Today, the co-founder of World Orphans, Bob Roosen, peacefully passed into eternity. It’s hard to summarize a life so well lived, so I won’t even attempt it here. Bob has changed – and continues to change – many thousands of lives, both now and forever. Thousands of former orphans now have homes and families because of his tireless work and dedication to this most precious of causes. Many other thousands have found hope in the Father to the Fatherless due to the nature and structure of the work we do – rescuing and caring for orphans through local indigenous churches that win the love of their communities in the process.
When I took over the helm of World Orphans in 2006, after a wonderful two year partnership with my former ministry, I was well aware that I was building upon a foundation that was originally set by the Master Builder, but also upon a solid structure erected by Bob and his deep love of vulnerable children and the Church. While just about everybody else was trying to be a lone ranger – building and doing their own thing – Bob and a handful of other pioneers tapped the potential of churches (individual congregations) around the world to step in and simply rescue the children in their immediate neighborhoods. He did this without fanfare and without any desire for credit. Bob wanted the churches themselves to rightly receive that credit. World Orphans has held this as a core value ever since.
Before I heard of Bob’s passing today, I was out on a catamaran in the strait between Maui and Lanai. As I looked at Maui, the Valley Isle, I actually imaged Bob scaling one its peaks. Bob was an avid hiker/climber and defeated many 14ers in his time. Upon returning to my hotel and hearing the news, I felt as if I’d received a soft affirmation earlier in the trade winds – that this fine man of God was indeed ascending another peak . . . where the view and reward are oh so good.