MY TESTIMONY By Ruth Holmes 

My testimony is one of sovereign grace, mercy and love from the moment that I was born. 

I was not born into a Christian family. But God in His mercy gave me a mother that taught me the commandments of God and taught me to pray as a small child. She sent me to church faithfully every Sunday. I used to get pins for going year after year without missing a Sunday. But when I was about fifteen, I had enough of that and decided that I would go my own way, as all we like sheep do. I would never have gone back to any church if it were not for a God of sovereign grace and mercy. 

For you see, no one ever came to my house to tell me about the Savior. No one ever came and told me that the Lord Jesus Christ could set me free from my love of sin and my bondage to it. No one ever came and told me that the precious blood of Jesus Christ could wash away all my filth. No one ever came and told me that the Lord Jesus Christ was an Almighty Savior who could enable me to live unto Him instead of unto myself. No one cared for my soul. 

But the Lord did. And if God's people would not be faithful to the command to "go ye therefore and teach all nations -- making disciples", the Lord would do the work Himself. 

And so twenty years later the Lord was pleased to bring me to Himself. I was thirty-five then, married with four children. My husband was in the army, stationed at Ft. Benning, Columbus, Georgia. 

One day my husband came home from work and said, "you'll have to answer to God for what you have done." This was a very strange thing for my husband to say as he was not a Christian and never once had I heard him speak about God. But these were God's arrows that he used to pierce my heart. I became greatly burdened about my sin. I had a felt sense of the horrors and terrors of Hell. I began to cry and to pray. I could find no rest anywhere. My prayer was only, "Oh God, forgive me", because I didn't know anything else. I didn't know who Jesus Christ was. 

Well this went on for three days and three nights. On the third night there suddenly came a great peace to my soul. I didn't know what had happened, but I knew that something had happened. I began to read my Bible and the next Sunday I gathered up my four children and sought out a church. There was a little Baptist church just down the street from us so we went there. There the Lord was pleased to teach me about Himself. 

A year later He was pleased to call me into a Spanish Mission work. I didn't speak Spanish at the time but have since learned that truly all things are possible with the Lord. 

I thought about this call and wondered within myself if truly this was the will of God for my life. And then God was pleased to speak His word to me in power. He said, "Who made man's mouth, did not I the Lord? Therefore go and I'll be with thy mouth and I will teach thee what thou shalt say." And He did. 

I looked for a place where I could study Spanish. The college term had already begun so I couldn't go there. But one of the girls at the mission told me that she had a wonderful Spanish teacher in her high school, so I went to speak with the principal. 

He told me that it was against the law for a woman of my age to attend public school. But he said, "I think it is wonderful about the work that you want to do, so I'll put you in the class as the teacher's assistant and you can help her correct her papers." So for three months I went to school every morning and took first, second and third year Spanish. God gave me an ear to hear and an ability to learn the language quickly. I began then to visit the women that were at home with their children. I saw that they had a great need to learn some English as well as the word of God, so I began to teach them the best I knew how. 

Thankfully shortly afterwards a woman came from the home mission board that was the head of literacy missions and taught a workshop at Ft. Benning. There I learned how to better teach them. She sent me later to Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky to learn how not only to teach people to read and write or to speak English, but also to teach the workshops themselves. You see we had hundreds of officers wives that came through Ft. Benning every year from the Allied Nations. They stayed only for nine months, but many wanted to learn the necessary English to communicate. As a result we had many classes and needed many teachers. 

We stayed at Ft. Benning for seven years and then moved to the Florida Keys when my husband retired. He took a job with the Florida Highway Department down there. While I was living there the Lord used a pastor named Ernie Reisinger to bring me into a truer knowledge of the gospel. He taught me what is called "The Doctrines of Grace." How thankful I was to God for this knowledge when a year later my husband came home from work again, but not with the same words. This time he said, "I've come to kill you", and he proceeded to do it. He beat me for a solid hour until my whole body was black and blue and my head and mouth were split open. Then suddenly he sat down and began to talk, so I sat down with him with the blood pouring out of my head. He talked about his mother and other things as though nothing had happened. Then after awhile he got out and said, "Well, I think I'll go now, but I'll be back tomorrow night to finish the job." I struggled to the phone to call my pastor. In the meantime my two children that were still at home came home. They all took me to the hospital to have my head and mouth sewed up. Immediately afterwards we had to go into hiding. Needless to say those first few days and nights I lived in absolute terror. Every sound I heard I thought he was there again to finish the job. 

But the Lord once again came in great mercy to me. He gave me grace to cast out all fear. I knew that if He had chosen me before the foundation of the world, called me according to His purpose, that I could never perish, and nothing could do me harm. 

As a results this terrifying experience became one of the greatest blessings in my life. Through this the Lord taught me His truth in power. He taught me that "My God shall supply all "my" needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19 He taught me that truly "We know that all things," -- all the bitter things, all the painful things, all the terrible things, "work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

When I had to leave my home, I had to leave with just the clothes on my back, without a car, and without any money. In just a few days or perhaps a week, many things began to come back. I got my clothes, my car and had $600 in my pocketbook. I received letters from women that had been in my Bible class the winter before, had gone home, and they wrote, "God has impressed upon me that you have a need, so I am sending you this money even though I don't know what your need is." 

Because of this the doctrine of the all-sufficiency of God is no longer just some cold dead words on a page. It is precious, living, knowledge that has been mine for many years now. The Lord taught me His name -- wrote it on my heart. He is the great El Shaddai -- the Almighty God, the God who will provide. 

I have had many needs since that terrible time -- material needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs and the Lord has met them all. 

I have been a Christian now for thirty-five years and I pray that God will continue to enable me to thank Him in and for all my afflictions. Truly they are a great blessing and privilege given to us who are Christians. "For it is not only given to us to believe, but to suffer for his sake." Philippians 1:29 

There are treasures in this darkness of affliction and God says that He will give them to us. Job found them and by God's grace, I have also. 

Job said in Chapter 42:5-6, "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees thee. Wherefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes. 

These are treasures -- an increased living knowledge of God, a sight of His glory and a true knowledge of self. This is the work of God; this is the salvation of God. How thankful I am for it.