Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Couples Ministry - A need that hasn't gone away

I posted this story several years ago.
I'm reposting because the need hasn't gone away, and we've recently talked to several people interested in this.
One of the needs here is a ministry here to couples. (So anyone who is looking for a ministry to couples...here's a call....)
This past weekend shows the urgency of the need.
On Friday night Sister Tila from the church came to visit us. She is a lovely older lady who has a ministry of visiting the sick and praying for them. She is illiterate and takes a box of Bible promises to share. The person draws a promise from the box and reads it aloud. This is how she shares Scripture with them. She came to visit us to ask us to set up a time of counseling with a troubled couple.
She also shared some of her testimony. She and her husband had a bad, but typical marriage for this culture. They were in a remote village working their fields and tending their cattle, and she decided that she could not stand the physical abuse any longer. (Domestic violence is so common in the mountains that in Lima if you hit a coke machine or something out of frustration it is called "mountain love.") While she was looking for an opportunity to run away with their daughter, an evangelical christian came to the village. One day she was with her husband and they saw the evangelical christian family together. They were seated on a bench. The woman was asleep, holding the baby and leaning on her husband. It was a sweet family picture.
Tila said to her husband, "Look at this, everyone in this family trusts each other. The woman is leaning on her husband because she trusts him to care for her. I wish you were like this evangelical. Instead you beat me so much that I am ready to leave you! Why can´t we be like this family?"
Sometime later she had her opportunity. She put on all the clothes that she could, took the daughter, and started to make her escape. She came down a narrow path and there was her husband. There was no way around him without falling off the mountain.
"Where are you going?" he shouted, while still at a distance.
"I am leaving you. I am going to work like a man and care for my daughter. I don't want to be beaten anymore. "
"Don't leave me!" He took up two sticks from the ground and made a cross. "I swear to you by this cross that I will be an evangelical from now on!" So she accepted his promise and they looked for an evangelical church to find out how.
The next day we already had an appointment to do premarital counseling with a couple. (At the moment we are the only ones doing this. (We will be conducting a workshop for pastors sometime on this subject.) In the morning the girl called to ask if we could make time for a troubled couple right after their appointment.
It turned out to be the same couple that Sister Tila was asking about. They are not believers, and although they have been married three years, they work in different towns and are only together on the weekends. (A common situation for teachers here, as the department of education assigns them to whatever district out in the country and they consider themselves fortunate just to have a job.) It is a situation that begs for trouble and the woman was desperate for help. She is sure that her spouse is unfaithful .
We are doing all we can, but we have only a little time that we can dedicate to this ministry. Please join us in praying that God will raise up couples for this much-needed ministry, Americans and/or Peruvians.