Daily Devotion Focusing on the Missions Supported by First Pres
The Book of Ruth
But Ruth said, “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die— there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!” When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.
A local mission First Presbyterian is proud to support is Girls Incorporated of Winter Haven. At Girls Incorporated of Winter Haven, we believe that behind every girl is a truly unique individual, their mission statement says. It continues, one that needs your time and experience to learn, grow and succeed. Girls, Inc. develops research-based informal education programs that encourage girls to take risks and master physical, intellectual, and emotional challenges. And our own member, Peggy Threlkel has been the Executive Director since 2007. Leading an all-girls after school program and day camps during school breaks and the summer, which has faced challenges during this pandemic but continues to be a place where girls grow into the ‘best’ they can be.
If you want to read a story about a young woman changing her future and a deep relationship between an older woman and this young woman, read the Book of Ruth. At the start we meet a complete family, maybe even a hopeful family. A mother and father with two grown sons both recently married. Their joy should be complete, yet our story takes a turn. Naomi’s husband and both sons die, and the future does not look so bright. She decides returning to her homeland, hoping that distant relatives would be able to care for her and when choosing to travel only one daughter-in-law, Ruth makes her statement highlighted above. Here our story turns to one of lasting friendship, women who are of different ages, nationality, and religion choose each other. Ruth’s faithfulness builds a bond that mirror’s God’s faithfulness to God’s people. And our story goes in a new, unexpected, and joyful direction. The power of friendship and caring passionately for another is the strength of the biblical book of Ruth and is also the strength of Girls, Inc.
Ever Faithful Lord, we give You thanks for the mission and ministry of Girls, Inc. For their care and support for young women of our community and the friendships it fosters. We are grateful for Your healing power through the ages with each of us in offering those relationships with friends that truly care. We continue to pray for patience, for those who reach out to us and the ways we can nurture others, through the sustaining power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.