5 minutes with Ruth ...
Tell us a little about you
I live in Central Asia, where I work to make the Great Healer known, in my job in mental health. I’m an identical twin, in a family with four sisters.
Favourite Bible passage and why?
Since living in Central Asia, I’ve been thinking a lot about Psalm 2:1 “Why do the nations rage…” Those words often pop into my head when I hear of another explosion, or when I hear the helicopters fly overhead. There seems to be so much chaos, as the various groups struggle for power. In the grief of lost friends, and the anxiety of uncertainty, it is comforting to know that the Lord scoffs at the worldly powers (2:4), for he has established his rule over all the earth. Even when it doesn’t look it, God is in control. When I remember this passage, lockdowns can become moments of peace, to rest in the Lord.
How do you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus?
I live in a highly religious place where the remembrance of God is central to life. In the midst of that though, Jesus is denied. There is so much talk about God, and I find myself so eager to build bridges with my Central Asian friends, that it’s easy for Jesus to get lost, and for a very vague idea of God that doesn’t line up with the Bible, to seep in under my skin. I suspect that this is a struggle for all of us as we seek to live in the world, but not be of the world. For me, I find that I need to remind myself of the Trinity on a daily basis, largely through song – it makes the doctrine come alive and implant itself deep in my heart! I try to listen to Christian music each morning as I get ready, preparing myself to engage in a world that denies the One God: Father, Son and Spirit. In the past, I’ve struggled to be disciplined about regular Bible reading and prayer, but one of God’s recent gifts to me, has been a new delight in Scripture, as I have read it in the Central Asian language. Labouring to read each individual word has forced me to slow down and savour that honey!
What would you like the next generation of Christian women to know?
When you look at people you admire, and think you could never do what they are doing, remember that those people once felt like you! Stepping out in faith is always scary, but can be especially hard for women, who often feel like they are pretending to be better than they are. Each time I’ve made a courageous decision, it was because another woman sat alongside me and helped me realize I was actually capable of the task. I’m gradually learning that I’m not an imposter, and I can be used by God, because that’s what he does: gives skills and talents to people to work through them! I’d like the next generation of women to know that superwomen don’t exist, but our God is beyond amazing. When you’re afraid of taking big steps, remember that big steps are made up of lots of little lollipop steps. Follow God’s leading one step at a time, and you might look back and be surprised at all you’ve done with Him.
What did you learn about God at a time in your life you found hard?
There was a time in my life, when God seemed to be giving wonderful things to all my friends, but not me, even though I wanted those same things. I wondered if maybe God had forgotten me, so I was like the kid at the back of crowd, madly jumping up and down, waving my arms, trying to remind God that I was there too. When that didn’t work, I wondered if maybe God saw me and loved me enough to save me, but not enough to walk with me.
I never got what I wanted, but there were so many lessons that came out of that time: realizing that God cared about both my salvation and the daily struggles of my life; working out what true contentment looked like; and trusting that God had his reasons. But most of all, I think that I learned that it is so easy for me to give up the wonderful truth of the gospel for the heartbreaking lies of the evil one. I hear echoes of the words of Gen 3:1 “Did God really say… he loves you / you are worthwhile/ you must not eat from any tree in the garden?” If I, someone who knows the truth, am so susceptible to these lies, how much more deception are people who do not know Jesus living in? It’s taught me to run to Jesus the Truth for both myself and others.
What do you enjoy doing when you rest?
I like to bake and then have a bunch of people over to my home to eat the yummies together! When I’m alone, I’m an avid fiction-reader and podcast- listener! When I’m in Australia, I like to lift weights and work on being physically strong; in Central Asia, I settle for staying fit with aerobics.