“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Rev. 21:4, NLT
On behalf of pastors' spouses in the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division (SID) and around the world, we pay tribute to the late Denise Ratsara. SID has lost a godly woman who understood that “all who work for God should have the Martha and Mary attributes blended—a willingness to minister, and a sincere love of the truth” (Christian Service, p. 27).
Denise was spiritually alive in Christ, a woman of the Word, and a woman of prayer. She had a self-sacrificing missionary spirit. She understood that a pastoral team can endure together if they both want to do good for Christ’s sake. She worked unitedly with her husband even when there were trials and disappointments. She truly believed in team ministry.
Her work as the Shepherdess coordinator and sponsor for SID became her greatest passion. She invested tireless effort and energy, serving with dedication, grace, and dignity. She raised funds to improve education for pastors’ spouses, and the Shepherdess work in SID is what it is today because of Denise.
We saw her suffer in pain, yet with a beautiful smile she encouraged us to remain faithful to God. As a woman of faith, she truly believed that God was with her, that she could pass through the raging waters of her illness and not drown. We have sweet memories of her as an organized pastor’s wife who left a legacy of positive attitude, faith, courage, and confidence in Jesus.
The SID office will not be the same without her. We will miss her great laugh, the healthy dishes she prepared for social meetings, her beautiful voice as we sang together, and her willingness to pitch in and do whatever was needed. We will remember her for her compassionate, generous soul. Denise never met a person in need that she did not find some way of helping.
Our hearts go out to her family. We will continue to pray for Pastor Ratsara and the children, Mary, Paul, Jr., and Moise, and the rest of the Cangy family.
We are comforted in the hope that we will all be united with our loved ones and the hope that we will see Denise Ratsara again. Until then, may we all remain faithful to God’s call.