With its working title, Out of Russia, my novel-in-progress features hope in a hopeless situation.

Between 1872 and 1945, many Mennonites found ways to escape the country and its reign of terror.

My father’s family was among those miraculously given exit visas to leave Russia in late 1929. While Dad didn’t talk a lot about his life in Ukraine, he did mention these.

  • Dachas (wealthy folks’ summer cottages) along the Dnieper River
  • Using sticks covered in tar to catch Black Widow spiders  when he was twelve
  • Playing outdoor games
  • Billeting both Red and White soldiers in their peaceful Mennonite home, and
  • Fear of the bandit army led by Nestor Makhno.

Through Dad, as well as autobiographies of his father and brother, we learned about the family’s escape from Stalin’s dictatorship. I was enthralled, and embarked on a quest to learn more of my own ancestry.

Published Articles

The God of Second Chances,Today’s Christian Woman
Would I live out the lessons I learned through Jerry’s illness and death, or wait for another loss to reset my priorities?

Confront Conflict with Courage,Today’s Christian Woman (pseudonym Ruth Kroeker)
You can respond to adversity in a God-honoring way.

Book Recommendations

*The links below are affiliate links. When you purchase one or more of these books from Amazon using my link, I will receive a small commission. Thank you!


Terri Blackstock, Twisted Innocence
Jerry Jenkins, Riven
C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce
Charles Martin, Water from My Heart
Tatiana de Rosnay, Sarah’s Key
Michelle Ule, A Poppy in Remembrance
Susan May Warren, Daughters of Fortune Trilogy
Susan May Warren, Heirs of Anton Series

From Russia with Love: Contemporary Inspirational Romantic Adventure set in Russia (book 1)
The Spy who Loved Me: Cold War Era Romantic Suspense set in Russia (book 2)
A Greater Love: World War 2 Romantic Adventure in Russia (book 3)
Ever in my Heart: Inspirational Romantic Adventure set in 1917 Russia (book 4)

Ginny Yttrup, Words

Grief and Recovery

James Means, A Tearful Celebration: Finding God in the Midst of Loss
C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
Kenneth R Mitchell and Herbert Anderson, All Our Losses, All Our Griefs
Jerry Sittser, A Grace Disguised


Elishaba Doerksen, Out of the Wilderness: Escaping My Father’s Prison and My Journey to Forgiveness
Dr. Herbert J. Freudenberger, Burn Out
Olga Ilyin, White Road: A Russian Odyssey, 1919-1923
Sherri Eldridge, Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew
Don Colbert, M.D., Deadly Emotions

Spiritual Growth

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
Evelyn Christenson, Lord, Change Me
Gail MacDonald, High Call, High Privilege
John Lynch, Bruce McNicol, Bill Thrall, The Cure: What if God Isn’t Who You Think He Is and Neither Are You

True Stories that Inspire

Ruth Bell Graham, Footprints of a Pilgrim
Ruth Bell Graham, It’s My Turn
Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken
John Pollock, Hudson Taylor and Maria: A Match Made in Heaven
Helen Roseveare, Living Sacrifice
Darlene Diebler Rose, Evidence Not Seen