Marriage Innovators And Nicaragua

When Stan and I started attending Fellowship we had been married twelve years, and like many couples we were just trying to get through the day to day. We both had jobs and we were shuffling kids back and forth. While we were participating in church and trying to make it appear as if we had our “stuff” together, behind closed doors we were a big ‘ole mess.
Our mess didn’t stop God though – He pursued us. He stepped into the mess and began to show us what needed to change. The first thing was our marriage.
This was not an easy process. It was tough, and at times, we felt like giving up. Stan and I still wanted to have control over most areas of our lives, including our marriage, but we knew that if we were going to live the life that God had for us we had to surrender it all to Him.
One Sunday while sitting in our seats waiting for church to start, I saw a sign across the screen that announced a class called Marriage Innovators, and I felt that it was something Stan and I should do. We had been walking through the difficulties of marriage for the past twelve years the best way we knew how. In those years, we did our share of wounding one another with our words and our actions. I knew in my heart that our marriage was the place God wanted to heal and restore first. When I mentioned the class to Stan, he said “No way! I do not want to sit around a table and discuss my marriage with people!” So I began to pray. I knew that if God wanted us in the class that He would change Stan’s heart, and that is exactly what He did.
Several weeks later, we were sitting in the class learning about how the love of Christ can be displayed through marriage. It was incredible. Things began to change in our marriage. We started talking to each other differently and caring for one another like never before. Every session was saturated with scripture on Christ’s love for us and how we were to love one another. This class affected us so much that our friends, family, and even our neighbors began to ask us about the changes they were seeing in us.
We started sharing our story with anyone who would listen. God brought about such a change that we couldn’t keep it to ourselves. Even Stan, who had been resistant about sharing our marital struggles in the past, became our biggest spokesperson. Our marriage became a way for us to share the gospel with others, and it was through this that we decided to bring Marriage Innovators to Nicaragua.
Last year while we down here, we shared our story with one of our translators. She began to tell us how great the need was for a class like that – how marriages here are often so broken because of generational and cultural patterns that continue to cycle, and how they continue to fall apart because of addiction and adultery. Stan and I were so heart broken by the conversation and we began to pray about how we could bring the class to them. We came back to Knoxville and shared our hearts with our marriage pastor, Clark Stevens, and he began to help us prepare the material.
Now here we are – teaching a marriage class in Jinotepe, Nicaragua! We have been teaching Marriage Innovators every Saturday night for the past six weeks. I am completely amazed and humbled at the work that God is doing in the class. The first night we started with just twelve couples in the pouring down rain, and we were thrilled. By the next Saturday, we had twenty-five couples, and it keeps growing. Our last class we had thirty couples and they rededicated their marriages to the Lord!
You see, it is God – and only God – who can take something that was so broken and messed up and use it completely for His Glory. This is absolutely NOTHING that Stan and I have done. As a matter of fact, it is probably the exact opposite of what we would have done. We were not at all trained or equipped vocationally for something like this, but that didn’t seem to matter to God. He gave us the heart and desire to serve the people here in this community, and I am so glad He did. I cannot tell you what a joy it has been to serve and walk alongside Pastor Moises Moraga and the couples that have been attending this class. They will always have a special place in our hearts and we are looking forward to working with them even more in the future.
Don’t ever be afraid to share your story – you never know what God may do with it.
To God Be The Glory!

2 comments

  1. I’m crying. Like, weeping. Thanks. All I wanted to do was find out how to spell that dang city name.

    Like

    1. Oh my goodness. Thank you!! Yes please make me that sign. Just let me know when it’s ready.

      Like

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