12 Mar

March 2017

All Souls

2017 got off to a rapid start as we headed into London with the rest of the FamilyLife team to bring our A Day Together event to All Souls Church, a church where John Stott was pastor. This was the 5th year we had been invited. Chris and I were privileged to lead one of the 5 sessions for the 34 couples.

We were encouraged by the feedback that we accomplished our aims of providing a safe environment where couples realise they are not alone (plenty of “Me too!” moments), and a structure that helps them to take small steps toward healing and intimacy.

I am always touched to see how courageous and vulnerable couples have been with one another. It was evident that the partners have:

  • Grown in intimacy and transparency with one another.
  • Learned to listen with their ears and not their elbows: they aren’t nudging their partner to change but seeking to improve their own actions.
  • Considered and taken their action steps seriously so they could reap the benefits of this day for years to come.

Here are just a few comments from this recent event that might inspire you to be courageous and intentional in your relationships:

 “A highlight of the day was talking about things we hadn’t discussed before, but were more important.”

Most important lesson: “Not to be so defensive and it’s not always about me.”

“There was a lot more understanding by the end of the day between us as a couple. Maybe we just needed a forum to get talking.”

Toucan

February 4th was a defining day for Toucan, our new online resource for relationships, as we officially launched it to the world. Our goal is to see 500,000 people come to use Toucan in the next 2 years. Based on statistics from our day events, we anticipate and are praying to see at least 30,000 people’s relationships strengthened out of an “at-risk” status through using Toucan.

We’ve already had interest from Cru/Agapé ministries in Switzerland and Germany to adapt our platform for their countries. Please pray for our team as we seek to further develop and improve this non-threatening and transformational tool.

Move Weekend

Over the weekend of February 3rd – 5th, Agapé celebrated their 50th Anniversary of working to fulfill the Great Commission in the UK. The theme for the weekend was, “Whole Hearted Then – Whole Hearted Now.” As our national director, Lesley Cheesman, said, the weekend was not just about, “celebrating what has gone before, but it [was] also about leaning into the opportunities and challenges to come.”

We were pleasantly surprised to have more than 400 people attend the weekend. Two of those people were our friends, Dave and Lida, from Little Rock. It was a true privilege to share in this celebration with them and work in a little sight-seeing after the event as well. We wholeheartedly enjoyed every minute with them!

Similar to FamilyLife’s Vision and Equipping weekend, Agapé included time to cast a vision for the future and time/opportunities to equip delegates to share life and share Jesus. We were challenged to remain wholehearted in connecting with God, our culture, and the world.

There were 13 workshops covering topics like prayer, ministry to our neighbors, intimacy with God, caring for the marginalized, ministry in the context of relationships (led by Chris and me), and so much more. There were also numerous opportunities for people to go out and do ministry in the towns and villages around the conference center.

A significant highlight of the weekend for our guests and for me (Lisa) was the National Director’s Reception for the Ambassador team who helped start the ministry here in the UK 50 years ago. We had the privilege of hearing numerous stories about God’s faithfulness to each of these people and some of the people they encountered along the way. If you would like to sample some of the stories we heard, you can watch this eight minute video featuring Shirley Hinkson.

Upcoming Events

This year is going to be a busy year! Normally we host around 7-9 events per year, but we already have 10 for the first half of 2017. Please join us in praying for the logistics and fruit for the next five A Day Together events:

— Cambridge
— Romford
— Birmingham
— Gerrards Cross
— Worthing

Prayer

We truly believe in the power of prayer and are honored that you take time to pray for us. Thank you. Please pray…

  • that we are used completely by God to further his Kingdom
  • that people come to know Christ, relationships are strengthened, and a nation is transformed through a movement of individuals whose lives have been changed.
  • for our stamina: our family’s health and the health of our parents
  • for continued financial provision to support our ongoing ministry and living expenses.