by Jayna Richardson
A male executive attended a Weekend to Remember® on Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe. During the weekend, the woman he had come with approached one of the speakers and told her that the material was wonderful and very practical. But she had a confession—the man she’d come to the event with was not her husband.
The executive did have a wife (as well as three adult children), but they were separated. As God worked in his heart and in his girlfriend’s heart over the weekend, the man made the decision to return to his wife and seek reconciliation. At a follow-up dinner the FamilyLife team organized a month later, he showed up with his wife and announced that they were back together, to the great joy of their children and friends.
The FamilyLife team in Zimbabwe has witnessed God work in many incredible ways to restore marriages and draw couples closer to Him as they’ve organized events over the past twenty-plus years. They’ve seen that ministering to the needs of marriages and families can be a powerful and effective way to open hearts to the gospel.
FamilyLife US representatives Chuck and Kathy Eckerson and Greg and Janet Westbrook visited Zimbabwe in May to provide training and encouragement for a small group of couples who have faithfully served the Lord through FamilyLife on their own for so many years. Because FamilyLife’s strategy and resources have evolved over time, the Zimbabweans were eager for fresh training.
The Eckersons challenged the FamilyLife team to organize an Art of Marriage® event (which they did two weeks after the training) and begin small groups to develop more ongoing ministry. The twelve couples who attended the training were highly enthusiastic. Eight couples committed to starting a small group. During a planning session, each couple publicly shared their level of commitment, what HomeBuilders® study they would use, what day of the week they would meet, how often they would meet, and the date they planned to start. They also took turns practicing leading a small group.
At the end of the training, the couples stood and shared what impact the training had had on them. One attendee said, “It was of great impact to me, and I learned much so that I can impact others. It was such a win-win for the Kingdom of God. Earlier in the training, someone said that you cannot pour from an empty cup. So I know that my cup has been filled now, and I’m going to pour out from a full cup. I’m on fire! I just want you to know!”
Equipped with fresh tools and resources, FamilyLife Zimbabwe is well-positioned to broaden their reach, share the gospel through the context of marriage and family, and see God work mightily in their country.