Volunteer Spotlight – Ruth Whipple
1. Personal: Name / Career / Family / Hobbies / Passions.
My name is Ruth Whipple. I am an RN and homemaker. My family consists of my husband, Chad; daughters, Isabela (19) and Piper(18); sons, AJ and TJ (15). Reading, baking, movies and kid chauffeur are my hobbies and I am passionate about Jesus, my family and being joyful.
2. Faith: When and how you became a Christ-Follower / Biggest Influencer / Journey
I have the priviledge of growing up in a Christian home. I committed my life to Christ at 4 years old, sitting on my dad’s lap, helping him drive the van home (times were different) from my grandparents after Easter (yes, I remember). I then rededicated my life in 5th grade when I was baptized. My parents would be my biggest influencers for my faith, followed by all the staff and volunteers in my youth group who selflessly poured in to me. Also, my time at Bethel College helped launch me with a solid faith as a young adult. My journey has been marked by joy in the Lord in all circumstances. I was diagnosed at 21 with a degenerative connective tissue disorder which has contirbuted to chronic pain and 14 (so far) surgeries. Through it all God has filled me with joy and a great desire for Heaven. Parenting has been the biggest struggle for joy. My kids are great and I love them but WOW they know my buttons! I daily flee to the Lord for reminders of His promises and forgiveness. In the midst of a particularily difficult time in our home, the Lord gave me a dream of the Prodigal Son. Not from the son’s point of view but from the Father’s. With a broken heart, he allowed his son to run off to certain ruin. However, he did not wallow, lecture or disown his son. Istead, he went about his work and watched and waited for any sign of his beloved child. When he caught a glimpse of him he ran to him with arms wide open and welcomed him back without scolding, lectures or “I told you so’s”. This dream has had a profound affect on my parenting since then.
3. JSAW: How did you get connected? / In what capacity do you serve?
Our youth pastor told us about JSAW 4 years and many pairs of skate shoes ago. Our boys enjoy skating and TJ LOVES it. He has spent untold hours there, hanging out and riding. I help out where I can by baking cookies for events, volunteering at the banquet and watching the kids skate. I have learned more about ollies, frontside 180s, boardslides than I ever knew existed. All the tricks terrify me but I love it (well maybe not the handrail slides).
4. ADDITIONAL: Thoughts / Comments / Stories
JSAW has been a lifeline for us and we are so thankful for the unconditional love that is poured out on our son. The staff has been an example and resource for me in that arena as I navigate waters I never expected to be in. It is a holy privilege to watch the Lord move through JSAW’s staff and minister to these kids. They are indeed being the hands and feet of Jesus in our world.