John & Ruth

Back to my roots!

John & RuthJohn and I are in our early 50’s with 4 grown children and one still at school. I, Ruth, have missionary parents who worked in India and I boarded at Hebron Christian International School as a child.

John and I visited India for our 20th wedding anniversary and God planted seeds then which resulted in us both being called to work in Hebron School for 3 years.

Initially we spent four months working as voluntary International Guests, then we heard that dorm parents were needed for the next school year and the idea to serve in a longer capacity began to grow.

We applied to Hebron and also to a mission agency and through this process saw God giving us an increasing assurance that He wanted us to serve Him in this way. This process of getting ready to leave had its challenges and frustrations and the final goodbyes were very difficult!

Dorm parents play a vital role, pastorally caring for these students in every way. Indeed dorm parents have the privilege of looking after that which is most valuable to cross-cultural workers: their children.  We both saw dorm parenting as the basis of our calling; to nurture and love the children of Hebron School especially those in our dorm. We also needed to be involved in the wider school community with John working in the Sports Department with administration and a few Junior school lessons. I worked as a teacher in learning support.

My heart ached for the ones who found boarding difficult, as I had experienced that too. It was definitely challenging and we needed to draw on God’s strength daily. The school community was also a great source of strength and the students were special young people. We have many treasured memories of times spent with our dorm girls (Grade 9) and relationships built with staff and local people. There was such a sense of purpose in what we were doing each day.

Our youngest daughter, Hope, attended the school and experienced this incredible time with us. Joining in weekend dorm activities really helped her to develop relationships quicker and we encouraged this. The transition coming back home at 14  has not been easy but she has grown in so many areas and developed character qualities that are good to see; a greater courage to try new things, a discipline in studies that Hebron instilled and the habit developed to pray and rely on God each day! The experiences she had and the people and situations she saw have shaped who she is now as a young adult. The cross cultural experience opens her up to serve God herself, maybe cross culturally, in the future.  We have also seen the ripple effect of us being there in the lives of our family and some friends who were able to visit us there.