International Ministries

A Testimony to God´s Transforming Power

March 26, 2015 Journal
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I was blessed to have a mission tour group in March to specifically see the ministries that I collaborate in.  The day dedicated to Pastoral Care for Women was intense.  The director of the Costa Rican program gave a presentation on the realities of life in Central America and how they specifically affect women.  This was the backdrop for explaining why we do what we do in our ministry. 

In fact, one of the factors was natural disasters which interrupt “normal” life and create hardships.  Just a few hours later, the Turrialba volcano blew off lots of ash, some of which landed 50 miles away in San José.  It was on all the parked cars and made the tiled floors slippery.  But it also closed the international airport for about 20 hours as they cleared off planes and runways!   Talk about a confirmation of facts with special timing.   

The most powerful part of the day was hearing testimonies of women who had been impacted by Pastoral Care for Women.  The reason we minister is to show how our loving and just God is the only one who can transform lives on many different levels, including those affected by abuse. 

Marilyn, the child of an alcoholic father and a mother who had to work to support the family, shared how a cousin abused her as a child.  She never told her mother because she didn´t want to burden her with more problems.  Since it was oral sexual abuse, she could not stand it years later when her young son, who looked like her abuser, would take her face in his hands in a loving gesture.  She cried as she explained how she had hit her son and thrown him away from her.  She also prayed that night, asking God to help her never hit her son again. 

But Marilyn felt she needed help, and soon a slip of paper appeared under her apartment door promoting classes by Pastoral Care for Women.  She took all the classes over several years, which helped her to work through a healing process.  She was even able to face her abuser years later when her mother innocently brought him to her home to do a repair job, managing to offer him some coffee while he could not even look at her.  Most important to her was being able to sit with her son after he was older, to explain what had happened to her and ask for forgiveness for abusing him in return.  They have a very close relationship to this day.    

Marilyn serves a member of our support team, teaching classes in Pastoral Care for Women, reaching out to other women who have passed through similar situations.  But God has also worked in another way in Marilyn´s life – with music.  During her years of abuse, she always found solace in music.  Today, as a woman loved, healed and transformed by God, Marilyn now uses her voice in a nationally recognized Christian singing group.  She counts it a joy to share God´s love and salvation with an even wider group of people. 

Praise God for his grace and salvation.  Thank you for your partnership as Pastoral Care for Women shares this reality in Costa Rica.