The Story of Ruth

The Story of Ruth The Story of Ruth by: Dr. Jerry Simons

Stories fly out of the newspaper and the television daily about another child being abused or murdered. All corners of the earth are infested with this disease that is spread by the bullies of the world. Children from very poor counties appear to be most vulnerable and fall prey to those who exploit orphans and street children. In the United States when a child becomes missing the call for help goes out almost instantaneous over radio, television, and freeway Amber alert signs. However the story is different in very poor and remote areas of the world where children are taken off the street and no one even notices that they are gone.
One such little girl only nine years old named Ruth was snatched off a back street of Cusco, Peru, as she was rummaging through a garbage can for food. She was hauled off five-hundred miles to a brothel just


out of Lima where she would be schooled on how to perform the most vile acts imaginable. If she refused she was be beaten until she submitted. For six years Ruth was robbed of her innocence and childhood. At the age of sixteen she was rescued from her captivity during a police raid on the brothel. The authorities sent Ruth back to Cusco where she was originally abducted and again she found herself on the street all alone, with no money, no self-worth, no hope, but this time she carrying lots of horrible memories she was struggling to get out of her mine. Ruth was very pretty, 5’ 3” tall, weighted 110 pounds, and with a very attractive figure. The only clothes she owned made her look like a prostitute and 21 years old.
Soon after her return to Cusco, she was arrested for stealing food from a street vender. After hearing Ruth past story the police felt sorry for her and contacted Janet, the director of the Hope Projects girl’s orphanage, to see if they had room for Ruth and some other girls who were in similar circumstances. The director said that Ruth and the others could not come to the orphanage because they were much older than most of the girls in the orphanage and also felt because of their past experiences they could be a bad influence on the younger orphan girls. The director felt very bad having turning away Ruth and the other girls. In fact it bothered Janet so much she had trouble sleeping the following several nights. Janet couldn’t get Ruth off her mind and decided she need to do something and would go to the Minister of Social Services and see if he knew of any place in the city where they could put together a make shift shelter for girls like Ruth and get them some help. A few days later Janet was told that the mental health department had a fenced in back lot with a few small storage rooms that she could use temporally, but that they had no money in their budget to help these girls. Janet contacted Cesar Rodriguez, the Hope Projects Director in Cusco, and related Ruth’s story and asked him if he would be willing to help them convert this run-down back lot into a temporary shelter for Ruth and several other girls like Ruth. Cesar was very excited about the projects and called me to send money to help build what we are now calling our ‘big girls’ orphanage. With the money donors from United State and manual labor by Hope Projects staff in Peru and several of their friends; the abandoned property of the Cusco Department for the mentally ill was transformed into a ‘Big Girls’ orphanage for Ruth and 15 other girls. The girls ranged in ages from 12 to 17. By Peruvian law once an orphan turns 18 they have to leave to orphanage and make room for someone else. So there was a lot of work that needed to be done to help these older girls like Ruth.


The facility was very crude yet all those who helped showed a lot of genius and creativity. The yard was 125 feet long, about 50 feet wide, and a nine foot adobe wall that completely enclosed the property with a big lockable front entrance. The bathroom was a pit and a bed sheet, and the kitchen was fashioned in a corner of the compound with four 4’x8’ pieces of corrugated steel roofing with a dirt floor.
Within a few day most of the girl got acquainted very quickly and were very compatible, but not so with Ruth. She would just sit on the side lines when all of the other girls were chatting, playing volleyball, or any other group activity. Ruth was very quit and kept to herself most of the time. She had given away all her brothel clothing and was dressed in some very drab hand-me-down clothes she was given by one of the Hope Projects staff. Ruth didn’t give anyone any trouble. She did her chores and assignment but seemed to be detached from reality. She just didn’t connect or talk very much with the other girls.


A few months ago when I was visiting the Big Girls Orphanage I noticed Ruth off by herself, but she had a pencil and a scrape of paper and was sketching from an old beat-up magazine she had found. I looked at her sketches and was blown away by what I saw. Her capture of the detail in the picture was like a photograph and looked real rather than just drawings. She had a gift. I told her that I like to draw also but that hers were so much better than mine and she had been given a special gift from God. She forced a smile and went on drawing. The next day I purchased some real art paper, charcoal pencils, colored pencils, and a sketch pad book. I gave the art supplies to Janet the now director of the ‘Big Girls’ orphanage to give to Ruth from a friend.
I returned to the high Andes about three months later and while visiting some of our other projects and orphanages I stopped by the ‘Big Girl’s orphanage to see how they were doing. I could hardly believe my eyes. Ruth was in a very pretty dress and in the middle of the other girls chatting just like she was one of the gang. She saw my wife Ella and me and came running over and give Ella the biggest hug I have ever seen. She turned to me and wanted to hug me, but her distaste for men and the way she had been treated in the past by men made the situation very difficult and awkward for Ruth. She knew I had been the one who provided her with the art supplies and that she wanted to do something to show her appreciation, so she took my arm and hugged it. I sensed her frustration and took her hand and shook it very formally. I commented on how beautiful she looked in the dress. She said she had made it with one of the Hope Projects hand crank sewing machine that was given to the orphanage. Then she ran over to her makeshift bedroom and brought me a beautiful charcoal sketching of a rose in full bloom and she gave Ella a sketch of a lady. Even though she has just worked on the sketches they both were beautiful. By this time we were all so taken by how much Ruth had changed and become a part of the other girls, tears broke through the dam we were struggling to hold back. Janet told us that Ruth was so touched that someone would give her the gift of the art supplies and not want something in return completely changed her outlook on her situation. She started to talk to the other girls and they in turn started to treat her with respect for her skill as an artist and later as a friend.

Presently we have 20 girls in our Hope Projects ‘Big Girls’ orphanage. Each of these girls has no family or relatives, and are fighting to overcome the terrible memories that haunt them from every kind of abuse imaginable. Now each girl is safe, loved, and valued. The girls are being taught as many survival skills as quick as possible before they turn 18 and have to leave. The minister of health has provided us with a psychologist two hours a day for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to help them move out of the darkness of the past and into the bright sun light of the future. Hope Projects staff is teaching the girls correct health and hygiene practices and handicraft skill. They make handicraft items to sell to the tourist.
I am very proud of the progress that the girls are making in our new Hope Projects ‘Big Girl’ orphanage. In addition to ‘Big Girls’ orphanage Hope Projects Foundation has three other orphanages and over 135 other projects in villages across the high Andes of South America and the Amazon basin which are presently bringing hope to the lives of over 450,000 very poor and forgotten people.
Of the over 2 billion people who live in abject poverty Hope Projects concentrates it resources and attention to about 3 million poor people of the high Andes and the Amazon Basin. Other than Hope Projects these 3 million people have been forgotten by their own government and the world for nearly 500 years. These people have no water half the year and then filthy water the next 6 months, no medical services, no functioning schools, no relief from starvation, no way to earn money, no United Nations interest, no bail out, and no hope for any change in the future. Since I became aware of the horrible situation of these people, I along with the help of our many donors have made a difference in the lives of thousands of people who have heretofore been ignored, but now have hope for the future. We have been able to reduce the death rate by 80% in the lives of over 450,000 forgotten people, but it has taken us over 10 years and 3 million dollars to do this. Money limits the number of people we can help. Even though 100% of all donations goes to provide building materials and farm animal pairs to the poor and those we assist provide all the labor themselves to build clean water systems, medical clinics, school classrooms, barns, etc.; there are still 2.5 million people who we have not helped, that desperately need our assistance just to keep alive.
All donations are tax deductible and all donations made during November and December will be matched by us and the board of directors.
In our brochure/gift catalog there are four full pages of photos showing over 60 finished projects and six Hope Projects school/factories. Last year we built 6 medical clinics, 16 classrooms, 4 village water systems, 4 bathrooms/septic tank systems, 1 kindergarten building, assisted 355 orphans establish small animal farms and money making projects, and expanded our Jewelry and roof tile school/factories. We are in challenging economical times, yet we still are blessed with enough that we can share a little of what we have to give hope to those poor who have nothing, but are children of God and have a right to live. Please help us to lift the heavy burdens of death and poverty off from the shoulders of these very poor hard working people of South America.
We can help more people with your help. Log onto www.hopeprojects.com for more information or call our toll free number at 800 348-3994 of a brochure of many projects where you can help. You can also call 435 657-0521 and just leave a message requesting more information.

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