Simone Biles was born in Columbus, Ohio to a mother strung out on drugs. She was removed from her mother’s custody, bounced around in foster care for several years, and finally she and her three siblings were adopted by her grandparents. They helped her discover her talents and since then she has become four-time Olympic gold medal gymnast. Now she helps other foster care children pursue their dreams. Years ago in the little town of Bethlehem, a distant kinsman and the townspeople saw the potential in a young woman that had come to live with her poor mother-in-law. Though Ruth was an outsider, townspeople welcomed her, accepted her, and allowed her to live under the umbrella of Israel’s covenant. God honored their decision and Ruth became a significant part of God’s plan to bring redemption to the entire human race. This happened when Boaz, a near kinsman, chose to redeem Naomi’s property and with it came the privilege of marrying Ruth. In keeping with the law and tradition, she became an ancestor of King David from whom Jesus Christ our Lord descended. Welcoming outsiders often brings great blessings. That’s why we should be careful of who we reject or ignore.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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