With a wonderful mix of humor and humility, Joseph Ruta shares the fascinating journey that led him from a largely secular upbringing at an Italian family resort in the Catskills to his faith as a follower of Jesus and his profession as a lawyer.
In his unique and entertaining style, Ruta describes with tremendous transparency what it was like growing up in a “very Italian” family that moved from Brooklyn to the Catskills to operate a summer resort during the 1970’s. He vulnerably explains the challenge of going from being the popular social director and emcee at the resort nightclub (at the age of 13) to struggling to fit in and be accepted when the resort closed for the season and school began.
Joe talks about how testifying in court when he was very young planted the desire to become a lawyer, and how the miraculous faith healing of a friend’s father began his exploration of faith. Ruta also shares the details of his own faith awakening (followed by a baptism in the resort pool), and how he came to walk away from his faith–only to return with even greater commitment and passion after a sudden revelation while living in Manhattan.
Ruta tells how his return to faith led him to Times Square Church, where he met his wife. It is a marvelous and funny story of how God can use the most unlikely people and circumstances to guide, shape and equip one of His children.
Below are images of a postcard from the Dellwood resort, showing the Marco Polo Lounge where Joe was the 13-year-old emcee.