Psalm 122:6 / Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love
Thy People Shall Be My People, a 257 page book chronicling the autobiography of Ruth June Perl, whose life remarkably parallels the Book of Ruth as recorded in the Old Testament.
(click here to download this book in .pdf) (file size 41 MB)
Travel along with Ruth, too, and experience her time in the newly born country of Israel (1953-
Excerpts from the Book:
"As my heart thus yearned after what was to me a strange land and people, the Spirit of God seemingly wooing my heart to them, obstacles began to arise. When one is walking in the will of the Lord, obstacles are made to become stepping-
Also initiating us into our new home were the ever-
"The way was rough, traveling over the barren hills of Moab, the provisions for these two widows meager. Could it have been anything other than the love and strength of that Presence walking with them that enabled them – enabled Ruth particularly – to set her face unwaveringly toward Bethlehem? Little could she or I know the beautiful valley of fulfillment that lay before us at the end of the long, hard journey. But with this Presence by our side the fears and forebodings were hushed, and the pain of widowhood soothed."
Ruth June Perl
RUTH’S LOVE STORY
(as shared in a meeting)
I’d like to share with you a trilogy of love:
a. a love that would not let me go
b. a love I could not let go of
c. a love story with God as the matchmaker
I was born into a non-
My mother became a Christian when I was eight, but died when I was twelve and left a terrible void in my life emotionally and spiritually. I was born with an adventuresome nature and felt we were here only once so live it up and get as much pleasure out of life as possible; so I tried to fill that void with excitement.
Today that would probably translate into drugs, etc., but then it led me into flying lessons. I soloed at 16 and received my pilot’s license just after my 17th birthday. This was during WWII, and at 16 I got my first job as a long distance telephone operator. I used almost all my pay checks on flying lessons. To gain a private pilot license you have to do a cross country flight. Since my instructor felt I was too young to go alone the first time, he would go with me before sending me out alone. I was watching the map and knew we were close to Marysville, Ca. I began looking for the airport and saw one on the wrong side of the railroad tracks, but thought the map must be wrong, so prepared to land. I went around twice and came in for a perfect landing. Before the wheels touched the ground my instructor threw on the throttle full blast and took us almost straight up with the words, “Let’s get out of here before we are arrested. You were landing at the military air base – not the civilian!” I learned first hand that without the proper guide our decisions in life – no matter how innocent or well-
At 18, I married my Prince Charming and together we were building our own little castle in the sky, without the Lord in our lives. We felt we had the most beautiful love in the world and Doug became my life. When we were married just 26 months, I found myself sitting in a hospital room near the one where doctors were trying to preserve his life, my life also, because without Doug, I didn’t want to live. For eight days we had been praying he would recover from tetanus—lock jaw, due to an injury at his work.
I had promised God if He would heal Doug we would serve Him the rest of our lives. My Aunt’s pastor was with us. As he heard how I was praying, that God would heal him and then we would serve God, he opened up his Bible and read to us from Psalm 37:4: “Delight thyself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Well, I expressed that the desire of my heart was that Doug would live. Then he said, “If you are delighting in the Lord, you will want God’s will more than your own.” I replied, “ Do you mean to tell me I have to want God’s way more than Doug’s life? How can I do that? I don’t want to live without Doug.” His reply was to read Psalm 37:5: “Commit thy way unto the Lord. Trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass.” Somehow I knew in the depths of my soul, I must turn the controls of my life over to the Lord to be my pilot for me from now on, and so I said within my heart, “O.K. Lord, Your will no matter what it means.” Very shortly later, when they told me Doug was gone, I said, “O.K. Lord. I said your will be done. Now show me why you have left me here alone—what you want me to do, so I can finish it and go home to be with you and Doug.
During the days that followed, the great love that would not let me go was so strong and His comfort so great I felt compelled to share this with hurting people. So in the weeks that followed I was drawn to Bible School to learn the Word of God so I could share. I realized His Hand had been upon me from childhood to be a missionary.
I had been attending Biola College for 1 ½ years during which time I heard many missionary challenges, but kept asking the Lord where He wanted me, as I couldn’t go to all of them! Then one evening, during summer break, at my home church I heard a Hebrew (Jewish) Christian tell of his people, a hurting people, who had suffered so much that they must be shown God’s love, a people that needed the comfort of their Messiah, whom they had not recognized. Having suffered a great deal in the name of Jesus Christ was one reason why they had rejected Him. He told about the Crusaders who went down to the Holy Land to liberate it from the Moslems, rode on horseback into Jewish village after Jewish village in Europe, with a cross in one hand and a sword in another telling them to bow down to Jesus Christ or they would kill them. To the Jewish people, Jesus Christ is not God and they think He is a Gentile God and to worship Him would be to break the commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3) They paid with their lives, many of them. Historians reported that Jewish blood literally ran in rivers in the streets. At the time of the Spanish Inquisition, they were again killed for the same reasons. Again, this was not by true Christians, but by people who proclaimed the name of Jesus Christ. A true Christian who is born into the family of God has love for everyone and especially for God’s Chosen People. After all, their Savior, their Messiah is a Jew, the Lord Jesus.
Then he presented how they do not understand the difference between Gentiles and Christians. To the Jewish person, anyone who is not Jewish, is automatically a Christian, which we know to be not true. But on the basis of this, they believe that Hitler was a Christian and the slaughter of the six million Jews in WWII, was done, they believe at the hands of Christians. He told us that the only thing that could ever help to reach them was to show them God’s divine love and to present to them even from their own Old Testament prophecies that Jesus indeed is their Jewish Messiah and that He loves them. Then he concluded his remarks with, “What will we do when we stand before God if we’ve done little or nothing to win His own chosen people to Himself?” My heart cried out within me, “I’ll go. Send me, send me!”
When I returned to school I saw a sign on the bulletin board from the Los Angeles Hebrew Mission that stated it was looking for visitation workers. I attended one of their meetings and everything I saw and heard thrilled me; especially one young man’s testimony (true story) of how
he on the verge of suicide, was saved by a Christian who had followed him around the United States for twelve years, telling him only Jesus, His Messiah, could straighten out his life for him. Where as he only wanted to die, now he only wanted to live to tell others about His Messiah. I didn’t get a good look at him or remember his name, but was thrilled by his story. I was coming to the realization that within my heart, the Lord had given me a love I could not let go of. So I felt God was leading me to be a missionary to the Jews.
In preparation, a little later, I took a Jewish Missions Class at school and as the teacher had us go around the room and give our names and tell why we were there, I learned the name of the man, whose story had so thrilled me, was Mike Perl and we became good friends.
To me, being a missionary to the Jews, meant Israel. I knew on the basis of the way the Jewish people had suffered at the hands of so called Christians, that they would never allow a missionary into Israel. They don’t want that sort of problem to rise in their own land, which is understandable. So I thought that I could go into Israel as a student at the Hebrew University and learn to know the people there and reach them in that way. So I sent to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, for an application blank. When I received it, I was disappointed to learn that at that time all lectures were in Hebrew. I would have to learn Hebrew first, before I could attend. Although it broke my heart, I gave my application to Mike when he requested it of me.
A little later, though, through Mike, I learned of an Ulpan (language school) in Israel which he planned to attend and I thought what better way to learn the language, then in the land using the conversational method, which would be a quicker way of learning it, right where you had to use it. It was to begin July 1st, after my graduation in June. Mike left Biola in March and headed toward Israel, making stops along the way with plans of arriving in Israel in time to attend this school in July.
By springtime, I felt God wanted me to attend this school where I could begin to know the people and begin to try to reach them for the Lord. So on break I went home to get my birth certificate so I could apply for a passport. Upon returning to school, I went to the passport office to apply for the passport as you had to do at this time. They would send the form to Washington D.C. and then your passport was sent from there. Upon asking how long it would take, I was informed that it would take anywhere from two to six weeks and as this is the year of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, many are going to Europe, so it will probably take the six weeks. Six weeks would be after I graduated and there would be no time to get my needed visa stamped into my passport from the Israeli consulate in time to get to Israel in July. So I prayed and asked the Lord that if He wanted me to arrive in Israel by July please make my application go on the top of the pile all the way back to Washington D.C. and all the way back again and let it be in two weeks. I prayed that way for three days. On the morning of the third day, I felt strongly impressed from the Lord, two weeks. I looked at my calendar and the date would be May 20th . I thought that was great because it would give me about twelve days to get my visa. I knew at the time that another Biola student, a nurse, had been turned down for a visa into Israel because they knew of her missionary intentions. Well, I knew better than to let anyone know I had missionary intentions, but my address was the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (BIOLA).
On May 20th I awoke and said well, Lord, today is the day. I went to my mailbox between each class all morning and there was nothing in it. I decided to freshen up before lunch, so went up to my room. Upon approaching my door, I saw a note on the door saying there was a registered letter for me down in the office. I flew down those steps into the office, and sure enough, when they handed me the envelope, up in the corner, Washington D.C. was stamped. It was my passport, the very day God said it would arrive!
God knew I was going to need that assurance, because He knew what was going to happen when I would go to the Jewish agency to try to get my visa. When I went, I told them I wanted to go to the Hebrew University, but first I must learn Hebrew, so I wanted to go to this Ulpan in a kibbutz. They didn’t tell me they would give it to me, but they didn’t say no either. They told me to come back. I went back. They said come back. I went back and had everyone praying that I would find grace and favor in their eyes and that they would give me the visa.
Finally it was the day before graduation, and after graduation I was leaving Los Angeles to return to my home in Sacramento and from there hopefully to get ready to go to Israel. If I couldn’t get the visa in my passport before leaving Los Angeles, I would have to start all over again in San Francisco, so probably couldn’t get it in time to get to Israel by July 1st.
So I told the young man I had been dealing with that I must have it now as I was leaving town. He looked down, it seemed like for years, but must have only been seconds; finally he looked up and said to me that he would tell me what he was going to do. He was going to ask the Israeli consulate to give me my visa, but gave me a word of warning to never mention the word “missionary” to any Israeli official. I told him I wouldn’t. I knew better than to do that. I hadn’t even mentioned it to him; but what he was saying to me was that he knew my intentions but was going to ask them to give it to me anyway. He called and they told me to come the next day. The next day, the day I was graduating and leaving town, I got my visa stamped into my passport. God is seldom early, never late, always right on time!
The end of June came and I was on my way to Israel, going to a land that I had learned to love before I ever arrived, to a people that God had given me a great love for. I went with rejoicing, great hope and thrills until we got to Germany, where all the English speaking passengers had disembarked by now; I couldn’t understand a word I was hearing around me and I couldn’t read anything on the billboards or anywhere else. I suddenly realized how very far away from home I was, how very much alone I was, and at the mercy of anybody. I wondered, if I yelled help in English, would anyone even understand me? So it was one big prayer meeting from Germany all the way down to Tel Aviv, Israel. My prayer was also, “Lord, you could even have someone at that airport to meet me, some Christian…” although nobody even knew I was coming, but I knew that God could do a miracle and I was just going to count on Him to get me through the first few days in Israel, until I could get situated.
We landed in Israel after 11:00 p.m. They told everyone to stay on the plane and they would have the customs officials come through. A few minutes later, they changed and told everyone to disembark and go up to the office. They never told why the change, but I learned why. As our little group was approaching another group that came in on a different airliner, a few minutes before ours, all of a sudden that group just seemed to open up and a figure in front of me, turned around, looked like he had seen a ghost, mouth gaped open, hand on his forehead, Mike Perl! He told me later that he had thought of me and thought that the Lord just used me to get him there, and poor girl, she’ll never get here, and all of a sudden, there I was! No wonder he thought he had seen a ghost!
Let me tell you what God did to answer the prayer of a little frightened girl. Mike had come in on a different airliner, having come through Europe and making several stops on the way. When he got to Greece he tried to make a reservation to fly into Israel on June 29th, because he felt very strongly that God had revealed to him that he was to arrive in Israel on June 29th. They told him there was no such flight. He couldn’t understand, so he went back the next day and asked again. This time they told him there was one, but it was all booked up. So he went to his room and prayed some more and came back again to be told there had been a cancellation and he could have it.
So he got on the plane on June 29th and they sat there, and they sat there, and they sat there until finally it was too late to get there before midnight on June 29th. As they were flying along, he told the Lord that he didn’t understand because the Lord had told him June 29th. A stewardess went by and he asked her how they were doing. She informed him that they had a terrific tailwind and they were making up time! They landed in Israel June 29th just minutes before my flight and before midnight!
Well, what could have been a very trying and hard time, the first few days became a very wonderful time as I had someone I could trust who went with me to see some of Israel before we went into the language school in the kibbutz.
I was reminded later, of another little Gentile widow, Ruth, the Moabites, who happened to light on the field of an eligible Jewish bachelor, Boaz in the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament. God began to do a work through the Book of Ruth in my life.
We were in Israel for 11 months and I can’t tell you all the experiences, because it took a whole book (Thy People Shall Be My People – to order click here) to do it! But anyway, we were in the kibbutz for three months and then went into a residential language school for five months.
During this time, because of our fellowship together and what we were experiencing, God began to do a work in both of our hearts toward each other. But we didn’t tell each other a thing!
Then the last several months we went our separate ways. Once in a while we would meet again at some meeting or something and found out as we were fellowshipping together once again, that God was leading us both to come back to the United States. Separately, we both had felt that we could do far more among the Jewish people here in America, where we had the language, and where it was wide open to witness to Jewish people. In Israel, you cannot witness openly and in fact, the last time that each of us had our visas renewed, we had been given to believe that they would not be renewed again. That is what they did at that time when they knew that you were Christians. Usually they would let you stay a year and then they would make you leave the country and if you wanted to continue to work there, you would have to get a visa again from someplace outside of Israel and return again.
So we both left Israel. I left a little ahead of Mike and returned with other missionary ladies going through Europe and finally ended up in London. In the meantime, Mike left Israel, flew to London and beat me there. Then he went on to New York and bought a car to travel across the United States back to San Bernardino, Ca. In the meantime, when I got to New York, I flew back to California, so I beat him to California.
Mike stopped at Michigan to try to witness to his mother once again. She had hoped he would come back from Israel again believing in Judaism, but he came back stronger Christian (Messianic believer) then ever. This so disturbed her that she told him to get out and never come back, even to her funeral, as she didn’t want it contaminated. His sisters stood with their mother, also, and so it was a broken-
Well, when he came through Sacramento, of course the Lord had given me a love for him, but I wasn’t going to be the first one to say anything, so we didn’t show each other a thing! He came on down to San Bernardino. By now we were corresponding and I received a letter one day from him that told me that while he was in prayer that morning, God had told him that he wanted Mike to do something for him which meant that he would go to West Virginia for three months. He didn’t know if it would last longer or what he would do after, even perhaps go back to Israel. He put one verse of Scripture in that letter that God revealed very clearly to me in it, that Mike had given me up for the Lord. He didn’t tell me then, but later he told me that God had told him that morning, he could have Ruth for his wife, but there was something that God wanted him to do alone for him. Was he willing to give Ruth up and do it. The Lord had done so much for Mike, he couldn’t say no and so he had said yes to the Lord and wrote that letter to me.
When I read that letter, I realized that the Book of Ruth would probably never be completely fulfilled in my life and this is what I had been hoping and praying for. Then the Lord began to speak to me and ask me if I was willing to give up my hope of having a ministry united together with Mike and the fulfillment of marriage with him and to also give up my call to the Jewish people. Now, I had felt very privileged to have been called to the Jewish people. Actually I loved their land, I loved their history; it’s my Bible. I loved everything about them: their food, their sense of humor, everything about them. It was a love I couldn’t let go of. But the Lord was asking me if I was willing to give all that up and go to a people and a land that I didn’t love where I wouldn’t love their food, etc., but was I willing to do that for God alone, out of love for Him alone. Well it wasn’t easy, but the Lord finally enabled me to say yes to Him if that was what He wanted me to do.
After several months, the Lord revealed to me that it was only a test and turned me around again and restored to me my call to the Jewish people. In the meantime, Mike finished his three months in West Virginia and the work there was completed. A Jewish mission in Washington D.C. called and wanted to know if Mike would come and work with them. He went to see and while there just didn’t know if it was what God wanted of him or not. Finally, they were pushing him for an answer. So he got up one morning and asked the Lord in prayer to show him that day what His will was and even to let the answer come to him in a letter that day. He received one letter that day, misaddressed to him, a stranger in Washington D.C. and yet that letter was put in his hands. He opened it. It was from his spiritual father, the man who had led him to the Lord, Claude Sprague in San Bernardino and read the first words which were, “Dear son, come home.” It couldn’t have been more clear. He thanked the Lord and told the mission there that he believed God was calling him back to San Bernardino to start a Jewish missionary work there, where there was nobody working among the thousands of Jews who were living in the Inland Empire.
So, on back through Sacramento he came on his way to San Bernardino. He thought that since he had done what the Lord had wanted him to do, did it now mean that he could have Ruth for his wife? In the meantime, the Lord had also restored my call to the Jews. So when he came through Sacramento, he stayed a few days and we had fellowship and both were looking for any indication from the other one that maybe God had done that kind of work in the other’s heart, and we didn’t show each other a thing!
On down to San Bernardino he came. During this time, Mike’s Bible teacher had asked me if I would come to San Bernardino if she got meetings for me in various churches, to show my slides of Israel. That is what I was doing in the Sacramento area, showing my slides of Israel and raising up prayer for the Jewish people. At that time I was finding it just as hard to work alone among the Jewish people here as it was in Israel. So I thought since that was where I had left my heart, I thought I might as well go back to Israel and work there. I thought that maybe the Lord was opening the door in San Bernardino and that that is what He would have me do across the United States; show my slides and raise up prayer for Israel and when I would get to New York, go on back to Israel.
So I came down to San Bernardino in February and had been here less then a week when Claude Sprague, Mike’s spiritual father told Mike to invite me to come to Sunday lunch as he wanted to meet me. I didn’t know that in the background, he was playing cupid. He thought that Mike needed a wife and he thought maybe I was the one, so he wanted Mike to bring me to meet him. Well, I was thrilled to meet the family that had led Mike to the Lord.
When Mike picked me up he told me that we would get away from the family as soon as we could because we had some things to talk over. I agreed to it, but was too afraid to ask what we had to talk over. We did that. It was a beautiful February day and we sat down at a picnic bench and Mike opened the Bible in front of us and began to tell me a story that took him about 45 minutes. He told me about how when he first met me, he was attracted to me in a spiritual sense. Then he went on and told me various things and finally got around to saying that the Lord had put a love in his heart for me, the kind of a love a man has for a woman he wants to ask to marry him. I thought this was what I was wanting to hear. My heart just soared! Then he told me how God asked him to put me on the altar (to give me up), my heart just crashed! Talk about palpitations of the heart! This went on for 45 minutes with my heart soaring and crashing.
Then it was my turn. I opened my Bible at the Book of Ruth, and I had written across the top: “the story of a little Gentile widow who found love in the heart and home of Boaz, the eligible Jewish bachelor.” Then I told him how God had worked in my life.
Finally, Mike said that he believed God was leading him to start a work among the Jewish people here in the San Bernardino area and that he had to find the will of the Lord for his life, the same as I had to find the will of the Lord for my life, also. Then he said he guessed there was nothing left for him to do, and then he paused, and I thought he was going to say that we would correspond and maybe some day along the line the Lord would bring us together. I was praying within myself that the Lord would not let me fall apart now…it had come so close. Then I heard him say, “but to ask you to marry me.” Well, that was the last thing I expected to hear, so I was struck speechless literally! I couldn’t say anything. I couldn’t say “no.” I couldn’t say “maybe.” I couldn’t say I’d pray about it. I had been praying about it for months already! In the silence, he was praying that the Lord wouldn’t let me say no or maybe or that I’d pray about it but make me say “yes!” So finally, it seemed like someone else took over my tongue and I said that my answer to him was Ruth 1:16-
Then he said he thought that called for a little kiss and he kissed me for the first time! He had never even held my hand up to this point. In fact, four days later I came to the realization that he never courted me. So he asked me for a date and we had our first date four days after we were engaged!
All of this was done in answer to prayer. People were praying that God would give me a husband, that God would give him a wife. People that knew both of us were praying that God would bring us together. We found that we had the original matchmaker! God had brought all this about in answer to prayer.
Now, I have shared with you three loves. But the greatest love of all is God’s love. The Bible says, “Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Two little boys were playing in the yard around the flowers and one got stung by the bee. The other one started yelling and screaming for fear that bee was going to sting him, too. Someone told him not to worry that that bee cannot sting him because his brother took the stinger for him. The Lord took the sting of death on the cross for us, so that we don’t have to suffer it. In I Corinthians 15 it says, “O death where is thy sting; o grave, where is thy victory?” The sting of death is sin. God has taken that stinger for us and rose again, living forever, that we might live forever with Him. The Scripture says, “Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord, shall be saved.” All we have to do is call on the name of the Lord. I wonder if you have tasted the sweetness of this great love? You can now if you haven’t. Just open up your heart and pray, “Lord I know that I am not perfect and I know that you call that sin. I thank you that you took the sting of death that sin results in for me. I thank you that you rose again to be the pilot of my life. I’m asking you to come into my heart and into my life right now that I might have that great love, that beautiful life that only you can give. I thank you that the Scripture does say that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. So, I thank you for that right now. In Y’shua Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer for the first time in your life, please contact us and let us know that we might be able to send you literature that will help you in your new life!
Thy People Shall Be My People