Sometimes I feel like Ruth who is on a hard journey of giving and not receiving, gaining and losing, loving and forgiving, but in all this a journey that God has called me to.
Every year comes with different challenges and that is the same way on missions. The first year you are adjusting and learning the culture and language, but know that this is just the beginning. In that first year, you pray and look forward to the day that you’ll belong. Soon enough you’ll start belonging, and actually the mission ground becomes your comfort zone and your home, from where you come from becomes strange and uncomfortable. If you’re not careful, it can be dangerous, but I’m learning once again to depend on God, even in the things that I’m used to doing every day and the things that are “easy”.
“Where You Go, I Go” ~Ruth 1:16-17
Ruth was a Moabite – a group of people that were despised and looked down on. People were not supposed to have friendly relations with them, but yet I thank God that He doesn’t limit friendships to tribes, nations, and cultures.
Ruth faced a hard life, and she could’ve chose to give up and be bitter, but instead she chose a life of following God, wherever that took her. God brought a women into her life, Naomi, that would change her life. Naomi’s husband died, leaving her only with her 2 sons. Ruth married Chilion and Orpah married Mahlon, Chilion’s brother. Ten years later these 2 brothers died, leaving Ruth and Orpah as widows. Now Ruth, Orpah and Naomi were all left alone to provide for themselves.
After losing her husband, and 2 dear sons, Naomi decides to move on with her life. She decides to move back to her homeland, Bethlehem. The 3 widows start the long journey. Moab to Bethlehem was approximately 30 – 60 miles, depending on the route you took. It doesn’t sound far, but when you are going by foot, it is a 7 – 10 day journey. They hadn’t gone far when Naomi tells her daughter – in – laws to return to their own families. She was alone and God had blessed her with 2 daughter – in – laws, but now she was ready to let them go. Orpah thought about the things she had left at home and decided to return to her own home, but Naomi refused to leave Naomi.
“Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” Ruth 1:16-17
Commitment – Commitment can be defined as the decision to do what needs to be done, whatever the cost. Not only did Ruth know what commitment was, but let me tell you, commitment was her life. She chose to follow her mother – in – law, of all people, leaving her family, traditions – her comfort zone, for the life of her mother – in – law, Naomi. This was not an easy choice, but yet she made a deliberate chose to follow Naomi, whatever the cost, even if she never got married again. This was only the beginning of Ruth and Naomi’s journey. They arrive in Bethlehem and they get settled. Ruth now becomes Naomi’s servant. She is the one that goes out and looks for the food, and I can imagine she was the one doing all the other housework. She goes to the field of Boaz, a relative of her father – in – law. She didn’t know it, but this was the beginning of a love story. She has favor with Boaz, and instead of being treated like a foreigner, she was treated like one of his own worker.
You might think I am crazy and think “Are there really love stories in the Bible?” Yes, there actually is a couple – Ruth and Boaz is only one of them. In Ruth’s days, a brother or nearest relative of the deceased could choose to become the kinsman redeemer and take the widow as his wife. If the closest relative chose not to be the kinsman redeemer, the next closest relative was given the choice. If no one chose to take the widow as their wife, the widow would most likely live in poverty because she had no way of providing for herself and her family. So when Ruth found herself working in the corn field of Boaz, Naomi saw an opportunity. Naomi had no more sons and so she had to find a close relative to marry her daughter – in – law. Boaz was a relative of Naomi and he could have the choice of taking her daughter – in – law as his wife. Not only is it in these days that parents are concerned about their children’s future wife/husband, Naomi was also concerned. She jumped on the opportunity and told Ruth to do something out of the ordinary – approach him, instead of waiting for Boaz to approach her, but God had a plan. All Ruth had to do was approach him, she didn’t even have to say a word, because God was also speaking to Boaz. Boaz promises Ruth that if the closest relative would not choose to take her as his wife, he will take her to be his wife. Boaz was a man of his word, and the next day he had a meeting with the elders of the city and in the end he was given the blessing to take Ruth to be his wife. They got married and God blessed them with a son, who then continued through the family line of Jesus Christ.
God does not look at our status and where we come from, he looks at our willingness and our potential. Ruth came from a rejected tribe, and Boaz was in the the family line of Rahab the prostitute. They came from two different cultures, but God joined them for a purpose. What could come out of these two rejected people from 2 different cultures? People never would guess, but their child continued through the family line that the Messiah would come into our world. God uses anybody who is willing.
Here are a couple of the lessons that God has been teaching me!
1. Being committed to God – I’m challenged at Ruth’s commitment to Naomi.
“Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” Ruth 1:16,17
It sounds more like a wedding vow than a commitment to a mother – in -law. Making this commitment is not an easy choice, and you don’t make this choice because it is convenient or because you want it, but you make it in obedience to God. And when you take that step of faith, He will give you the strength and grace to walk with your “mother – in – law”, to work underneath the hot sun cutting corn stalks like Ruth, or to become a servant to the people around you. Making this choice will bring days where you want to give up, because you think you just can’t take it anymore. Making this choice will bring situations into your life that will take only the grace of God to come out of. Making this choice will bring people into your life that may look like angels, but they are far from angels.
giving when you feel like keeping,
praying for others when you need to be prayed for,
feeding others when your own soul is hungry,
living truth before people even when you can’t see results,
hurting with others when your own hurts can’t be spoken,
keeping your word when it is not convenient,
being faithful when your flesh wants to runaway.
Encouragement sent by a friend the other day
But also making this choice will give you a joy that comes only from above, a peace that passes all understanding, a life that is fulfilling and a blessing that may come on earth or in Heaven. Do I have this commitment to God for the calling that He has called me to? Or do I choose to go back to my motherland like Orpah?
2. Being faithful to God’s calling – Ruth was faithful to Naomi and God blessed her
There is the calling that God has called me to – to serve and help vulnerable and needy children, but then there isthe being faithful part that is hard. God has done His part in showing me what He wants me to do, but the question is “am I being faithful?”. It is not the beginning that counts, it is the end. The day I die, or the day that God calls me somewhere else, will I be able to account for every day that He gave me to help these children? Will I be able to account for everything that He has asked me to do concerning these children? God is faithful, but am I faithful?
These are just some things that God has been challenging and teaching me and I pray that it will encourage and challenge you in your walk with God. Mungu Akabariki – May God bless you!
I want to thank each sponsor that has been supporting me, whether financially or with prayers. I don’t have words to say how grateful I am. One cannot do ministry without people behind them, supporting them! I thank God for each one of you! Thank You and may God richly bless you!
Thanksgiving and Prayer Requests
1. I thank God for being faithful to me – lately I’ve been reflecting and I’m in awe of His faithfulness!
2. God would continue to help me be faithful to His calling – in my own strength I cannot do it, but His grace is sufficient!
3. Journey of Hope – we thank God for His provision this far. He’s given us generous sponsors who’ve donated for the cow, decorating the home and many others who’ve helped in other ways! But we are also trusting God for His provision in the other projects we have – electricity, a school, etc.
One way you can share in His work is by giving towards His work in Kenya. Would you consider sponsoring me monthly? Or just a one-time donation? Listen to how God wants you to help in His work, whether that’s praying, financially, or both. My monthly expenses are $400 a month, which goes towards my personal needs, accommodation, and other needs I see, ie. helping pay for a child go to school, support to the orphanage, etc. All of the proceeds go to the office in Kitchener, Ontario or in Dalton, Ohio, and then are sent to me in Kenya. The offices are not yet set up for automatic transactions, but they accept cheque. When you send money, send a note saying it’s for Charmaine Reimer. If it’s possible when you send monthly donations, send it by the middle of the month, so the money can be sent by the end of the month. You’ll receive a charitable receipt at the beginning of every year.
To my Canadian sponsors, you can now give your financial support through Canadahelps.org. You search for African Christian Missions Canada. You will see a place to Donate. You’ll be asked a few questions and than you’ll confirm and send the money.
If you are supporting me in any way, I kindly ask you too e-mail me and tell me in what way you are supporting me. If you have any questions concerning this or something else you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for all your support! May God richly bless you for all that you have done! You are changing the life of a child, and when you change one child, you are changing a generation!
African Christian Mission – Canada
575 Lanacaster W Kitchener On
African Christian Mission – USA
213 Greenbrier Lane Dalton, OH