Who Is
Scott Rogers

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Childhood

I was raised in a non-Christian home in Tucson, Arizona during the baby boom years of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Even as a child I had always been attracted to a belief in God.

I remember attending a summer Bible class that our Baptist neighbors held for the kids in the neighborhood. I was enthralled by the stories about God, and when they gave me a tiny book with some Bible verses, I treasured it. I tried to keep it a secret from my parents, but one day they discovered me reading it, but instead of getting angry, they just said,“That’s good.” I started the habit of praying on occasion or when in need. But with no support or guidance, I lost the spiritual bearing that I had, and as a young boy. I drifted intellectually and morally.

My high school years were tumultuous, as I lost my way into the drug scene. No good came from it, except that after about three years of bad experiences, I resolved to abandon it all and look for the truth, whatever that might entail. I took several different roads to try to find God.
 
Eastern religious thought and meditation was one road, which taught that I could achieve a state of inner peace and oneness with God by assuming a relaxed position, clearing my mind,and chanting my mantra, a procedure of repeating a word over and over again. But before long, I realized that this was like treating God as an impersonal force with no intelligence, emotion, or beauty.
 
After a year of practicing this pursuit, my meditations started becoming more like prayers. Something inside me yearned for a relationship with God, not a procedure. At one point I prayed, “God, if you are real, please reveal yourself to me.” That became the prayer I made consistently for about a year.

Coming to Faith

My freshman year at the University of Arizona, I was invited to a Christian fellowship and began studying the Bible with several young Christian men. After being introduced to the claims of Jesus, I embraced the gospel—and a relationship with the living God through Christ was born.

Instead of a procedure, prayer suddenly became conversation with a personal God. Worship became passionate, and the study of God’s Word came alive. Philosophical discussions became invigorating, interesting, and challenging, and science became awe-inspiring.

As confirmation that I had found the truth, there were times I strongly sensed the presence of God, not just somewhere “out there,” but in my life and indwelling my physical body. I felt an indescribable joy and peace from God’s Spirit, and I knew that for the first time in my life I had come to experience the reason for which I was created: communion with the Creator.

As a young believer, while attending the University of Arizona, I led Bible studies with friends, seekers,and anyone who was interested. I took regular visits to the parks to meet people and engage them in conversations about God. As my knowledge of Scripture increased, I taught the Bible in various small group settings. In the late 1970’s, I served for several years in a homeless ministry, run out of the Vineyard, a ministry located near the U of A. We took in the homeless, provided meals, and helped some in their search for employment. In the evenings we shared the gospel with them.
 
While a college student, I also went on a number of short-term mission trips to Latin America. I made several trips to Guatemala to help rebuild after a devastating earthquake in 1976 destroyed thousands of homes and buildings. By the early 1980’s the Vineyard was a young, vibrant church. I served as an elder there for a number of years.

What Does Hydrology Have to Do With God?

Several years after receiving my undergrad degree in geosciences from the U of A, I started working for Tucson Water in their hydrology section, first as an intern, then as a hydrologist. I became trained in groundwater hydrology, specializing in the development of groundwater resources. During this time, I met Nancy Hungerford during a Bible study I was leading, and she became my wife.

In 1988, Nancy and I sensed we were being called by God to serve as full-time missionaries to underprivileged peoples. After taking several exploratory short-term Mission trips, we committed to serve the Tarahumara Indians in a remote area of the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico. From my time at Tucson Water, I learned how water wells are drilled. I was able to use that knowledge to modify a small rotary drill rig, which I used to provide clean potable water for small communities throughout the region.

There was no electricity, running water, or consistent medical care in the area, so it was a challenge to bring my wife, two young boys and daughter to live there. The infant mortality was as high as 50 % due to water-born and hygiene related diseases in these villages. We constructed a number of potable water wells in one community, and saw infant mortality rates there go down even during the years we worked there. As a nutritionist, my wife worked in a medical clinic helping mothers and their severely malnourished babies and children. We were also involved in evangelism, church planting, and indigenous church leadership training.

This work was the most challenging work we had ever been engaged in, both physically and emotionally. Every stay in these remote villages involved encounters with sick or injured people asking for our help, including providing whatever emergency treatments we could provide, and rides to the nearest hospital, which was three hours away on a dangerous primitive mountain road. During times of drought or scarcity, hungry people came to us for food, and there were other requests to meet a variety of needs. Add to these the responsibility of carrying out a well drilling project in a difficult terrain and raising a family, and it all brought my wife and I to the limit of our capabilities. After eight years we were ready for a rest.

After returning to the U.S., I had an opportunity to continue helping indigenous peoples protect and develop their water resources: I landed a hydrology job with the San Xavier District of the Tohono O’odham Nation, a Native American tribe located in southern Arizona. First, I provided technical assistance in the negotiation of the tribe’s water settlement with the federal government and other parties. Later, I helped develop a natural method to recharge the aquifer with the District’s allocation of Colorado River water. I took the lead in that project. I was also involved in developing and implementing a plan for reclaiming and revegetating six square miles of disturbed mine lands on the reservation. I worked for them for almost 22 years until my retirement in January 2019.

Retirement

I am now enjoying retirement immensely, more than I thought I ever would. I spend much of time doing what I enjoy most: ministering to people and sharing God’s Word through a variety of outlets, including writing. Through the years I became proficient in technical writing and now want to use that skill for a greater purpose­­­­ — that of leading people towards faith in God.

I now minister part-time to international students in Tucson. My wife and I conduct conversational English classes every week to mostly Chinese students and visiting scholars. We also meet with students for Bible study during the week, and then participate in a weekly meeting of the International Student Fellowship, where students meet for fellowship, hear Bible teachings, learn worship songs, and play games. You may already know that the Chinese are probably the best ping-pong players you’ll ever meet.

Many international students come to faith while studying in the U.S. and the number of Chinese believers is growing. Chinese Christians face many challenges to spiritual growth. Many have a basic faith but lack good Bible teaching to help them solidify that faith. I also wrote an unpublished basic book on Christ and had it translated into Chinese. I am hoping that my writing ministry to this group will expand.

The projects and ministries I have been involved in have mostly been behind the scenes, out of view of the large crowds. Though I am not a famous person and never will be, my main goal in life is now to make Jesus Christ famous. Using the skills and tools God has given me, I want to help others understand Christ and come to love and serve him.

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