Over sixteen years have passed but I still remember the details like it was yesterday. Jenny and 1 had hit a few snags, to say the least, in our attempts to leave Madagascar and head to the states following our wedding there. We had not idea when we were going to be able to get out, of if the US Embassy would ever approve her visa. Then the call came in on a Thursday afternoon telling us to be at the embassy the next morning.
We went and within a couple hours we had a visa for the US, which was a great thing, because our tickets were going to expire that evening, and if we didn't leave that day we were going to have to spend thousands more for new tickets, if we ever got the chance to leave. By the time we left the embassy it was already afternoon and our flight was scheduled just before midnight that night. We went back and began to pack. We had to leave the house around 8:30 or 9:00 to get to the airport. The sun went down around 6:30 as usual. Then at 7:30 the power in Antananarivo also went out.
We packed ALL of Jenny's life into suitcases that were way overweight in just a few hours in the dark. She also had to say goodbye to all of her family in those moments. I remember being there and getting things into the van, and having to physically take her by the hand and separate her from her family, from her life, from everything she had ever known, as the tears flowed down her face, to get her to an airport for a flight a to a new place, a new culture, a new language, knowing that her chances to see her family again would not be many.
In sixteen years she has only been able to go back twice. We simply cannot afford it. Her sacrifice is great. Her sacrifice is a choice that she made and I still find myself in awe of that sometimes.
This week we come to the story of Ruth in our study called STORY. Ruth made an incredible choice to go with Naomi and leave all that she knew behind. She utters beautiful words in the first chapter that echo through time:
For wherever you go, I will go;
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
And your God, my God.
Where you die, I will die,
And there will I be buried.
The Lord do so to me, and more also,
If anything but death parts you and me
Ruth 1:16-17 NKJV
God honored Ruth's decision. I encourage you, Go read the rest of the story.