First Fruits & Ruth Update

Last night, our cell group took place – always at 7 PM on Saturday evenings. I had left the cell group in the capable hands of our disciples and fellow missionaries, Edson & Kelly Lee, so I didn’t have to go and in fact I’m sure everyone would have understood me not being there. But a word of hope was burning in me like I’ve never experienced. I wanted to share about the Love of the Father that cries “Live!” It was a very emotional night as I was able, by God’s grace and all your prayers, to declare God’s goodness and victory to meet our every need in any situation. People were really impacted.

At the end of my testimony, I gave an invitation to receive the Father’s love through Jesus Christ and led a prayer of faith in Jesus. Afterwards I asked if anyone had prayed that prayer along with me for the first time, and with tears in their eyes, Marlison & Luana raised their hands. HALLELUJAH!! It was only their second visit to our cell group, but Marlison told me that he was at that moment passing through the valley of the shadow of death, with the passing of his father. He told me he felt at home in our cell group, a group of believers that are genuine and real. He told me how much our testimony had impacted him.

This is a result of all your prayers for us! You’ve taken part of this first fruit picking from our testimony. God was so good to give us something so sweet to hang onto during this week- true eternal impact.

Ruth’s mom Becky found a single stem plant that split and bloomed into two beautiful flowers. It was the very first flower that that plant had every had- it’s first fruit – and it was perfect and beautiful. Did I mention it bloomed the morning Anna passed away? It has become a symbol of hope in Ruth’s hospital room, a promise flower, and we believe it says something about our future. Twins? I don’t know – I hope so! Does it signify the first fruits of Marlison & Luana that received the Gospel after hearing Anna’s story? I believe so. Does it mean even more things? Probably. But most of all it means hope.

Ruth Update

Continue to pray for Ruth as she is feeling better, and we’re really hoping she can leave tomorrow. All her bowels started moving last night (and let me tell you, I’ve never been so thrilled over such a stink). It was the last thing the doctors wanted to see happen before releasing her. She was free to go today, but we wanted to stay one more day to allow the swelling to go down and let antibiotics run their course. She still has a good amount of swelling, but is already feeling much better.

It’s amazing how good God has been to us – I stayed up until 2:30 last night writing 5 typed pages of all the things God has been doing, saying and working. I wanted to write them while they were still fresh! I’m not going to post it here all at once, that’s a little much for even the most determined reader, but you can bet that in the next few weeks and months you’ll be hearing a lot more. We feel so encouraged by all your prayers and notes.

10 Comments
  1. Nate & Ruth,
    We are praying for you and our dear friends, your parents. Our hearts ache for what you have been through and then we see this post of all God is doing as He gives hope through others lives being redeemed and His promises for you. Deuteronomy 33:26 so touched us and may it be one more promise for you, “There is none like God, O Jeshurun (Israel), Who rides through the heavens to your help and in His majestic glory through the skies.”
    love & prayers,
    cindy & don

  2. It’s so exciting to hear how God is being glorified in your lives. You two are such an encouragement to so many people – and that certainly includes Rachel and me.

    We are continuing to lift you both up in prayer, and I thank the Lord for directing your (Nate) and my paths to cross. I’m thankful to count you as a friend.

  3. How exciting! God will continue to use your wounds, Nate and Ruth, to be fountains of blessings! Isaiah 53:5 “…by His wounds we are healed.” We love you!

  4. Nate and Ruth–We praise God for the maturity in you both as you praise God and honor Him with your testimony through your huge loss of Annna Rebecca. The impact on others is already far-reaching; we have told your story numerous times already and people are touched with your actions and words. Only God knows all the fruit that will result because of your choosing to honor and gloryify Him through it all. Thank you for the pictures–what a beautiful little girl! We look forward to meeting her in heaven. We thank God for Ruth’s improvement and keep you close in our thoughts and prayers.
    Uncle Jim & Aunt Ann

  5. My tears are a mix of continued sorrow, yet joy and awe at the God we serve. What a privilege to be able to share with you in the joys of the “First Fruits” in the midst of such pain. We will continue to pray for healing for Ruth – for all of you. God is truly at work. To HIM be all the glory – His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts. We love you – and hurt with you – and rejoice with you. God IS good all the time, ALL the time God IS good!

  6. Dear Nate & Ruth,

    The flower is beautiful…I believe it gives our Father God such joy when we see HIM and HIS LOVE in His creation at just the right times. I’m reminded of all the prayers and concern we had when Becky was here at our house recovering from her surgery… God knew then that you’d be going through this now… and He knew we’d be praying just as fervently, without ceasing, for complete healing in Ruth. We love you, Elsie & Merle

  7. What a sweet blessing to be able to minister through your pain and authenticity and see others come to know Jesus through it. Anna is making a difference for the kingdom of God.
    I just wanted to let you know that we had a special prayer time for you guys yesterday at Crosspoint and there wasn’t a dry eye in the place–even though you are so far away, you are still a big part of our family and we love you guys. We asked God to give you a big hug since we couldn’t be there to do it ourselves.
    Love, Heather (and Dave)

  8. Thank you, Lord, for this joyful, eternal news in the midst of the storm in Nate & Ruth’s life!
    This only confirms what we already believe about you two:
    “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
    – Philippians 1:6.
    We continue to pray for Christ’s peace and healing for you both. It appears that things are looking up!

    Love, Bruce & Janelle

  9. I know that I am not the only one who gets tears STREAMING down their face when they read your updates. It’s now almost a week later and I can only imagine how it is to go into your house, see an empty babyroom, and still breathe. We are praying without ceasing for you and praising God with you for His Sovereignty and grace. big hugs to you both – Debbie and Embaugh’s

  10. Dear Nate and Ruth,
    I’ve read your story with tears in my eyes again and again. I praise God with you for the work that He is doing through you in Brazil. I know that this time is probably the most challenging time of your lives. However, I see that you are using it for God’s glory and for the furthering of HIS kingdom. So this girl from Argentina is praying for you, that God will be tangibly with you even as you go through every single step of the grieving process. God bless you!

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