UpBuilding Men, Women, and Children in Practical Christianity

April 2004 Monthly Letter

Dear Partner In Ministry,

"And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart." Galatians 6:9

Sometimes when I am teaching and observing some of the persons at the various sessions, I "lose heart." Like at a recent session for the Married Couples.

This session always begins in a humorous way. The pastor says, "In his travels, Ron, meets a lot of VIP's! One such VIP is a professor of (whatever nearby college.)

Will you all please stand with me in honoring professor Dr. Willie B. Kidding!" (Pomp and Circumstances blares out over the sound system as Dr. Kidding pomps his way from the back to the front of the fellowship hall.)

Dr. Kidding (me in disguise with a wig, glasses, and graduation cap) speaking in a distinct German accent, reveals several humorous differences between men and women from his book, Men are from Sears and Women are from Saks. The couples go wild with laughter!

Prior to this frivolity, I had noticed a couple enter the room separate from one another. During the meal, they did not speak to one another. During Dr. Kidding's time, they did not even smile at any of the jokes! I began to lose heart.

Both remained uncommunicative during the teaching. They were strained to interact during the time when I ask each couple to share the results of the survey that is used to determine one's preferred way to have love expressed. I felt like I was a dentist, trying to extract teeth!

During a break I went to the pastor and revealed to him that this couple who were seated at the table directly behind him, were a burden on my heart. He discreetly located them and said, "I am so glad to see them here. They are struggling in their marriage." We agreed to pray for them.

As the session ended I gave each couple the opportunity to go to the sanctuary for a time of expressing their love for one another using the teaching of the session as a guide. It is a time of putting into practice what each has just learned-which is the thrust of UpBuilding Ministries.

Both the pastor and I watched this couple trudge slowing into the sanctuary. We nodded to one another as if to say, "Okay, Lord, it's up to You now!"

I went to the balcony and quietly began praying over all of the couples who were huddled together below, each "aglow" by the candle light in the dimly lit sanctuary. When I was done, I came down and joined the pastor in his office directly across from the sanctuary doors.

One by one each couple left the sanctuary-except for this couple. We waited for 45 minutes, eagerly watching the doors. When they opened, this couple emerged with moistened eyes, sniffling noses, and enjoined arms! We pretended not to notice, but exchanged a "thumbs up!"

On Sunday morning the pastor and I observed this couple enter the sanctuary holding hands, smiling, and quietly laughing with one another as they sat closely together. We rejoiced! Since then the pastor has delightfully written to me "the Weekend was a "major break-through for this couple! Often our Lord uses an outside speaker to say things to people who don't hear otherwise!"

Jesus is the Reaper! Thank you for enabling me to be a planter; even when I'm sometimes weary! Keep on doing what the Lord has called you to do, and TRUST Him for the results!


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