reflecting on mothers day


Today, the day after mothers day, the house is quiet and I have been reflecting on mothers, specifically mine.

I think my mom, is an amazing woman.

She was born on Christmas Eve, in the mountains of West Virginia, during the Great Depression. She lost her mother suddenly at the age of 19 and cared for her younger siblings until she married my dad and moved to Florida the following year.

It was in Tampa that they found new life in Christ and were called to serve God as pastor of Interbay Faith Church. They desired to have children but were told by doctors they wouldn’t.  Mom, while preparing to teach a Sunday School lesson on Hannah, realized that if Hannah could pray and ask God for a child, so could she and she did.  Within a year God blessed them with a baby girl, me.

Mom and I | 1959

Mom and I | 1959

Soon God called them to serve Him in foreign missions, and our family of three found ourselves in the jungles of Suriname, working with a tribe of Indians called the Wayanas. My mom was faced with learning a new language, a different culture, and very few of the comforts of home in the USA.

Our "open air" kitchen

Our "open air" kitchen

She taught the women and children to read and write and was the village nurse; delivering babies, suturing wounds, and caring for the whole village when chicken poxs broke out.

Mom and the Wayana children

Mom and the Wayana children

Mom even went on expeditions with Dad to look for lost tribes.
Akuriyo expedition

Akuriyo expedition

She also had to make the tough choice of sending her only child to the city for schooling. No mother wants to do that, but my Mom, like Hannah, had promised God that if He blessed her with a child she would give that child back to Him.

Mom and I

Mom and I

There have been times when I have struggled with that choice, but now, looking back, I would not change it for anything. Because God is faithful and has used it for good. Mom always made the times we were together very special.  Those are the memories that remain. As God worked it out, we have lived 5 minutes from each other for the past 26 years.

She has been a wonderful “Grams” to my girls, Amber and Veronica. I am thankful that they grew up having her and “Pops” around. 

Mom with Amber & Veronica

Mom with Amber & Veronica

Mom with her grandkids

Mom with her grandkids

Mom has been a living example of a faithful, supportive, loving and godly wife.

Art & Evy Yohner

Art & Evy Yohner

Dad is living with Parkinsons now and Mom’s patience, strength and loving care amazes us all.

So much more could be said about the amazing woman I call “Mom”.
But on this, the day after Mothers Day, I just want to say…

Thank you Mom, for being you.
I love you, admire you and cherish you.

Mothers Day 2009

Mothers Day 2009

9 responses »

  1. Dear Ruthi,

    What a special tribute to your dear mother! She is a treasure. Thanks for sharing!

    Love, Tricia

  2. What a lovely post, Ruthie. I have always esteemed your parents so highly. Whenever I have traveled up north, particularly in Illinois, and folks found out I was with WorldTeam, they would always ask me, “Do you know Art Yohner?” I always told them that I knew him when he had lots of hair.

    I often think about MK’s who get sent off to school and wonder about the rights and the wrongs of such a thing. Thank you for your thoughts on that.

    I have been following a blog of a couple who went with their three children to Estonia and worked for two terms there, finished this term in Cameroon, and now are resigning from overseas work. The wife has written some very poignant posts. I think you would like them and would be able to relate well. I’ll send you the address.

    Your mother is a treasure, and I believe that she raised one, as well.

  3. My Dearest Ruthi:
    I won’t need to use any eye drops this afternoon! Your blog has brought tears of joy. What a Mothers Day tribute to such an undeserving Mom! I too have struggled with that choice, but seeing and hearing how the Lord has shaped you into a loving and caring beautiful woman and mother is all the assurance that I need to realize that God kept His hand upon you all the days that we were separated in Suriname. All my tears of longing for you are now turned to tears of joy!

    I often wonder how Hannah felt when she left little Samuel at the temple. Was her heart full of joy when Samuel became a man and servant of God? Her pride and joy could not be compared to mine this day. Thank you Ruthi for being such a wonderful daughter. We both love you and your whole family dearly! Your Mom

  4. What a delight to find your site and read about your parents. I met Art Yohner in the 80’s at Open Bible Church in Miami. He had come to our Missions Conference at the invitation of Herb Shoemaker, Art’s colleague from WorldTeam days. In the 90’s, I had the opportunity to invite Art& Evy as the main speakers for our Missions Conference at Grace Bible Church in Jacksonville.
    Both your parents made an immediate impression upon me for the work they had done and the lives they lived. But Art especially ministered to my heart. I had been experiencing some very difficult days and he took several opportunities to write to me and encourage me. What a joy it was to hear from him! I would excitedly share his notes with my wife as soon as they arrived. Somebody (besides her) believed in me! I still have a bookmark he sent from their ministry with a kind, encouraging word.
    May God bless your parents in these difficult days. Heaven will rejoice in a special way when they arrive on it’s splendid shores.

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