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Marriage Conference – August 2013

Posted October 22nd, 2013 in News

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After the first marriage conference last year, we were excited to conduct a second one, and while it turned out completely different from last year and nothing like what we planned, it was still a wonderful, productive 10 days in Los Cedros.

The marriage conference was scheduled for Saturday, and we planned an evening of instruction and activities around The Five Love Languages, a book and curriculum by Gary Chapman that is designed to bring couples closer together by helping them better understand each other’s loving and communication styles.

We met in the open-air rancho at Havila Christian School, and our choice of venue is one of the reasons things got interesting.

After some introductory material and helping the attendees get to know us, we defined and described the five love marriage_conf18languages: quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, giving gifts, and physical touch.

During that session, a huge thunderstorm rolled in.  The sound of the tropical downpour on the metal roof made it difficult to hear our speaker – even with a working PA system – and the wind was blowing rain in the open sides of the ranchon.

We fought through that and split up husbands and wives for them to take a quiz to help them identify their primary love languages – and then the power went out.  We served dinner in the dark to try to buy time for the power to come back, but by the end of dinner it was apparent that wasn’t going to happen any time soon.

So we decided to commarriage_conf20plete the presentation at Iglesia Eben Ezer the next night during its regularly scheduled church service.  We expanded the materials to make it applicable beyond married couples and hoped it would make sense in that context.

The feedback we received afterward suggests that it did, although it was hard to know how many of the 23 couples that attended Saturday night were among those in attendance on Sunday. We will hope and trust that the seeds we planted will bear fruit in the long run.

In the first part of the week we spent a lot of time at the school.  We visited every classroom, introduced ourselves, and gave the children an opportunity to ask us questions.  We went out to dinner with the teachers one night, which allowed us to confirm our impressions that this is a wonderful staff that both loves the children and teaches them well.

We also got to visit with the students we sponsor through Sponsor a Student.  That is always a highlight, one of the most emotional and beautiful things about our trips to Los Cedros.

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In addition, we visited two communities where Iglesia Eben Ezer has planted daughter churches, Monte Fresco and Reyes Norte.  At Reyes Norte we spent the afternoon with the women and children who make up the church there, sharing some teaching and encouragement with them.

marriage_conf15Altogether we had a wonderful time, and it seemed to us that the people of Los Cedros, especially the couples, were encouraged by our visit and were glad to see us.  Already, we cannot wait to return.

 

Todd and Kerri Fredrickson

John and Loretta Trainor

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