Ruth Thomson (BTh, 1962)
Distinguished Alumni Lifetime Impact Award, 2017
Ruth Thomson [BTh 1962] lived in contrast to her time. Born into a wealthy faith-filled family, she had all the auspices of privilege afforded to her. Yet she knew her call was to the mission field and not set in the role of debutante. She graduated from Toronto Bible College (now Tyndale University) and continued on to the University of North Dakota and the University of Oklahoma studying linguistics. In an era when women were denied opportunities in church leadership, Ruth scaled the obstacles of the church’s restrictions into the mission field. At that time, women dominated this field with their indispensable contribution in furthering the gospel message abroad. Ruth worked in the Amazon jungle among the Kayapo Tribe arriving there at the age of 25 in 1965. They were a warrior culture, a people known to kill those who trespassed on their land. They taught her their language and customs while she worked with Wycliffe Bible Translators creating a written form of their language. Her work would lay the foundation for literacy among the tribe. Today, in her late 70s, she continues to travel to Brazil and is an honorary grandmother to several of the children.