Sunday, August 16, 2015

Ruth - Imitate Her Faith

     Ruth is a young sister, 23, and in her second year of pioneering. She has grown up outside Vinto, Cochabamba, Bolivia in a small rural community, Vila Vila, known for their crops and produce. Her family, and she herself, has beautiful land where they grow onion, carrots, squash, tomatoes, and potatoes – all within its season. They take their produce to La Paz, a seven hour bus ride, and sell in bulk. However, this gives her a flexible schedule for pioneering because while her crops are growing she can be in service almost every day during the week, but when it is the harvest she is hard at work in her fields, and those of her family members, until they can sell in La Paz. From there, she starts fresh with planting her next round of crops and does this throughout the year.
     On top of maintaining her land, she goes to school part-time to learn how to sew. She chose this route, instead of deciding to study at a university, to be able to pursue a career as a pioneer.  It was not an easy decision because she desired to pursue other things but realized the importance of her relationship with Jehovah and made that sacrifice for Him. Now she has an extra income making dresses, skirts, and doing repairs on clothing for sisters in the congregation. She does not regret her decision in any way and encourages young sisters and studies in the congregation to pursue a simpler education as well to be able to give their best to Jehovah.
     Both of her parents are Witnesses but none of her siblings or relatives are.  Which, that alone, has its daily challenges when she is doing the absolute most she can for Jehovah and His kingdom and they don’t necessarily understand her stand for the Truth nor how important her service schedule is. Nonetheless, she is solid in faith and an amazing support in the congregation and preaching work.
     One of the many reasons that she is an amazing support in the ministry is because she is fluent in Quechua. We live in one of the most densely populated areas of people that speak this native language and on a regular basis we find people in the ministry that don’t speak or understand anything else. She willingly and thoroughly gives them a great witness when so many of the rest of us cannot.
     With all of this said, she makes me think of the song Make the Truth Your Own because she truly has made the truth her own. She has had so many different opportunities to pursue other courses in her life but has chosen to live with a simple eye and rely on Jehovah. She is so happy to be serving Jehovah full time and it shows through her enthusiasm and encouragement. Her willful spirit is contagious and is truly an example for all of us to follow.
Ruth and I in service

Ruth in her fields

Ruth's mom

Imitate Their Faith

There are so many practical ways that we can apply the Bible in our daily lives and, obviously, everything was written aforetime for our benefit and instruction. Thus, when reading and thinking about all of the trials that early Christians had to face, sometimes we stop and ask ourselves if we would have been strong enough or have had enough faith and courage in the same situations. Well, we do. Realistically, our own brothers and sisters today face equally enduring trials and leave such amazing examples for us as well. Thus, with that said, I want to share the stories of some amazing brothers and sisters that I’ve gotten to meet so we too can imitate their faith. 


     There is an abundance of paintings of Jesus in his ministry from the organization but one of the more endearing ones is the cover of the Learn from the Great Teacher book because it is so realistic. Jesus had the personality that attracted young kids to learn from him but the kids too are there eagerly listening to him.
     Recently I keep observing situations exactly like that with the kids in the illustration. They aren’t ashamed and are eager to see what you share.  They ask amazing, real questions. They get so, so excited with pictures and videos and always want to see more. They remind us to pray before a study and are disappointed when you have to reschedule. They want homework to learn new songs. Their desire is so amazing… These kiddos are spiritually thirsty – often more so than adults.

     Their examples remind me not to negate their rights. To offer the promises of the kingdom to them too. And to follow their example. To not be ashamed and to continually be learning.