The Story of ROSALIND RUSSELL the ‘Goat Lady’ and President of R Star Ministries Foundation
Life can be one crippling crutch hindered by obstacles riddled upon a path one might think laden in quicksand or from the back of the motorcycle Rosalind Russell flies through the streets in Nepal on – one wild incredible journey. The founding president of the grass root foundation R Star Ministries, Rosalind is one woman who sees the day as an opportunity to recreate avenues of reality and believes as she so humbly puts it, “When there is a woman with a will, there is a way!”
Rosalind spent half of her early years toddling with crutches as of a result of a crippling childhood disease, but comfortably in her living room at our first meeting she declares,” I never used my crutches as a crutch. I never fought with reality; I just did it” After being homeschooled, she went on to Seminary and received a Masters in Interfaith. But it wasn’t until twenty-two years ago after her privileged marriage of many years folded that she dared to run shotgun with visions that were not always clear.
In 1991 she started R Star Ministries, a pro bono prison ministry for local and national inmates and their families. The purpose of her ministry is to keep reality alive so upon their release inmates will be productive citizens. Rosalind Russell trusts reminiscent of conventional bible counseling, ‘Take care of your prisoners as you would yourself.’ Thanks to her personal one-on-one touch and years of interactions with them upon their release her inmates beat the national statistics – THEY NEVER RETURN! But prisons she later discovered can be holograms that turn minds into fearful beings – fearful beings that sometimes life and error discover in the farthest of places.
In 1988 while visiting India, she fortuitously ricocheted over to Kathmandu and ended up being adopted by a Nepali man named Rabin (pronounced Robin) whom Rosalind now considers her son; his entire family considers her Maataye or Aamu, meaning Mom or precious to the heart. It wasn’t until fifteen years later that she found herself caught in a lie of a promised return. After seeing tears on Rabin e-mail when she wrote of her fears of returning to her adopted country, she braved the edges of her own cautious boundaries, and refinanced her home in hopes of a return trip. Within a two month period she was headed to the Kavre district of northern Nepal, where she found herself immersed into the reality of her visions.
The crossroads of Nepal are plagued by a quicksand of poverty, trafficking and terrorism. Rosalind infringes upon its 5,000 year old tradition; she challenges the villager’s crippled minds, cautious boundaries and archaic beliefs for she feared not change but the hindering there-of. In a country where the illiteracy rate is 49% she succeeded, in collaboration with Nepali Rotary Club of Paton, to empower 600 women through literacy programs, expanding their vision beyond the spectrum of their current lens and the holograms of their own fearful minds. She became the pulse behind their strive , elevating lives in their impoverished, war-torn area. Micro-financing groups of women with a cap of 15% for each loan, the dues there-after remaining within the group for their use and after a three year period used to pay for books, pens and much sought after teeth, with a small stipend given to the treasurer who maintains the ‘ bank’ for the women. Her path was becoming crystalline in clarity, and the climb worth all the obstacles hindered by that which once was and that which shall never be again.
Why she thought of gifting Nepali villagers with goats she still has yet to figure out and answer but thanks to donations from Laguna Beach locals and the collaboration of the Nepali government she ended up gifting goats to a group of twenty-five Nepali women – fifty female goats and one male breeder – with the stipulation that they ‘Pay it Forward’ gifting women in another village with two pregnant goats equal to what they had been given or better within a two year period. An act that was the grass root of R Star Foundation subsidiary “Women Helping Women & Children…therefore the world,” and warranting Rosalind the honor of being christened the ‘Goat Lady.
The villagers acclaimed through Rosalind Russell’s guidance and words, “Government isn’t the one who takes care of it…YOU take care of it!” In an area where no school existed, she built from ground up one for 400 children. Daily for ten minutes the children are taught and shown peace. With Rosalind’s presence and influence the villagers have watched the ceasing of trafficking and terrorism as they were lifted from their 5,000 years of poverty.
She didn’t just shepherd goats, she shepherded the women and children of Nepal into pastures green beyond the current spectrum of their lens. She shepherded freedom – the vision of a future where peace need not be taught but freely flow through the land the goats now roam. In a country where she speaks not the language, women and children have learned to identity power and the results thereof from watching her villages grow to over 26! The villages and villagers now have over 11,000 goats emanating from her program in less than six years. Because of her vision, there are now 22 groups of women in literacy classes, with 10% going forward to become teachers.
Last time Rosalind visited Nepal, she was honored with the ‘International Award’ for working with single women of all CASTS, those who are set aside, dismissed, forgotten and ignored – the untouchables! Many ladies traveled for hours to attend the ceremony so they too could freely run with visions that were now crystalline in clarity – a vision that blessed many with the gift of voice in a country where a single lady has none. And in a country where men are allowed the privilege of touch but not women, the forgotten, dismissed, ignored and untouchable struggle with their archaic beliefs of touch, then slowly open their cautious boundaries and tenderly melt in the sweeping arms and vision of Rosalind Russell.
December 27th , 2008 Rosalind watched as the home she lived in for twenty-nine years burnt to the ground. History laid smothered not in ashes but colonized in the blessings Nepal and life afforded the lessons Rosalind graced. Within a two week period everything she had and things people didn’t even know she had were duplicated and expanded. ” Magic or favor of God, ” she laughed in wonder. Karma? People touching people? Or perhaps a seven year “ Prayer Group” started by Rosalind that dared life to open new roads of perception and challenge those like herself who see the day as an opportunity to recreate avenues of reality. Emotions were born, realities were born, and single moments in time became a fertilization of the infinite possibilities of tomorrows silently waiting beyond the smothering of poverty, terrorism, trafficking and fires.
March 21st of 2010 I had the privilege of meeting two of Rosalind’s children from Nepal – Santosh and Sima. As she excites about broadening her work I witness a futurist path being laid, aspiring if the heels of her motorcycle ever cools the torch being passed. Glasses are toasted and promises sworn; heads are lowered in thanks, held high in respect. A vision grass rooted in 1988 is now encircled by the sanguinity of fundraisers, corporate sponsorship and grant writing to fund wells yet to be dug, gardens yet to be planted, and art yet to be taught while shepherding crippled minds that have yet to kick the crutches out from under the plague of poverty, terrorism and trafficking . A light that needs to live – no, has to live - Rosalind shall not let die. She can’t let die. For it is, Rosalind knows, the light of the future.
The luxury of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are often confined by the crutches of our own crippled minds, cautious boundaries and archaic beliefs. It is up to us, as proven by the inspirational story of Rosalind Russell, to choose a path riddled not with quicksand but a future ventured with courage, belief and vision beyond oneself. Only with that vision can one truly grasp one woman, one child, or one goat can empower a peace beyond the spectrum of their current lens and birth an abundance of awakenings across a planet sanctioned into the communion of enlightenment for a species carefully woven as ONE. An enlightenment respectively honored by the vision of lady named Rosalind Russell who once upon a youth had the willingness to dare to dream beyond the crutches of life.
Rosalind Russell can be reached at:
P.O. Box 4183, Laguna Beach, CA 92652…cell:949.497.4911