Entries by rutholsson

What is an ALLY

by Ruth Bell Olsson I was recently given a necklace with the word “Ally” stamped on it. “Ally” in the sense of allied, allying, being an ally. I thought the title was perfect. This is who I am, and also what I do. But, what does this word actually mean? Ally is a verb: to […]


Sister Interview: Ruth Bell Olsson

Ruth Bell Olsson has ended up in some places she didn’t expect. Whether in the middle of The Congo talking with victims of sexual violence, or leading a needle exchange for intravenous drug users in her hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan, her destination is often not what she had in mind when beginning her journey. […]

What I Remember The Most

It is commonly purported that smell is the most sensitive of our senses and has the strongest connection to memory. When I put myself back into that room of the hospital, it is the smell that hits me first. Perhaps the disorientation began with the smell, but maybe it was the surprise factor. Was this […]

How 21 Days Changed My Marriage

I was desperate, so I turned to God in total surrender. My friend Stefany refers to her treadmill as the “dreadmill.” I think that’s the perfect name for it; running endlessly and going nowhere is certainly dreadful. Several years ago I found myself in a season of life where I was running on a “dreadmill” […]

Interview: HIV/AIDS Activist / Humanitarian Ruth Olsson

Ruth Olsson: Edition #002: The Vine Journal It is a particularly difficult task as a Christian to navigate our relationship to the world; knowing what requires compromise and what requires the opposite. Ruth’s approach to life, the way she holds relationship above opinion and application over knowledge, is an adequate and beautiful answer to such […]

Rob Bell’s sister on ignorance, fear and HIV

By Charley Honey | The Grand Rapids Press The married couple, a man and woman, both had HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. One of their children also was HIV-positive. When a neighbor learned this, she was outraged and forbade her children from playing with theirs. Ruth Bell Olsson tells this story about a West […]

Why I Offer Clean Needles in Jesus’ Name

On the front lines of HIV prevention in one of America’s holiest cities. The woman who walked into the needle exchange that night was filled with piercings. Head to toe, she likely had hundreds of barbs and holes in her body. She held a trashcan-sized biohazard container full of dirty needles. A female volunteer met […]