Ruth, like her namesake in the Bible, devotes herself to the Lord. She had been in a terrible accident and had been pronounced dead in the ambulance, but through God’s miraculous intervention, she was restored to life. And now, she declares to all who will listen that “Nothing can stop the power of God!” As well, as a result of her own struggles, she is always ready to help another person. And that is why Ruth found herself devoted to one of our elderly clients who needed help.
Social Services had asked for someone to assist an elderly, infirm woman having eye surgery. Her daughter, and only remaining relative, tries to help as much as possible, but she lives in Northern Virginia and works full time. Nonetheless, Frances’* daughter was scheduled to pick her up from the hospital and take her home where the daughter would stay for a full day. After that, there was no one, so at this point Love INC entered the picture when the phone call came asking for a volunteer to sit with Frances for a few days following the daughter’s return to her home and job.
“No, I probably don’t have a person to do this,” thought Susan. “We will try” is what she told the social worker. Thankfully, with that commitment, the Lord prompted Susan to call Ruth, a committed believer from New Beginnings Christian Fellowship. Even though Ruth faces her own problems on a daily basis, she was so excited for the opportunity to visit Frances. In fact, she lives near Frances and could get there easily. As it turned out, Ruth did help Frances for that week, but what made it particularly special is that she later came to realize that a deep friendship had developed between the women.
In fact, in April after their relationship had blossomed, Frances called Love INC to thank us for sending Ruth as a friend and helper. Frances explained that whenever she found that she needed help, all she had to do was call Ruth! Ruth often cooked tasty meals for Frances — dishes that made Frances want to eat and get stronger. Ruth always accompanied Frances in the JAUNT van whenever Frances had to go for a medical appointment, helping her into and out of the van and the doctors’ offices.
“We have such a good time together,” said Frances. “I enjoy her company and we have gotten to be good friends.”
Ruth even helped Frances clean and organize her house — including her clothes closets. She spent her own birthday money on a remake of Frances’s bathroom. And we know Ruth…all the while she was telling Frances about the goodness of the Lord, as Ruth is known to be quite open about her faith. And Ruth spent lots of time praying with Frances. As well, Ruth’s son came to visit and read the Bible to Frances. Though Frances was not able to get out to church often, God sent the church to her!
Then this fall Ruth telephoned the office in tears. Her dear friend, Frances, had not seemed to be right, and Ruth had called the doctor. Upon his advice, Ruth took her friend to ER and notified her family. Ruth stayed by her side as much as she could, called Pastor Liz, her pastor from New Beginnings Christian Fellowship, and together they prayed with Frances. Then came the sad news from the doctor that Frances was filled with cancer. She died peacefully a week later.
Ruth told us that Frances had turned out to be like a mother to her. What had started out as helping another person turned out to be a blessing for both Ruth and Frances. Nothing will stop the power of God!
* Names of those served have been changed to protect confidentiality.