I really want to get this blog out to you because I have so many things to share with you! God is at work and I am full of joy to be a part of it. He is the one who produces fruit, brings truth, and changes lives. We delight watching Him do His best work. So after the marriage conference blog I will get out the youth blog including their conference and then a FIC blog. Can't wait to share!
|Josh did an amazing job using his gift of teaching and making God's truth to be very easy to understand.|
He applies every truth he teaches.
|26 couples came from four different districts and 10 different churches. They packed - really packed - 18 people in each van to come to Mbale. For some of them it is four hour journey from their village. For many of them it was their first time to Mbale and for many of them it was their first time to stay in a hotel. I am not sure some of you can comprehend what this meant to people who seldom get a break and never have a vacation. We had to explain how everything worked in the room. It is different than a latrine. One man said he thought he wasn't important, just a village man, but staying in a hotel on the upper floor he felt like he was now an important person. A women who stayed on the third floor had never been upstairs in a building and she thought that people looked like cartoons below. Another women was she felt like the boss not having to cook. For many it was the first hot shower in their life. We were so thankful they felt blessed and special!|
|A big part of the teaching was confessing, repentance and forgiveness. Couples submitted to God.|
|We played a game and laughed a lot.|
|The kids also helped with one of the babies - their friend Aaron.|
|One of the afternoons every couple had to have a date together in town. Josh and I had our date with the kids. Lydia and Grace thought this bay window in the smoothie shop was awesome.|
|Part of purpose of the date in town was to learn to move together. To learn to walk together, be seen together, and share with one another. And many have not been in such a big city so it was exciting for them to see it. They loved their time.|
|Meal time. Everyone of us enjoyed the fellowship and time together. I love these people!|
It does again make me LONG to know Ateso. I hate that I am limited to share openly with those who know English.
|Signing the vows certificate.|
|Some of these married couples have never committed themselves to each other or said they love one another.|
|It was beautiful to see them celebrate, hug, cheer...I even saw a kiss on the cheek which is unheard of here (not even talked about). It was funny with one of the older couples, the wife told the husband "no, not here" when he tried to kiss her.|
|All ages vowed to one another.|
|After 26 marriage vows, Josh asked the people to be patient a few more minutes so he could renew his vows to me too. Yeah!|
-Satan tried to keep us from coming. I said it was pointless for our marriage. I wondered if this was how God wanted our marriage to end up. It wasn't godly, there was no peace. I put myself in the center and tried to fix it. But because of this conference our marriage has been renewed/cleaned. There is a deep healing.
-The best thing that has ever happened to us since coming to Christ!
-The Holy Spirit is at work through this teaching.
-We had a heavy burden. We opened to each other, forgave and things are new. I love her!
-We looked into our hearts. We have now restarted our marriage.
-I have had a great change. I have been at the lowest level but this has brought improvement.
-Simple things multiply and become big. Walking together has brought a change. We can share. We are together now, not distant.
-The Doctor is still treating me, let me continue to receive.
-This teaching made us go to Jesus. When struggle is there we didn't deal with it and it can destroy. I have learned how my wife wants to be loved, so now I can love her well. Our marriage will be new.
-This teaching is very good. Usually I don't put things right but I learned when things happen I need to address it. I feel joy. I am not in control. I am to serve Christ.
-I use to be disappointed in my husband. I was troubled. I wan't open. Now I will do it the right way.
Since the conference we continue to hear people testify of God's work in their marriage.
-I use to be in pain physically. Since I forgave, my pain is gone.
-My husband wasn't ready to go to the conference but I kept quiet and began to make charcoal to get money to go. He saw and I told him that I wanted to go and hear the Word of God. I trusted God. When we went I received good news in the teachings and it made my heart relax. I see a difference in our marriage.
-I thought our marriage was an accident. I believed I could get out and leave, but Josh taught us marriage is a covenant. I thank God for our time in Mbale. I thought they were teaching only to me. I became joyful. I used to want to die because of marriage but I thank God for this teaching.
-We are now together.
We were so delighted when two leaders at the youth conference talked about a burden on their hearts for youth to be wed and not sneak around God's plan. They challenged the youth to be wed and one even promised a goat to each couple who would do marriage God's way. (That is a big gift and shows he is passionate about this.) The one leader said there has been no church wedding since 2002 and it is a painful thing. We were so excited to see these leaders changed by God's plan for marriage and now having a burden for the youth - their children - to do it right. The conference was on Heb. 11"By Faith", so we challenged the youth who wanted to "by faith" trust God to wed. Many raised their hands with cheering. We prayed for them and can't wait to see God honoring marriages here!