Recently one of the dearest friends I’ve ever had went home to be with Jesus. She was ready!! She wanted nothing more than to be with the One she loved more than anything or anyone else. Ruth Gordon Hall taught me so many things! I wish I had known her longer than 8 years! Ruth had 11 children! She was also a nurse for many years in Lima, OH. She loved helping people! She and her husband rented a building in downtown Ada, OH and started a Sunday School/church program for children who’s parents didn’t take them to church. They picked up kids all over town and met with them on Sunday mornings to teach them about Jesus. I heard a few people give testimonies at her funeral who where some of the kids they had loved on!
When I went to Ruth’s house, before she moved into an assisted living home, she was all about hospitality! She loved having company and making you feel at home. Her living room wall was FULL of missionaries pictures. Not just a few but, hundreds!!! She prayed for them all!! As she moved into the assisted living home her family helped her put those cards into photo albums. She could them flip through her albums and continue to pray for those people.
If you asked Ruth to pray, she did. At 92 years old she was seen daily on her knees praying. Even in the hospital as she was weak and struggling to live she took time to pray and talk about the Lord to her nurse. EVERY person who spoke at her funeral talked about her prayer life and how she prayed and prayed! One of her granddaughters said…”Now we all need to step it up!”
I have two stories about Ruth that are personal. Years ago a missionary visiting the church we attended talked with me. She told me a story that brought me to tears. I was able to share this story at Ruth’s funeral. This dear family had 7 children and had been staying in the area on a break from ministry. They were without food to feed their family. The got down on their knees with their little ones and asked God to send them some vegetables, fruit and meat. They prayed that someone would be listening to God’s voice that could help them. A few hours later, Ruth showed up at their door with bags of groceries. Meat, veggies and fruit filled the bags. She had no idea of their need but, felt led by God to buy those things. The family was amazed and in awe of God’s faithfulness to them. The missionaries didn’t tell Ruth about their struggle or their prayers. I talked to Ruth a few days later and told her what happened. She cried and told me that she was just a sinner….it was all God! I am so thankful that she was a great example of someone who listened to His voice and OBEYED!
The second story that is dear to me personally happened 3 years ago. Ruth would call me every once in a while and read a Bible verse to me and see how I was doing. God’s timing and her calls always floored me! We had been dealing with a neighbor who had harassed us, vandalized our home, threatened us and our kids. It was a terrible situation. I couldn’t go out my front door for almost a year without my husband being home. If I stepped outside so did my neighbor to yell profanity at us. You can imagine how this wore us down and made for a very difficult life. Ruth called one day and read me a verse. She told me then that change was coming and that peace was on the way. She was still talking when the doorbell rang and my neighbor’s child was standing there. I cried and could NOT believe my eyes. He asked us to forgive him for his behavior and for his mom’s. From that point on things were fine! I thank GOD for Ruth’s prayers and for that phone call.
Ruth would ALWAYS tell me, “Jen, read your Bible.” That was one thing she encouraged everyone with…read God’s word! Her Bible was always open beside her on the couch. When I would visit she would love to sing as well. She would get a hymnal and we would flip through the pages and she would close her eyes and worship and sing with me. Treasured memories!
She was an avid witness for the Lord! She had a box of 500 little salvation Bibles at a time ordered for her. I clearly remember her walking down the middle of the street in Ada during a festival passing them out until she had to rest. She would also go to the university campus and pass them out on her own. WOW!!!
I will miss my friend more than I can say. I am moved by her life to live differently than I have. God has used her so many times to speak to my heart. She DID…she LIVED..she PRAYED…she LOVED!
Thank you Ruth for living the life of a Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 woman.