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West Newton Friends In Service -- Ruth and Charles Alber

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We regularly feature the work of one of West Newton Friends making a difference in our community. We’re all involved in different ways and sometimes we don’t realize the ministries we're doing in locally and around the world.

This article features the volunteer work of Charles and Ruth Alber.

Soon after we married in 1946, we decided we should tithe time during our productive years as the way opened. While living in Muncie (Indiana Yearly Meeting), Charles worked for Quaker Haven and Ruth worked on the YWCA Board, raising money for a cabin at Sing-A-Long Camp. Then a need arose in Kaimosi, Kenya, for a teacher and a printer. Charles qualified for both positions. After prayer and much discussion, we sailed to Kenya for four full years.

Charles taught in the Men’s Teacher Training College -- Arts and Crafts, Math, Boarding School responsibilities, and supervised student teachers. He ran the printing press, printed 2000 hymn books, Sunday School materials, and various other items. At the Girls’ School, Ruth taught informal Housewifery classes and at different times cared for three African babies/toddlers. She also ran a small store one or two afternoons a week, selling the equivalent of penny candy and peanuts (that they roasted in their stove). Ruth also served as Fred Reeve’s secretary for a year or so using an ancient Dictaphone and typewriter.

After we retired from teaching (Charles) and nursing (Ruth), we delivered Meals on Wheels and took elders grocery shopping. Charles worked in 4-H for several years. Ruth helped (took patient history, blood pressure and weight, and found or had donated needed items such as diabetes supplies, medicines, canes, and kept the coffee pot full!) in a “free” clinic in Mooresville and Charles sorted medicines there.

Charles again worked on the Quaker Haven board nine years and was the 6th grade camp director for several years. He was the West Newton Friends Meeting treasurer for several years, taught Sunday School, and helped with the upkeep of the Meetinghouse.

Ruth served as the Western Yearly Meeting USFW president for six years and introduced the first Triennial Meeting in a hotel setting – a big change at that time. She also served on the Outreach Board, Nominating Committee, and Executive Council for several years for Western Yearly Meeting.

For West Newton, Ruth served on Ministry and Council, USFW president, and for a time she and Charles purchased and bagged the food for the food pantry. We both worked on the planning committee for The Home Place, also.