she lived many more years to the age of 76.
Eventually, God sent Rosina to All Nations Christian College in the UK. She says, “Going to the UK was a challenge… but I knew with all my heart that it was the door God had opened for me.” God helped her overcome the obstacle of the English language.
While there, a local church with a prayer focus on the Sakalava people invited her to visit, then promised to support her when she returned to minister to her people.
After 24 years in student ministry, Rosina went on to lead a team of foreigners working among the Sakalava. Today she serves as the Madagascar country director for Africa Inland Mission (AIM), leading all the Western and local missionaries.
However, she still lives and ministers among the Sakalava. “God loves my people,” she says. “He wants to raise up Sakalava people to believe in him and to be set free from the bondage of the fear of the ancestors. The Lord has put me here to oversee the work of raising up Sakalava believers and Malagasy believers for mission. It is quite amazing to me that the Lord put me right back in the middle of my people.”
Though she ended up where she began on the island of Nosybe, the mercy of the Lord has taken her on quite a journey, equipping her for every good work and placing her in positions to lead others.
Watch her video: https://youtu.be/skAulLwXNZw.
Photo at top: Africa Inland Mission’s Madagascar team, led by Rosina Ferdinard