Leonard grew up in the little town of Windom, Kansas. He was involved in sports in high school, and during his senior year, his coach wanted him to go hear Bob Richards, a decathlon champion, at a rally in nearby McPherson. He was surprised to hear Bob give his testimony and share the Gospel. He even met Bob in person afterwards. But he didn’t accept Christ. Later after attending another rally, he was convicted and went to the home of a pastor, who led him to Christ. This pastor mentored him and suggested he go to Bible College in Kansas City. There he met Pauline, his wife of 56 years. After graduation in 1959 he joined the staff of Kansas City YFC full-time and began directing YFC’s first junior high Bible Clubs. After four years in Kansas City Wendy Collins, who had just returned from Lebanon with a Teen Team, encouraged the Rodgers to go there as missionaries. After 6 months of support-raising, they sailed for Lebanon in 1963.

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