Ruth M. Spurgeon, a graduate of Manhattan Bible College and a Registered Nurse, became a part of the Brazil Christian Mission February 1950. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Spurgeon of rural Scottsbluff, Ruth early visualized a life of Christian Service, being baptized May 27th, 1934 by Dewey Meranda in the First Christian Chruch of Scottsbluff. Upon completion of high school, she took one semester of Jr. College and then entered Nurses Training in the East Nebraska Methodist Hospital in 1940. On graduation from this training in 1943 she volunteered for the Army Nurse Corps and served in that capacity for two years. Most of her Army career was spent at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., and she was separated from service as a 1st Lt., in March of 1946. Miss Spurgeon immediately entered Manhattan Bible College to complete her training and graduated from that institution in 1948 with an A.B. degree in Bible. During her stay at Manhattan she served as housemother of the girls dormitory. Following her graduation from Manhattan Ruth served as camp nurse at Lake James for one season. In the fall of 1948 Ruth entered Phillips University for graduate study where she also serves as school nurse. Ruth has a beautiful soprano voice in which she trained under Miss Martha Louise Lincoln at Phillips University. From Phillips Ruth went to Kansas City Mo., where she was employed as a nurse in one of the Kansas City Hospitals and where she assisted in the office of the Christian Missionary Fellowship with whom she was affiliated at that time. Ruth became a part of the Brazil Christian Mission in April 1950. She came to the mission highly recommend by her teachers, her employers, her home church in Scottsbluff, and the Christian Missionary Fellowship. Approaching the field primarily as a Christian evangelist and teacher, she will nevertheless find much opportunity to practice her talent of nursing in "healing the sick" among the poor and the ignorant who are in and around Goiania. This "healing ministry" will, in fact, give her a hearing for Jesus in many areas which would otherwise remain antagonistic or passive to the message of the Risen Lord. Ruth's medical work consisted of trips to Vila Nova on her bike, during the trip and at most any hour of the day or night. The top ranking task has been giving injections. Many times patients come to the house for this. There have been less doctor bills because all patients are encouraged to go to the public health service before seeing the mission doctors. As a rule this has been successful. Many times medicine is given gratis and this a great saving. There has been less complaint of poor treatment so we continue to encourage them to go there.
March 1952 Pleasant Home Church, Brewster, Kansas has assumed service link support, which provides support for Ruth Portuguese studies in Campinas. The school is supported jointly by the Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian mission boards in Brazil, but the character of the school is non-denomination, and Christians of whatever belief are welcomed on a cost of schooling basis. Our missionaries have all been admitted as "Christians only" and the promise has been given that, as space permits.
June 1952 Ruth returns to Goiania, where she found her services, both medical and spiritual still in demand. No sooner had she arrived, tired out from a long flight, than she was informed of different sick ones and so set out to give three injections and make another house call. With only one week of preparation she launched out to direct the Vila Nova Vacation Bible school and Teacher-training school.
April 1953 - Ruth provided medical aid hit a record 100 people treated at the infirmary (located in the Spurgeon home), outside calls, treatments and consultations. Ruth provided medical assistance to the evangelistic trip to Sitio de Abadia.
July 1954 - Ruth returns to US on furlough. She helped with teaching and brushing up on her own studies. First Christian Church of Scottsbluff provide seed money for vehicle to be purchased in Brazil.
October 1954 - Ruth returns to Brazil and is greeted upon arrival in Santos by Miss Ellen Case, Mrs. Sanders and Don Woodstocks of the Church of Christ Mission in Santos at the same time that President Getulio Vargas committed suicide and rioting in Brazil. January 1956 - Ruth directed DVBS and week of evangelism in Silvania, with a total of aproximately 466 persons attending. She was assisted by ational evangelist Valdori Pen, three young ladies from the Vila Nova Church of Christ in Goiania, and the Ewings' nine year old daughter, Carol. Also helping with the arrangements Sr. Artur Da Silva pastor of the Silvania Church of Christ.
October 1956 - Ruth helped with the purchase of the light plant for the Institute in Goiania, over the years it has been noted that Miss Spurgeon had a habit of making generous contributions toward mission projects.
October 1957 - Ruth leaves for furlough in the U.S. , completing over six years of missionary service in Brazil. In addition to her medical ministry which has averaged over 100 treatments per month, and her responsibility as "housemother" for the girls at the Bible Institute. "Spurg" has acted as clerk and registrar at the Institute and taught various courses in Bible and Health, worked in the Vila Nova Church and the Sunday School in Jardim Bueno, as well as supervised the Bairro Universitatior work as it grew from a struggling mid-afternoon sunday School averaging around 15 to its present status as a growing chruch with 30 members and a Sunday School averaging 80. During her furlough Ruth plans on teaching at Manhattan Christian College as she has in the past furloughs. She returned to Brazil one year later October 1958
August 1960 - 230 to 300 Brazilians are witnessed to while receiving medical care from our mission each month. Assisting Ruth in this gospel work of mercy are many. Most of them have studied under Ruth's supervision at the Goiania Christian Institue. In Bairro University where she lives and worked so long, her vacancy was filled by natioanl evangelist Florisvaldo Moreira dos Sandtos and his wife, Josefina and by two young ladies of that congregation. Dorvalina and Joana Santos, Adelina, wife of national evangelist Valdori Pena who assists Dick Ewing in the Vila Nova church, finds many opportunities to care for the ill of that congregation and among her neighbors. Odilon Goncalves and Jose Rezende are two other evangelist who offer medical help to the needy members of their congregations and find it openidn doors in their communities. One of Ruths Institue students, Didr Batista, helps her in medical services for those sho live in the vicinity of the Institute, and for the students and staff. All off these workers render their sevices free, much of the time contributin not only time and talent but equipment. The mission usually furnishes at least alcohol and cotton for giving injections. These medical workers have been trained through the health program of the Institute and in personal training sessions which Ruth conducts as necessity demands. Thsi is the first year that the Institute has offered a second year in health training and it promises even more far-reaching results. The sutdents are reviewing first aid, artificial respiration, food values and menu making. They are also sutdying cancer symptoms, nervous reactions and the proper technique of giving injections. They are not expected to go out as nurses or practitioners, but trained to meet the medical emergencies that will surround them in their daily witness for Christ, saving lives and suffering where more adequate medical attentions is not available, opening doors for the gospel to enter. They are trained even more adequatley in administering medicine for the soul, for they are gospel workes and alre always equipped with the sword of the Spirit.
January 1961 - Ruth's mother Pauline Spurgeon visits Brazil, as she was impressed of the crude roads, large number of horses in use in the city strees, the Brahma ox teams and the material used in construction. After twn months in Brazil visiting her daughter, Ruth, Mrs. Joe Spurgeon of Scottsbluff, Nebraska returned to her home on November 20th.
October 1962 - After four years of service in Brazil on her third term (a total of eleven years service0 teaching and medical assitance primarily, she returns to the United States for her third furlough.
December 1963 Miss Ruth Spurgeon offers her resignation letter indicating she suffers from a heart condition, mitral stenosi, dating back to her experience as a nurse during World War II. After extensive examinations and consultations with specialist it is agreed that a return to Brazil would be unwise at this time. She is looking forward to continued Christian service and greater happiness that she has ever known by becoming the wife of Homer L. McKinley, minister to the Christian Church at Ridgeway, Missouri. Planning to be be married November 29th at Scottsbluff, Nebraska.