March 4, 2002
Our hearts were thrilled as we recently witnessed Tony and Rosalyu renew their marriage vows before their church. Though married twelve years, they had struggled to defeat the isolation that had developed between them. Within the first year of marriage they began pursuing their careers as medical doctors in different cities. Interference from their in-laws further compounded their strained relationship. Yet both were highly regarded as leaders in the church, even considered a model couple.
“By this time our communication was at a zero level, and we often considered divorce as a way out. We attended two different marriage seminars that resulted in no improvement in our relationship. The children were the main reason we stayed together. Our Christian walk was greatly hindered by the conflict between us.
“When Tom invited us to join their Home Builder’s group, we were not sure if there would be any use in participating in another fruitless Bible study. During the assigned project after the first session, Rosalyn and I could not agree on a single point. There was a silent battle going on between us, which we did not want any other couple to see.
“Our breakthrough came in the third session, when we started to honestly look within rather than at each other. We gradually learned to focus on the better side of one another. As we considered the world’s 50-50 plan for marriage [expecting our mate to meet us half way] in contrast to the biblical 100-100 model [unconditional acceptance and love], we began to feel we had both failed. We had thrown away a valuable period of our lives and failed in mirroring God’s image to our children.
“We thank the Lord for giving us a second chance and feel very privileged to share our experience with other couples. We have invited several couples to join us in our home to go through the Staying Close book by Dennis Rainey.”
As you can see, Nigerian couples are excited about the transforming effect biblical principles have in their marriages. Tony and Rosalyn were in our Home Builder’s group last year, and two other couples from past studies have also begun leading groups this year! We have also begun leading a new group this month with 6 couples.
Yours for a multiplying ministry,
Tom & Rosie
P.S. We are grateful to God for your gifts that enabled us to attend an excellent and motivational staff conference in Ghana and to add steel doors to our home for increased security. We’re overwhelmed by your generosity!