Dear Friends & Family,
We hope that your summer is going well, and that you had a great 4th of July celebrating the birth of our nation.
We had hoped to report that our team would be serving couples in Budapest next year; however, that date has been postponed. So in the meantime, we are praying to see what God has in mind for our team in 2020.
I am happy to report that the bride of my youth has had a breakthrough from the depression over the last month. It has been a 3-year battle for her, but God always wins in the end. At some point we should probably write about the journey.
As you read the testimonies, would you think about how Haven of Hope impacts the couples abroad and at home. What is that worth? Is that something you would like to be a part of? Please pray and ask the Lord. If you have feedback or suggestions, please feel free to email or private message us.
Thanks to all of you that have prayed, given financially, and served on our team.
We send our love and prayers,
Mark & Pat
Testimonies from Turkey!
(This testimony is from a couple who attended the marriage intensives we did this spring in Turkey. They continue to be mentored by a mentoring couple in Turkey as well as Mark. It is so awesome to see the Lord blessing teachable couples. )
First off, we've never personally met, but since we've started our work here two years ago, your names were dropped here and there. Of course, the _____'s, with whom you did the marriage intensive years ago, were the first to recommend this course to us, for obvious reasons. They both emphasized how greatly they profited from it, with him even going so far as saying "This might have been the one thing that made us last so long in Turkey." Quite a statement! After sending in all the necessary documents while sitting with _______ in our living room mentioning the marriage intensive, he told us your story which is pretty amazing.
But the reason I'm writing is that the marriage intensive has really exceeded all our expectations by far. My wife and I have read lots of good marriage books with the goal to really change things up. But somehow it never hit the ground. The material you teach is truly a blessing and it was even during the initial sessions after we got the folder and the material you bring is truly a blessing and it was even during the initial sessions after we got the folder and the facilitators started, it dawned on me why: There's a significant paradigm change in the material, presuppositions that are simply acted upon, like accept the needs of your marriage partner as God-given, don't criticize or minimize them, take them seriously. Even the way the exercises were facilitated and led left little room for "straying" or the typical "crazy cycle" that my wife and I often find ourselves in to the point of resigning to even discuss concerns since the other would deny even the grounds of concern.
We're probably not the first ones to write you regarding this. But nonetheless we wanted to deeply thank you for taking all the years and blood, sweat and tears into crafting these. It's really an outstanding course and the material has the potential of really changing the trajectory of a marriage, no matter how dysfunctional it is. Of course, this doesn't mean that all marriage problems are solved overnight. Habits are stubborn and only change over time with big doses of grace and discipline. But the paradigm change is what we truly are thankful for! Keep up the good work!
(This testimony is from a couple who have lived and raised their children in Turkey for over 20 years. They are considered elders to the many Global Workers that look to them for direction and guidance, such as the previous testimony. They have become dear friends over the years, and we are awed by what God has done in their marriage and their willingness to change. )
From my years in missions leadership I know the sad reality that some, maybe even many, couples in Christian service on the mission field (whether foreign or local) have had major marriage difficulties that have seriously weakened their ministry effectiveness, and some even have left vocational ministry because of it. Thankfully, seven years ago my wife and I were able to attend a Marriage Intensive with Mark and Pat that was a great help to our marriage, and helped to keep us going on the mission field for many years thereafter (it was the government that has recently kicked us out of the country, not marriage problems :-). For quite a few years thereafter Mark and Pat graciously met with us via Skype, which really helped to make habitual what we had learned in the Intensive. If we had had to pay for this ourselves, we probably wouldn't have done it, yet I'm so glad there were people supporting Mark & Pat so they could help us and so many others! Thank you!
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Mark & Pat Juarez