Dear Friends of Ruth Wardell,
A special Memorial Service celebrating Ruth’s life and ministry will be held on Saturday, August 9th, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. in Frisco, Texas. Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum will be conducting the service and all who would like pay their respects are welcomed to attend.
Please CLICK HERE for a printable flyer (pdf) with full details regarding church location, service and reception times, and nearby accommodations. The organizers are asking everyone to RSVP so they can have a rough idea of a number for refreshments during the reception.
We are looking forward to seeing many of you in August. Until then may the Lord richly bless you!
At 90 years of age Ruth went home to be with the Lord on May 16, 2014. She was born in Wingham, Ontario Canada, December 29, 1923. Ruth graduated from London Bible College in 1945 and attended the Child Evangelism Institute in Dallas, Texas, to further her calling into children’s ministries. In 1946, Ruth went to New York City to work with the American Board of Missions to the Jews (now known as Chosen People Ministries) where God used her background and education to reach out to children and adults alike, beginning a missionary career which lasted over 50 years and extended over several locations in the United States.
During her 27 years of ministry in New York, Ruth had a tremendous impact on many young people as she led Bible studies and ran camps and outreach meetings. In the 1950’s Ruth had the privilege of teaching the scriptures to an eager adolescent named Arnold Fruchtenbaum.
Ariel's Winter 2012 Magazine featured a special article in which our managing editor conducted an interview with Miss Ruth. For those of you who may not be aware of her tremendous ministry and influence, we would like to share a reprint (below) of that article with you now:
The above (quoted in the memoriam header) is an excerpt taken from Ruth Wardell’s book, Biography of Ruth with the Truth Wardell. I spoke with Ruth recently about her new book, her loyal friendship with Arnold Fruchtenbaum, and her passion for Jewish people. Here's what she had to say…
Emily Glisson: Why did you write this book?
Ruth Wardell: It actually wasn’t my idea to write this book. Jeff Gutterman’s wife, Ana, was in a class I was teaching. She took my course and was enthralled with everything she was learning. She went back and mentioned to Jeff that I should write a book about my life. Jeff ended up co-writing it with me. The rest is history.
Emily: In your book, you mention a young man by the name of Louis Wineke. Can you tell me a little bit about him?
Ruth: Louis was a Jewish student from Germany. He came to the United States by a woman who was rescuing people from the Holocaust. She was a believer in Jesus who would preach to Louis. Eventually, he accepted Jesus as his Lord and savior. But Louis had lost contact with his parents and sister after fleeing Germany. He didn’t know if they had survived or not. Anyway, we attended the London Bible Institute together, and he was the first saved Jew I became good friends with. When school was over, he went back to Germany and miraculously found his entire family. I was so excited when I found out his family was still alive. It was remarkable to see what God did in Louis’ life. I believe his sister eventually became a believer as well. That was my introduction to becoming friends with a Jewish believer.
Emily: What or who initially prompted your desire to minister to the Jews?
Ruth: It came from a call from God, specifically in Matthew 10:5-6. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and charged them, saying, Go not into any way of the Gentiles, and enter not into any city of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. I had heard about a school in Dallas called The Child Evangelism Center. I was interested in this school because I had such a love for children, the tuition was $500. So one day I asked the Lord, “If you give me $500, I will know that you want me to go to this school.” I wanted that confirmation from God. Well, the answer to that prayer came through Isabel Smith. She was an older woman who was serving as a missionary to the Jews in Ontario. One day, Isabel asked me to visit her and something miraculous happened. She had saved up exactly $700, but she said the Lord had been prompting her to give me $500. It was so clear. The call always came back. God knows everything we need and He supplies it.
Emily: Whom do you credit for your strong faith in God?
Ruth: I credit the spirit of the Lord. I have always had a close relationship with Jesus, for as long as I can remember. He was always my friend. My father was a great example too. He believed in the power of prayer. But whenever God said something to me, I believed Him and went on. I didn’t question it. When God called me, it was such a marvelous call that automatically I had faith in God. He gave me all of the training I needed. If God can do all of that, He will see you through everything. God is so great because He knows our future. He opens doors for us.
Emily: You talk about doing the will of God in your book, and there are many examples of you doing just that. Some Christians struggle in discovering the true will of God. What would your advice be for them?
Ruth: We have to know and believe that God is faithful. If He has a plan for your life, then He will direct you. But most importantly, you have to be open and willing to follow His plan, no matter what that plan is. You have to surrender and listen for whatever He’s asking you to do. He will supply those answers. I had to have faith to know that He was the one leading me. We trust in God’s faithfulness. People are not always willing to submit. Start by asking the Lord, “Did I do your will today?” That’s what I always ask Him.
Emily: You have a very special relationship with Arnold Fruchtenbaum, and your book describes you as being his “spiritual mom”. Can you tell me how you first met Arnold?
Ruth: I first met Arnold on his doorstep. He was 12 years old. I remember talking to his mother, but she did not speak or really understand English. She gave me permission to take Arnold and his brother and sister to a mission center for activities. In her mind, she thought we were strictly a Jewish organization. She had no idea we were giving Jews the gospel. So I picked Arnold up and took him to these meetings. Back then, I didn’t realize how into the Bible he was. He had read the entire Old Testament. But when he found out that we were teaching that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, he wasn’t too happy about that. The first week he came, he was determined to prove us wrong. We gave him a New Testament Bible to read. So he went home and read it. He ended up reading a lot about Jesus before he came to the second meeting, so I think he was more susceptible. After that first meeting, I went home and found a copy of Isaac Leeser’s Bible. He was a famous rabbi who translated the Old Testament from Hebrew to English. So I shared this book with Arnold at the second meeting. I said, “This is your book Arnold, and I would like to show you Jesus in this book.” We went through many of those scriptures together. The Lord finally opened his eyes and he became a believer by the second meeting, just by showing him Jesus in the Old Testament. It was God’s plan for Arnold to be a believer. I just happened to be there at the right time.
Emily: Did you ever imagine that Arnold would become the teacher that he is today?
Ruth: No. Back then, he was just Arnold. He loved going on our retreats. Mr. Haynie helped him. I was there to help him socially. My job was to help him have friends. He went to a Christian college, and every time we went to speak in a church, he wanted to give his testimony. I think that’s how he learned to speak in churches. He loved giving his testimony back then, and he never wanted to miss an opportunity to share his story with people. He loved spending time with his friends too. I used to take him to youth groups. His heart longed for Jewish fellowship. It shows how much Jewish people like to be with other Jewish people. My role was to help him have friends and grow in the Lord. But never did I imagine he would become the teacher he is today.
Emily: You mention in your book that Jewish missions are the hardest work. What is your advice for Christians who want to share the Word of God with Jews?
Ruth: You need to go to where they are in their thinking patterns of Jewishness. They need to be taught from a Jewish perspective. You have to love them as individuals. I always thank them for their Scriptures. I’ll ask them if they know that the Scriptures they have are the exact same as the ones I have. You have to meet them where they’re at. They believe in Moses, and so do I. They believe in Abraham, and so do I. So I try to share with them the Messianic Scriptures. It’s very important that you establish a common ground with them. The Bible you have is the same as theirs, except we believe in Jesus. You need to go to their Bible and express what their Bible means to you. And that’s exactly what I did with Arnold.