Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Greetings from Mbale—
We are safely back in Julie and Derek's sweet home after three of the most meaningful days we've experienced in ministry. God met us extravagantly and we are both exhausted and exhilarated.
We wrapped up the Pastors’ Conference this morning with rich worship, sincere times of prayer, and sharing testimonies of how God had met us in these days. It was deeply moving to hear from the hearts of these dear people how God had touched them.
|Our last meeting was held outdoors at Kingfishers Resort, under the shade of a beautiful tree.|
|Robert, Esther, and Praise|
Many of them wrote us notes to share with those who had made this retreat possible, so I'm going to include some of their thoughts here. Their words will tell it better than mine.
"I've been heartily blessed by the quality of information, the quality of environment you booked us in, the way the program was tailored together—not too hectic, but relaxed, yet also focused; the team spirit in which Paul and Virginia flow as they minister as a couple, complementing each other. All the above and more have spoken a lot about the value you attach to the health of the marriages in the church ministries which in turn feeds into the health of the church and the nation."
|Phillip and Rose|
"You have made a big difference in many couples' lives and in ours particularly. I have experienced healing in our marriage like never before. May God richly and abundantly bless you."
"There is no way my wife and I could have extended to ourselves such a privilege to come away to listen to Paul and Virginia teach on marriage and family. Our lives have been greatly enriched both as a couple and as ministers. Thank you so much for praying and giving so this would be possible."
|Simon Peter and Margaret|
"It has blessed our lives and family to discover God's greatest plan and value for a family. It has inspired me and my family to raise our children in the Word of God."
As we hugged each person good-bye, many said, "There are no words for what this means to us. Thank you."
|Pastor Wilberforce and Sarah|
But perhaps one of the most precious statements made was by a woman who had been married for 15 years. She had been widowed earlier, and came into her current marriage with 3 children. Apparently she and her husband got married and went directly home to the children. She whispered to me, "This was my first honeymoon. Thank you!"
Lots of tears. Lots of love. Lots of special moments. And lots of praise to God! All glory is His. We assured those who felt they were leaving "changed" that it was God who had changed them; not our words or the beautiful setting. And that He was going with them, to give them the power they would need to do the "one thing" we encouraged them to identify as their focus as they returned home.
|Martin and Jassy|
Thank you for standing with us! We have felt very upheld by your prayers. Please pray for protection now for each of these dear couples as they return to the same difficult situations they left on Monday. What isn't the "same" is them. Praise the Lord!!
Tomorrow . . . CURE Hospital. Can't WAIT to see our friends there and to encourage those mamas and their babies.