God answers prayer, but sometimes it takes longer than we like or expect.
Ruth Ippel knows this all too well. Ruth is a Resonate missionary who spends part of her time in Nicaragua serving at House of Hope, a rehabilitation center for young women and children escaping the world of prostitution and human trafficking.
Shortly after Ruth connected with House of Hope, she was put in charge of leading both the weekly kids’ and the teenage girls’ groups. Although this was an abrupt change, Ruth felt encouraged.
“I felt like if this was really something that God had called me to, He would make it run smoothly and go how I wanted it to go,” says Ruth.
But Ruth’s enthusiasm quickly turned to anxiety. There were way too many people for Ruth to lead on her own. She became overwhelmed and turned to prayer.
“My specific prayer was that God would send someone --or better lots of someones! -- to help me in this ministry,” says Ruth.
Ruth asked for prayer from everyone in her support network—churches in North America, Bible studies, family, and friends. But no help came. She started to despair.
“If I’m honest, there were times that I gave up praying that God would send someone to help me,” says Ruth. “I ruled him out of the survival equation, just relying on myself to gut it out and get through it. And I ended up feeling like a failure most of the time.”
But God hadn’t given up on Ruth or House of Hope. Ruth’s prayers were finally answered in the arrival of Joy, a volunteer from North America who was willing to help with the kid’s group and learn Spanish.
“This answer to prayer has been a huge encouragement to me,” says Ruth. “[Joy] is a flesh and blood reminder that God cares about me and these women and children.”
God even provided another volunteer, Megan. “It was kind of a double answer to prayer!” says Ruth.
Ruth has learned a lot about faith and prayer during this season of life.
“A huge part of faith and trust for me throughout...has been remembering God’s promises,” Ruth shares. “That he goes before me and is with me in everything that I am doing.”
She adds, “...this ministry still needs lots of prayer! But I do trust that God will be faithful.”
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