...watching God work
It was Sunday afternoon, the getaway had just ended and I was working with our localteam collecting evaluations and starting the long pack-up process that would keep me busyuntil dinnertime. I looked up and Matt asked if I could talk. With apprehension, I said yes!You see, I met Matt and his wife Alysia on Saturday morning. I have the privilege of working at our Weekend to Remember Marriage getaways a few times each year. Lastmonth I was in Bellevue, Washington, assisting with onsite registrations when this young couple had shown up late... like 13 hours after the Friday night opening session. Theirunusually late arrival wasn’t the only irregularity. As they checked-in that morning, I gave them their pre-registration materials, but Matt saidthey were not registered! I was confused. As Alysia silently stood by, Matt explained that asas a result of some “emergency counseling,” she had registered them for the getaway acouple of weeks ago. Then in the past week, Alysia changed her mind and had calledFamilyLife and cancelled their registration. (Their name-tags and workbooks had alreadybeen shipped to Bellevue.)Clearly things were a “little tense” in their relationship. My thoughts: “God, what are youup to here? Can you do ANYTHING to help these two?”Pressing on, Matt said that in spite of their tardiness, they now wanted to attend the rest of the weekend. I said, “Great, I can help you with that!”I silently thanked God that they wanted to stay!I made small talk with them as I completed their registration paperwork. When weﬁnished, I looked at the two of them, congratulated them for making the decision to comeand brieﬂy shared how attending my ﬁrst FamilyLife Marriage weekend 24 years ago hadcompletely changed my relationship with Jeanne, putting our relationship on the right pathfor the ﬁrst time. As I walked them to the ballroom, I asked Matt to ﬁnd me when thegetaway ended to let me know how things had gone. I said a prayer for them as I walkedaway.I did not see them again until they both walked up to me during pack-up. I looked back &forth at their faces for some clue as to how things were. Matt explained that during hisrecent time in military service he had walked away from his faith. As a result of theircounseling sessions, he had recommitted his life and marriage to Christ. Problem was, Alysia could not make the same statement.Then he said the most amazing thing... All that had changed this weekend, because Alysiahad made the personal decision to give Jesus Christ control of her life!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer. 29:11
Jeanne heads out soon on twomission trips: the ﬁrst with amedical team to Honduras andthe second is a teen trip toNew Orleans While the school year has ended,God continues to stretchDempsey in his relationshipwith his mentee, Desmond.Rusty is now a Sophomore! Hepaused for about 48 hours afterﬁnals and is now working atKanakuk (K-Seven) for the next8 weeks.Karis is a SENIOR! (yikes) Shewill spend the entire summerworking at K-Seven as acounselor and ofﬁce staffer. Jeanne & Karis had a great “girlsonly” trip to Colorado Springswhere Karis explored possibleopportunities after graduation.
I turned back to Alysia, who had a smile on her face and tears streaming down her cheeks.I celebrated with them (hugs all around). More than anything else, I could sense they had joy and hope in their lives for the ﬁrst timein a long time! Wisely, they both had good questions about next steps not only in their marriage but in their personal relationship with Jesus. Idirected them to the volunteer team to advise them on local discipleship and growth opportunities. Interestingly, many on this localteam had actually been praying for them
during the weekend AND during the two weeks leading up to the getaway.Thank God there were people in their lives who ﬁrmly believe that effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.