I’m pleased to announce that plans for the transition house are progressing nicely. Last month the ministry was approved by the state of California as a non-profit organization. The official name of the ministry is “La Casa de Rut,” or in English, “Ruth’s House.”
I chose the name Ruth’s House because it evokes themes of love, dedication, accompaniment, and worshiping God in unity. Ruth told Naomi: “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16) Ruth’s House will not only offer a physical place for the young women from Talita Cumi to sleep and eat, but a home where they will be guided spiritually, emotionally, and relationally as they pursue their educational goals. This guidance will be done by a live-in guardian based on the Titus 2 model of an older, mature Christian woman guiding younger women.
A board of directors for Ruth’s House has been formed which includes me and:
Alex Rivero: Executive Pastor at Nueva Vida/The Bridge. Nueva Vida is my sending church.
Amber Schlosser: Director of Development for My Refuge House, an organization that restores survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and abuse in the Philippines. I used to work with Amber at Salem Media Group.
Gretchen Wagner: Missionary who served 40+ years reaching the unreached in Cochabamba, Bolivia and South Asia.
Jennifer Fowler: U.S. Board Member of Talita Cumi, and my mother.
Warren Nelson: Vice President of Pacific Southwest Association of The Gideons.
I am excited with the team that will be leading Ruth’s House through the initial launch and hopefully for years to come. Each one brings a distinct God-given skill set that will serve the young women and the ministry well.
Please pray over three very important decisions that must be made regarding Ruth’s House. The first is a place for the young women to live. I am hoping to find a place close to Talita Cumi.
The second is the raising of funds. I’m thankful for those of you who reached out to me after my last newsletter expressing an interest in donating. This month we should have everything in place to begin receiving donations. I will let everyone know once that component is up and running.
The third prayer request is for the live-in guardian. I believe that this is the most crucial part of the entire ministry, so please pray for wisdom and discernment as the board and I seek to find a woman to guide the girls.
I’d also like to ask for your help in the immediate. I need someone who would be willing to volunteer his or her time this month to help me launch a website for Ruth’s House. I already have the domain name reserved and a significant amount of the content, but I need someone who has expertise in WordPress to help me create a professionally polished website. If this is something that you can do, please respond to this email. Thank you.
We’ve had a number of exciting days at Talita Cumi. I’ll leave you with a few of the highlights:
We recently had a garage sale that featured baked bread products, chocolates, and drinks, and also arts and crafts like bracelets, purses, pillows, and necklaces, and items like coffee cups, water bottles, and t-shirts from our new silk screen printing workshop. All profits go to each child’s personal account.
A fellow missionary and I treated some of the older girls out to a coffee shop with its own art gallery. The girls loved it.
I treated a few kids to ice cream in celebration of our first place win in a competition.
Thank you for your prayers. I will be returning to the U.S. in July for a visit. I realize that COVID might be a complicating factor, but I’d love to see as many of you as possible.