Linda Albert and Roxanne Rogers
DescriptionRoxanne Rogers (62) is interviewed by her friend Linda Albert (62) about her travels, life and faith.
- Linda Albert
- Roxanne Rogers
Recording LocationSebastopol, CA
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00:05 What's Uncle Henry dog that she'd again?
00:08 Okay, Roxanne Rogers age 62 February 21st, 2020 Sebastopol California being interviewed by my friend Linda.
00:23 My name is Linda Albert age 62 today's date is February 21st 2020?
00:32 We are in Sebastopol, California with my friend Roxanne.
00:37 Okay. So thank you Linda very much for coming and interviewing me and I'm going to talk to you today about my face story starting with my childhood a little bit. So I was raised in Napa California and I'm the youngest of five and my parents were from Tennessee and Texas respectively. We did not grow up with any faith particularly. I think my mother had some exposure when she was when she was in Tennessee, but my dad was bit of an atheist as the youngest of five. I tended to be bossed around by my sister is my brother. So I became Independence and wandered around.
01:36 Just visiting neighbors and finding whatever nature was around there and wondering in it and then when I got a bike, I want and bigger circles and bigger and bigger circles tends to be the theme of my life. I think anyway, also just wondered and as I wandered and I was kind of carried by songs a bit. There was a famous song Everybody Knows somewhere over the rainbow that I loved and used to go to the local school and on the weekends and swing on the swings and go out way up high thinking maybe something would happen if I got up there, you know.
02:23 Anyway, we moved around a bit. And so I didn't have a lot of friends but I did continue to wonder, you know, I climb trees and job when we move to Rohnert Park. I rode my bike one time to my grandparents house. Hoping that we could go high horse riding and that didn't work out. But anyway, it was amazing that I found myself there and my parents were alarmed when they realized I had gone that far. Anyway, when I got two in my adolescence, we had moved around a few times and my parents had divorced my older sisters had moved away and it was a very difficult time for me and very difficult a lessons because of the divorce and because
03:24 My father had been a bit abusive and my brother became a bit abusive and he tried to get me into drugs as well. And it was a very difficult time. My mother was still working and then she tended to go off and abandoned us a bit to a visit her husband are not husband-to-be second husband to be in Sacramento boyfriend at that time.
03:56 And I was sort of Flounder in but I found refuge and a lot of the folk songs by the time the early sixties and later 60s could old Cross by Crosby Stills and Nash and Simon & Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled Water.
04:19 James Taylor You've Got a Friend and they and I found solace in those songs, and there was just something speaking to me and they upheld me and
04:32 So that was something that I I just continued to wonder about God and I think I had a friend in junior high school that told me something about God or Jesus and I just thought it was ridiculous and I'm kind of actually teased her and it wasn't very kind to her. But as I continued into my adolescence it got kind of worse and my mother moved way to Sacramento and I lived on my own for a while and I had decided that I'd like to be a hippie when I cry and I hung out at this hippie house. Come on homie street in Napa and was called you homie house and sadly I did drugs and it one point I did some LSD and I thought I was really going to lose my mind and I went home to the room. I was renting
05:32 And a house where I paid rent by child support was when I was 15 and after I had kind of freaked out at the house and my boyfriend at the time who was really into Van Morrison and
05:54 Told me he was he was really kind and he just held me while I was really freaking out and then finally I went home as I said and I cried out to the God that I did not believe it was there and even though there was speed in that drug. I fell asleep.
06:12 And the next day I just I would have
06:17 Made a relationship with God at that point if I had known how to do so but I stopped doing drugs very much and moved to Sacramento with my mother that I was not comfortable then because she was more involved with her boyfriend. And so I started developing a bit of an ulcer when you're at by that time. I was in my junior year of high school and you know what it's like when you move around and you don't know people and it can be really difficult and high school specially
07:00 I was having this ulcer and just trying to figure out how to manage my life and I thought about dropping out of high school because I wasn't doing that well, and I thought about moving back to Napa and to just live in the end the hippie house again and work in The Vineyards.
07:29 Tying vines or something like that, whatever that means and then I went to visit Easter 1974. I went to visit Easter week and I found a friend who had lived at the hippie house who was no longer there and I asked about where she was and they said, oh, she's become a Jesus Freak and how add a Christian and I was like what she's crazy so went to visit her and she I was going to try and talk her out of it, you know how to tell her she was crazy and she just told me that Jesus love me and God love me and I can't be true why you know, it's too good to be true, but she invited me to something on Easter Sunday in the park.
08:26 And I would not have dark in the door of a church, but this was as a say in a park open air place and I thought well I could just you know, you watched it it just so I went to that and I can see that the people that were there the young people that were there.
08:47 Love each other there was just a sense of his unconditional love which I certainly didn't get for my hippie friends, you know, you needed to be cool to be Loft and I wasn't very cool. At least I didn't think I was but anyway, I heard you know, again, that's the message that God loves us and that Christ Jesus died on the cross for us and he's like what? I don't know. I don't know about this, but it was love that was drawing me.
09:17 And there was a big man with a beard and he asked people if they wanted to accept Christ to come forward and I was like no way I wasn't going to do that, but it got me thinking and I went back to Sacramento that evening. My mother came back to pick me up and then I just started thinking what would it be? Like maybe it would be a good thing. I knew that my family would think I was nuts and those friends that I had would think I was nuts, but I was just really curious and so then it Monday night following I took that phone into my room remember those phones with a long cords before cordless phones and I closed the door and I called my friend and she was so glad that I called and she has someone else who was
10:18 Older in the faith get on the phone with me and pray a very very basic sinner's prayer and I really wasn't entirely sure what I was doing. But after that it was amazing. I had the sense of peace and the nervous stomach that I had went away and I was feeling I had been failing in school, especially in math and algebra, but I started understanding it and I decided not to Dropout of high school. I started doing really well.
10:56 And from that point on things changed very much in my life and I decided to move in with the people in Napa and then they moved over to Santa Rosa and if we lived we had this communal living situation, there's about fifty of us. Let me know in what is now the kid Street Learning Center and job I went to my final year of high school at Santa Rosa high school. And I said as I said I did well
11:28 And Faith was my new Foundation. Yes, we were kind of what was called the Jesus people and and that was really good to begin with that ass. I found then chili there were still things in my life that were unsettled from, you know, my childhood and I was still a Wanderer.
11:55 And I moved to the Bay Area with a Church Plant at one point, but that really didn't work and it this time my my sister my older sister was living in Germany with her husband who was a at officer in Military and she invited me to come over and I had always dreamt of going to Europe especially Scotland. I was really curious about Scotland and the British Isles and I had to read some books by an author named George McDonald and I was just really curious about that, but she was in Germany and she invited me to come to Germany. So I as an adventurous person. I got a one way ticket to Germany and I lived with her.
12:50 And her husband actually, I was above their apartment and a maid's room and I got affiliated with some people who were a couple named Lou and Charles McCullough who were missionaries to the military. They were from Alabama and they were welcoming young people, especially the military people single military into their homes, and I was not in the military, but I was affiliated with it giving setting up education with a college for the enlisted men.
13:35 And I started going along to that and I learned more and more about the Bible through them and it was just a really wonderful time. It was a New Foundation Learning about the scriptures.
13:52 And a different way than that I had previously with with Jesus people and then an opportunity came after 3 years to move to Scotland, which was the desire of my heart and there were had been a number of scriptures that it kind of guided me.
14:15 And one of them was delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. So living in Germany ended up being the desire of my heart because I was exploring Europe. But then here I was getting the desire of my heart to move to Scotland and that was through a friend who was Scottish and I had met in Germany.
14:38 And she had invited me to come over and stay with her and her mother. This is after three years of living United finished a liberal arts degree through the the college that I was working with. And so she invited me to come over and to work with a what was called the Redwoods Foundation.
15:07 And they were through the church in Edinborough and veracity fellowship and they had invited me to work with them. And that was just a miracle that that happened because I had had no idea that it would open up like that. So
15:31 I went to Edinborough after 3 years. Do you want to ask me any questions at this time? Because I'm just Corner as they would say in Scotland. I'm just sort of blathering on and you're telling a wonderful story I know is I've been listening. I've been thinking of wonderer Wanderer but a wonderer with an innate sense of direction because it seems like you followed the directions home and I touch my heart when I say that yeah, I was following his desires of my heart and I believe that as I said that first if you delight yourself in the Lord, he will give you the desires of your heart when I forgot to say that as I love, Scotland,
16:19 I was born on Saint Andrews Day November 30th. And I think you know being having the desire to live in Scott was something that God put in my heart. So I worked with this redwoods caring Foundation named after the Redwoods here Sonoma County and I believe that it was meant to be but it wasn't easy. I had to learn a lot of things like driving on the left side of the road and shopping for tea instead of coffee and it was hard work and during that time I gained residency status in the UK and I had also dreamt as a child as being being a teacher.
17:16 And so I was encouraged to become a teacher and I ended up after 5 years and having that residency status. I qualified to go to university there and I trained as a teacher.
17:34 And after I taught there for 5 years and different schools, I had the desire to return here to Sonoma County and teach here, but I found that it really didn't work out. So then I hear ya coming back here. I worked hard. I did the CBEST test. I've started working towards teaching here. But the teaching here was nothing like teaching in Scotland. I really like the curriculum back there much more but living in Scotland wasn't easy because the you know, the weather was quite harsh in the winter and
18:19 End up as seasonal adjustment disorder, but when I came back here as I said didn't really work out. So I ended up as a said bigger and bigger circles. I ended up going back to Scotland and taught there again, but then in the summer, it was only substitute teaching or what they called Supply teaching. I was looking for more work in England because England's Summers were different than Scotland's there their I'm teaching times. So I was invited to go to the United Arab Emirates buy a an agent.
19:04 And I thought where I'd never been there and I never even heard of it but I did go there. This is part of your story that I know more. Well than the continual moving about the globe teaching. Yeah. Yeah. So going there was really one of my biggest adventures because I said I'd lived in Europe unexplored Europe and I had learned a bit of German but going to the United Arab Emirates. I tried to learn some Arabic and that was really difficult. But when I I work there as teacher in a a Muslim school and I was really glad to do that because I had had no idea what it was like to you know, what Muslims were like and it was really an eye-opener but it was also very difficult because the weather was
20:04 Very harsh. It was also a very humid very very hot and humid and the infrastructure was not great didn't I didn't know my way around and just so you take a taxi and you think the taxis know where they're going. I'm so it was very challenging really but I made a great bond with my students and they were all female students because they separate at the age that I was teaching 5th grade, but it was a lovely Bond and I was able to one of the things I feel I was gifted with was I love continue to love music and I learned some songs from a Scottish songwriter named Stephen fishbach her name fishy music.
21:04 So I taught the girls some lovely songs that has something to do with God and it was just very open. It was one of the songs was a wonderful world different than the sum of 1 that were familiar with it. Was it a Christian song, but just very general about the world.
21:26 Anyway, I was only there for a few months because my brother who was back here in Santa Rosa and I think I missed out that when I was in my adolescence, one of the reasons it was so rough was because my brother broke his neck.
21:45 And I ended up caring for him back in my adolescence. And that was a very rough thing to do and he had been a quadriplegic for 32 years when this time when I was in the United Arab Emirates he was dying of cancer.
22:04 And so I had to cut short my time of teaching and come back here. And that was a really difficult flight of rooting my dolphin saying goodbye to the girls who I tried when I went in to tell them I was leaving. I try not to cry but I did cry and so they were crying so I had to leave the room while they were crying and that was that was very upsetting and then the flight it was a long slide you can imagine and I knew I would come back because that's by that time. My mother was a widow and I knew she was going to need my support after my brother died. So I got back here just in the nick of time to say goodbye to him. He was on hospice at that time and a wonderful.
22:57 Hard thing happened when I we took turns my sisters and I love being with him.
23:05 And this song came on the radio, which was the song you wouldn't expect to hear on the regular radio called I can only imagine and he had at one point in his life also accepted Christ and been baptized complete water baptism as a quadriplegic 6.2 quadriplegic was pretty amazing amazing and it had changed his life sadly. He did not stay in that and he continued to kind of not have the best life. He had a very sad life but in the end of his life, he cried out to God again and this song came on the radio while I was in my last shift with him.
23:58 I can only imagine and that was a beautiful song and I I believe that his life did not end that there is
24:09 Eternal life and I believe that because of that he he, you know how to different ending. Well after that. I stayed with my mother for a few months just to comfort her and had Christmas with her, but then I still long to teach and I couldn't get a job teaching here. So I heard about it a job at an international school and Mexico, Mexico City
24:44 And I entered ended up interviewing for that job on the phone and consequently because it was on the phone. I had the nice interview and my pajamas.
25:00 So I went to Mexico and lived in Mexico Mexico City teaching at an international school there and interacted with bilingual students teaching in English, of course and had an opportunity to go to an orphanage there and work with some children and also using these fishing music songs both with my class and then went at the orphanage. So was it with the international school that you worked in Mexico and in the southeast Asia and if they were different schools, there are international schools that are bilingual all over the world. So what was your where did you go from Mexico?
25:53 In Mexico, I'm it was an international school called edron theater on Academy and I did a contract there for a year-and-a-half in Mexico City. Then I went to Guadalajara and worked with a Christian schools in the Lincoln school. And then I also went to ended up after that I decided to teach ESL as a change. So I went to so long story how I ended up there, but I was invited to work at the University and Oaxaca Mexico. So that was a really wonderful experience. I was letting Onika gringa in a small town called teotitlan De Flores magon in the state of Oaxaca Northern.
26:53 And I did that for about a year or so, but during that time my mother passed away and that was very traumatic. I came back up here to Santa Rosa for just that week to be for her, you know her funeral or pausing.
27:20 And God gave me the grace to speak at her and her funeral the celebration of her life. And yes, I say I managed to speak and that was a very hard thing to do. But I did and then after that I did go back to Oaxaca and finished teaching there. And then I'm in when I Wally was there I did my grieving Enos a very hard thing to lose a parent with whom I had become much closer by that time, you know, we had reunited.
28:02 But I lived in Scotland. She had come to visit many times and for my graduation from the University, so we were friends and she come to Mexico as well. So
28:18 From that point on when I was in Mexico. I did my grieving and I decided to come back to California and I went back I cable. I thought it would go somewhere different in California. So I went to San Diego.
28:39 And I ended up teaching ESL in San Diego with San Diego Community Education. And I also worked at a church with some refugees who were from different places.
29:01 And at that point I worked for a while with his church, but then I didn't have a job with them after while I was let go because it was 2008 was 2007 when there was a recession or 2008. So I ended up working and I ended up investigating a job in.
29:30 South Korea
29:34 And it was called the English.
29:40 But what's in Justin English school that it was a village the English Village.
29:49 In South Korea in a place called Daegu
29:53 I not a lot of people have heard of Diego and this place called the English Village had an airplane parked out in front.
30:05 A real airplane and inside they had lots of rooms that were made to look like American it was based on Disneyland American or English stores post office police office police station stores, and they all were they had English teachers and them so when the students would come like 50 at a time they would
30:45 Wander around to experiment with a kind of play English. I will I was also teaching and a part of that was called the school and I was teaching art.
31:00 But when the students came in they were they were only coming one group at a time and then they moved on and so I didn't get to know them. I didn't get to have a relationship with them. So basically it wasn't working out and I was really actually to be honest. I got depressed. It was very cold there and we had to eat Korean food, which was not that easy to digest for me and I got very depressed and one of the things that happened was I just
31:38 I just called out to God and I just wondered what to do. And then we had a time when we didn't have any students at all.
31:47 So I just had always longed to go to Thailand and I felt inspired to just go to Thailand and to be perfectly honest. I thought this is just crazy, you know, but I felt inspired to do it. So I took a one-way flight to Bangkok and when I got to Bangkok it was just amazing. God led me to a place to live and a lady that spoke English and that helps me through a b and b.
32:28 And and then I found this wonderful church called Christ Church, and there were people it was an Anglican church and there were people from all different countries there and
32:45 I so I started looking for work there and got opened doors for me to work a first at a preschool teaching English and then at a another Bilingual School.
32:59 Play music from Thailand that you went to Kazakhstan know that's a little bit more complicated. I was there for a while and I did do a contract with a a Bilingual School teaching English teaching in English, and it was a good experience teaching with them.
33:23 And it was a good experience living in Bangkok, but then I felt I should go back to San Diego and from San Diego. I was settling into teaching ESL again, but it wasn't really working out because San Diego's very expensive. So
33:49 I you know, obviously I prayed about what to do. And then I found an organization. I thought I would go back to teaching in English with bilingual schools.
34:04 And I found an organization that how to school offered in a place near and the southeast area of of them.
34:19 It was near Malaysia like and I went to an interview o and then they changed on the phone. They said no. No, we need you to go to the Ukraine. So I went to an interview in Los Angeles for a job in Ukraine. But while I was speaking to the interviewer, he said no we need you to go to Kazakhstan. I had this gut feeling that it was going to be in somewhere someplace really cold. This is the middle of the year and they needed someone to go there.
35:04 So it's kind of a long story, but I ended up going to Kazakhstan and that was a very good experience as well. And I said to them that I wouldn't go unless I can bring my dog.
35:20 I need to bring my dog to Kazakhstan in the middle of winter.
35:25 And teaching at an international school with kids from 25 different nationalities. And again, I was able to do my
35:37 Music This fishing music and put on a concert a big concert with these Kazakh.
35:47 Call the people and kids from all over of wandering the globe with purpose, you know that common thread of teaching.
36:03 Yeah, I'm of music and of God being with you as you went yanning doors and and closing doors. What would you say was the most profound spiritual moment of your life?
36:16 Well, that would have to be going back to when I was 16 and I accepted Christ because my life just changed from that moment and I had peace.
36:28 And I was able to complete my education and if I hadn't completed my education, I would never have been able to become a teacher right struggling with school and ending up being a lifetime teacher. Yes, and that that was just the most wonderful thing. I love teaching and I miss teaching. Yeah, because after Kazakhstan, that's when you came back to the United States California for this the remainder. I came back to Napa. I wanted to being a clean air environment again, and I end up working with Napa Junior College teaching ESL.
37:16 Not long after that. I ended up moving over here and doing number of jobs and it was around that time that I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer out of the blue and I had to then think about my relationship with God and a different way and I had to evaluate if God really loves me. Why is he allowing me to suffer in this way?
37:45 And that's another story. I'm not sure we have time for that story. But I did learn that God still loves us. Even when he allows us to suffer. The most important thing is relating to God and becoming more like Christ and I believe that suffering is part of the way that he allows us to become like Christ.
38:14 Anything in closing any last words anything else and closing any last words?
38:20 Well, I would just reiterate that although I am dealing with stage 4 cancer and I'm on hospice now. There is still Joy of my life and peace and
38:35 I'm still excited to be walking on a journey with God now is my journey is no longer in geographical circles, but more spiritual Explorations into deeper relationship with God through Christ. And as you know, Linda everyday is a new beginning and we begin again every day and God holds us. I know that God is holding me as I go into, you know, I may or may not be healed of cancer and I'm in a may get worse, but I know that God will be right here with me everyday every moment and
39:25 And that releases me from fear of fear of suffering fear of death know that he he will help me. He is my strength and I have many other verses that have guided me all along.
39:41 And so I'm I'm honored and grateful to have been able to have this interview. Thank you so much. Thank you.