Interview by Larissa Chelius Submitted by Jonathan Rossing Nomination & Photography by Kim Rossing Wisconsin
The Nomination: Jonathan Rossing has lived a life worth emulating. He will be attending the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh this fall to continue his academic career and to play baseball. During the summer after his freshman year and sophomore year of high school he decided to not play baseball at the level he should have to be recruited in college and to go serve in Malawi, Africa. This decision to put others first above himself and his potential college baseball career was an easy one for him. Though he didn’t get recruited at the D2 or higher level that he was capable of playing at, he did find and amazing college to play for this next year. He is one of the most humble people I know.
It is hard at times to not worry and stress about how things will turn out. Going to Malawi and playing baseball are both big parts of my life. For me the opportunity to travel to Malawi, and further my walk with Christ far outweighed playing baseball. At those moments in your life it is hard to trust that he has your future figured out.
After hearing God’s call to go to Malawi I knew that was the right path for my life. This whole trip wouldn’t have happened for me if it wasn’t for my sister stepping out in her faith the year before. She accepted God’s initial call and followed his voice. It shows just how powerful a single step in your faith can be. Not only did she take that first step in her pursuit for Christ, but she then turned around and shared it with me. Because of my sister stepping out in her faith, she in turn helped God influence mine. Without Malawi, I would not be the same person I am today.
I see the world in a different light, I am more appreciative of the things he blesses me with. You learn to especially appreciate small amenities like a bathroom and running water. Going into the trip I felt like I was going to be there to help them, which at times I was able to, but they taught me more than I could have ever imagined. What you need to know is that God has a mission field for everyone, not everyone’s mission field is half way across the world in Malawi.
Some people’s mission fields are in their backyards, some across the world. Listening to God’s voice in your life and taking advantage of opportunities to spread the good word are where God will grow you the most. At the time of deciding that I would go to Malawi I thought I would have to give up playing baseball in college.
But that wasn’t God’s plan for my life, he has blessed me with the opportunity to play baseball for the next four years as well. Matthew 7:7-8, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Listening for God’s voice and seeking him out will help you grow beyond what you could imagine. I hope that someday I can return to Malawi and see them all again. They influenced me in a way that will forever shape me into the person I am today.