Through concrete detail, current statistics, and qualitative insights from more than 25 years living among and ministering globally to youth mired in tough and dangerous street life, Ron Ruthruff provides a tried model for serving not only troubled youth but others as well. Ruthruff tells stirring, biblically relevant stories of the real young people whom he and his family have loved and served and what these kids have taught him in return about truly Christ-centered ministry. These stirring stories compel us to reach the least, the last, and the lost, and to appreciate what they can teach us as well. Readers will hear the voice of Job from the hospital bed of a heroin addict, read the story of the demoniac in Mark 5 from the perspective of an untouchable in an orphanage in Bombay, India, and discover that the children who sit on our city streets around the world are not just a problem to be solved, but have the potential to become some of our greatest teachers in both their depravity and their dependence on God.
An international trip through heart-break and miracles, The Least of These presents snippets from the lives of some of the "least of these," from people we might very easily pass by if we met them on the street. In India, a severally deformed, almost faceless, young woman breaks into song, "I have joy that the world didnt give me, and the world cant take it away" (p. 114). Ron Ruthruff works with the New Horizon Ministries in Seattle, Washington. This ministry reaches out to the cast offs of society. Ruthruff verbalizes many telling points, for instance: "What would it mean if we listened and learned as we served the widow, orphan, and stranger?" (p. 19). "They're running from unsafe environments and abuse. God actively pursues and welcomes home the lost" (p. 45). In America, a young man has been living on the streets. He was offered drugs by his own mother when he was 12 years old and has a brother in prison. Now this young man faces a life as an invalid because of a bad dose of heroin. He says, "I'm going to be okay. God is taking car of me. I took my legs and my arm away from myself. God spared my mind, my speech, and my one good arm" (p. 73).
Discount no one! That's the message of The Least of These. Ruthruff has traveled the U.S. and the world in his ministry. In all places where he has ministered to street youth, he has found them salvageable by the hand of God. Ruthruff urges us to emulate Jesus who looked ". . . beyond tormented souls and proclaimed that those who sit on the margins of our culture and on our city curbs are created in the image of God" (p. 115). The Least of These is a must-read book. Dont miss it. Donna Eggett, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
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