Rod Suderman, 63, a former mission worker in Taiwan and China and Mennonite Central Committee regional representative in Northeast Asia, died Sept. 2 of anaplastic thyroid cancer in Surrey, B.C.
With his wife, Kathi, he served in Taiwan from 1985 to 1988 with the Commission on Overseas Mission of the General Conference Mennonite Church. The couple served as in-country program directors from 1998 to 2006 for China Educational Exchange, now Mennonite Partners in China.
The couple were MCC regional representatives for Northeast Asia from 2005 to 2014. They raised their three children Christopher, Stefanie and Jesse in Beijing.
Born in Winkler, Man., Suderman studied theology and religion at several institutions, including Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary.
Between and after sojourns in Asia, he was pastor at Aberdeen Mennonite Church in Saskatchewan, First Mennonite Church in Saskatoon, Sask., and Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, B.C.
Suderman reconnected pastors who were remnants of past Mennonite mission in remote areas of Daming and Puyang and who had lost contact with global Mennonites decades ago.
“Rod and I traveled together many times to rural areas,” wrote Yin Hongtao, MC Canada representative in China. “He consistently showed a patient, humble attitude and a loving heart.”
He helped Chinese churches get property returned by researching and locating historic property deeds.
A memorial service was held at Emmanuel Mennonite Church, where he was lead pastor.