While the Great Depression in the 1930s was sending many people into a financial tailspin, the Clemmer family managed to stay afloat—and even seemed to get ahead. But life for nineteen-year-old Virginia Ruth Clemmer was not as pleasant as it may have appeared to others. Ruth's greatest desire was to obey the Lord and follow His leading, but the upward path to God was not an easy one.
Papa was a conservative-minded deacon in the Grove Hill Mennonite Church, and well respected in the church community. But Ruth saw all too clearly another side of his character—a quick temper and a relentless drive after money. Mama was more sympathetic and kind, but she often failed to respond graciously to Papa's brusque ways.
Kore Plank, a foster boy living with the Clemmer family, resisted many of their efforts to help him. And indeed, Ruth wondered, how could her parents help Kore, when their own lives did not line up with what they professed? Surely the Christian life held something higher, something better than what she saw in her family and in her apostatizing church. And then—to add to Ruth's already burdened heart—unpleasant whispers about her special friend reached her ears. Didn't God care about her at all? Were His blessings and promises only for others?
The Upward Way is a beautiful story of the enabling grace of God. Based on a true account.