One man stood up in front of everyone else, his wife by his side, and shared how he never spoke a word of encouragement to his wife before and wanted to change that.
The first session of Marriage Revolution got underway last night at New Life Fellowship church in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, with eager couples waiting to hear Hans share truth about how God intended marriage to be. Understanding a little about this culture will put the impact of the first session in it's proper place. Here, holding hands in public, and in the home, is frowned upon. There is no such thing as showing affection for one another. Communication is just as foreign as a white man walking down the street. Divorce is not common, but living in an unhealthy, miserable marriage is the way it's done.
In listening to the feedback after Hans Molegraaf wrapped up the first session, I was left in tears hearing how God had already moved powerfully through the group in attendance. One man stood up in front of everyone else, his wife by his side, and shared how he never spoke a word of encouragement to his wife before and wanted to change that. Another man stood up and said he only shares the negative issues with his wife, but never encourages her, and said he feels guilty for not speaking into her. One woman explained that she never seeks counsel with her husband and wants to help him be a better leader which will mean she needs to seek advice from him and listen to his ideas. Couples were asked to face each other and share stories and put into practice what was being taught. It was then you saw tears, husbands rubbing their wife's back, arms around each other and a yearning, a longing, in couples eyes for wanting more; better than what was present before.
God is moving mightily in His people here. Continue to pray that the excitement of what is being taught will not be stuffed or the fire be put out when faced with a society unfamiliar to God's intentions between man and wife. Pray that the Biblical roles of husband and wife will take root into the fabric of Christian marriages and become an example to the families around them.
Thank you for your prayers!
It was last spring that Tim heard God tell him to lead a marriage conference here in Cambodia. Here we are months later in Phnon Pehn preparing for just that. We invited someone much better than ourselves to lead the conference too. We are excited for Hans Molegraaf to be arriving tomorrow night to share his heart and explain God's intentions for marriage with the people here in the city.
We have already been out exploring, visiting the church and taking in the atmosphere around us. I'm astonished with one simple truth: The people of Cambodia are content. They don't appear to be a people group full of dissatisfaction or resentment. They are respectful, kind, full of warmth and many smiles. They don't know any different which probably is why there is full contentment among the families.
I see the biggest hurdle of the marriage conference being one that is cultural and historic. The couples here struggle to communicate. There is no prying deeper into conversations or asking questions that could lead to a richer relationship. Please pray as we expose this potential hurdle this weekend. Pray that God will speak loudly to many of the pastors attending so they can in return, go back to their own villages and enhance many more marriages. Pray that God will be present and speak the words needed through Hans as he shares and also when Tim and I are asked to speak.
This is hijacking me out of my comfort zone, but I'm grateful my husband can be beside me as much around us seems out of control. I'll be honest and say that walking to dinner last night my stomach was in my throat from the smells we were walking past. But much like anything, if you can get past the surface you see absolute beauty. You see hearts ripe and a people group in need of Jesus.
You can follow www.thebroersmafive.blogspot.com to receive more updates in regards to this trip as seen through my eyes.
About the Author
Stephanie is a stay-at-home mommy to four little blessings. Married for 16 years, Tim and Stephanie find new ways to enjoy intimate time together while raising the young family.