I am still young as a person and very young in marriage. But I understand that although my marriage may not ever be perfect, it can always be growing; without God as the focus, it can’t even begin to grow. Life will probably throw everything it has at us because the enemy finds pleasure in splitting Christians apart. Yet when we look to God, we advance: as people and as a couple. Life has a way of trying to bury God’s movements and drown Him out—find Him in the chaos and bring Him back to the center.Continue Reading...
A husband and wife from our church were brave enough to stand before hundreds of other couples and give an account of their marriage. The husband was humble, addressing his pasts sins he committed against his wife, including pornography and prostitution. His addictions held him captive for many years.
It was a devastating testimony to listen to, although hearing that he overcame his addictions and also hearing his wife’s side of the story, filled the entire room with hope. We saw the Lord’s hand at work in their lives and in the end He was glorified.
What stood out to me the most was something the wife mentioned. When asked, “How did you hang on to your marriage for so long, with the hurt and pain that was accruing?”
She responded, “I had to see my husband as Jesus saw him. My husband, a man full of sin, needed Jesus, and salvation was priority.”
With that kind of a mentality, that wife was able to carry on in her marriage, despite the pain of betrayal, hoping in faith that her husband would one day be saved. Her life and how she responded to her husband was motivated by that hope.
By the end of the story the couple was smiling with peaceful countenances. It was obvious that God had saved her husband and her marriage. That does not mean this wife was did not feel hurt and it does not mean that this couple did not experience difficult days… we all do and we all will. However, it seemed this wife found a key to striving through the hard times and receiving healing… and that is by claiming an attitude of faith and seeing your spouse as Jesus does.
As the plane descended onto the runway the immediate impression from the landscape screamed “AFRICA!” The contrast of green treetops and the red dirt was vibrant against the bright blue sky. A mixture of different feelings flooded my mind; I was excited to finally be in Africa, ready to serve God as He had prepared, but I was also anxious about what we would face while in a third world country. Amidst soaking up all the new scenery and unfamiliar scents, I notice my husband with a peaceful countenance. All of this was familiar to him and I could tell he was excited to be back.
My husband and I had just reached our 5th month wedding anniversary, eager to endure a 4-month stay in Zambia as newlyweds. We had recently joined a mission organization, volunteering our time to spread the gospel to rural areas in Africa. It was 2007 and this would be my first venture beyond the borders of America. I was naive to think that I would be contributing more of myself than what I would be learning and experiencing. It was truly life changing.
My husband and I spent hours with men, women, and children who were submersed in a very different culture than what we were raised in. These rural villages were comprised of mud-hut housing with thatched roofs, a community well, along with a community long-drop (a.k.a the bathroom). These people were living amidst poverty, barely surviving. Their clothes were dingy and many had holes torn in them. Most of the children ran among thistles with bare feet. The only toy I found in one village was a small ball, made up of plastic bags wound tightly. I had never been physically exposed to such raw and harsh human conditions. It broke my heart.
As we served in Zambia, there were many stories that we heard, some good and some that were very disturbing. One day when we went into Livingstone to gather some supplies, a small pink pamphlet caught my eye. It was called The Livingstone Advertiser, a couple page booklet filled with advertisements and a few news stories. There was one particular story that shocked me. The article dedicated two sentences about people dumping fetuses down manholes and then another six sentences to how the water pressure would be repaired. It seemed as though there was more concern placed on whether the sewage would be fixed, rather than the issue of people dumping fetuses. It was stories like this and others about women in fear of getting raped, or disowned by family because of pregnancy (a byproduct of sexual abuse), that really stung my heart.
When poverty strikes, there is a whirlwind of other issues that arise, such as deprived education, a lack of labor or low pay, poor sanitation, hunger, and abuse. A chain reaction of adverse affects within a culture is devastating. Without the aid of others, hope can easily be diminished, darkness can plant seeds of injustice, and the rights of human life can be stripped.
But what if you and I can be that aid?
What if you and I can help others achieve their goals, rise above poverty, and restore dignity?
There is a movement happening through Sevenly this week that is campaigning for us to help! Sevenly has teamed up with an organization called Freely In Hope to bring hope specifically to women in Zambia and Kenya! Freely In Hope recognizes that most women are often at the brunt of these issues, many whom are forced into prostitution to provide for their families. Freely In Hope is dedicated to “providing women opportunities for education, entrepreneurship, and counseling, striving to uplift women out of poverty and decrease the vulnerabilities of sexual abuse.”
The team at Sevenly is raising awareness and funds by offering a limited edition tee designed for Freely In Hope, and $7 of every purchase gets donated to the organization! Your support will enable Freely In Hope to “give protection and education to young women, helping them attain jobs and a better living.” Let us be the help that encourages others to flourish. We have an opportunity to be advocates for others in need by wearing a cause driven shirt or even sending this info to as many friends or family members as you can to grow the awareness of this issue. Please act NOW, the campaign ends 10am Monday, January 2nd!
Let us be world changers!
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We come before you today and lift up wives to you. We pray for any wife that needs to be healed, whether from a physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual pain or problem. We pray for restoration. We ask that you would reach down and touch each wife, giving them peace beyond understanding. Equip us to be able to do the things that are required of us on a daily basis. Free us from the pain that delays our responses and help us to achieve victory! We are trusting in you! We lift these women up in faith, praying for your will, praying for healing and praying that through testimonies you would be glorified in Jesus Name AMEN!
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The good news is that Jesus has called to you too! He has commanded freedom in your life and He has laid His healing hand upon you! When you accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior you are saved through grace and the power of God is made manifest in you! No longer are you held in bondage to hopelessness, despair, pain or defeat; no longer should you look downward with a distorted perspective of life. Christ died for you so that you can be free. Isaiah 53:5 “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”Continue Reading...