Recently I’ve been able to spend time with several young married couples (20 yrs old) with little children. (All trying to make it in one tiny room in their parents’ home.) None of this was planned but, over and over again, a quick greeting has evolved into longer conversations about work, God, the Bible, parenting, discipline, etc.
Andres & Jenny were married one month ago (after living together 2 years) and baby Andrey was born two weeks ago! They believe in God and are followers of Jesus Christ but have not been part of a church family for a long time. I pray they will see the importance of joining a Bible study.
Cristina & Warner celebrated their second anniversary this month, and petite Eimy will turn 2 years old in December. Cristina served by my side for several years as a volunteer leader for the Saturday girls, and we have a close relationship. She graduated from high school when 9 months pregnant; now both parents are working fulltime and seeking to raise their daughter to walk in God’s paths.
Ana Cecilia gave birth to baby Ivan Daniel in August. She and her partner Ivan have been together almost three years now, and want to be married but are held back by not having the needed legal documents. Ana Cecilia was raped over and over by her stepfather, and her oldest, Tania, was born 6 years ago. At that time unwanted, Tania is now her mother’s beloved girl, proving that God can pick up the broken pieces of ANYONE’S LIFE and breathe life and joy back into them. Ceci is my special “goddaughter,” and I love to watch her grow in her faith.
JeanCarlo and Karen have been married 3 years and have an adorable 2.5 year old daughter Suyen. JeanCa changed jobs to allow him to spend more time with his family; he is the sole bread-winner and Karen is studying for her high school diploma. Karen struggles especially with disciplining her toddler, since she was beaten by both of her parents through most of her life.
I cherish these mentoring moments, and am asking God to prepare me to speak His word whenever and however necessary, to encourage and instruct others in the way of truth. I realize I’m not “already there,” I’m so far from perfect! But it is precisely my own sins–past and present–that allow us to relate to one another, to confess our wrong and to press onward to take hold of the righteousness of Christ. Jesus always meant for faith to be a shared journey, for us to love and motivate one another on to greater things, and to call us to account when our actions dishonor God.