Women’s trailblazerBy Katie Funk Wiebe Wichita, Kan.
The death of Ruth Brunk Stoltzfus prompts me to write a tribute to this noteworthy trailblazer for Mennonite women. I have many letters from her in my files, each with several documents detailing her study of the Scripture regarding the varied contributions women made in Bible times. She made a ministry of sending such materials to people she thought would have interest in them. She did not want anyone to think her efforts on behalf of women were of human design. She modeled ministry in many ways, and above all, she encouraged as well as informed.
Early one morning, several decades ago, I jumped out of bed to answer the phone. It was Ruth, who had forgotten the difference in time zones between Harrisonburg and Hillsboro, to encourage me as I began my day. Her words lightened my heart. God loved me. Ruth believed in me. I walked into that day with joy and courage. I thank God for women like Ruth Brunk Stoltzfus, who led the way at great personal effort and cost.
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