International Ministries

Stretching Forward leads to Small and Big Changes

October 27, 2015 Journal
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          The other day I came to a realization while sharing with someone about one of my students.  Small “stretches forward” can snowball into bigger growth.   My student, “Silvia” (after 30+ years of marriage) recently realized through our course that she doesn’t have to ask her husband’s permission to visit her mother anymore, that she can decide for herself and then let him know that she is going.  It’s a small stretch forward from her upbringing. 

A few weeks ago her husband dropped her off for class, but she didn’t know that we’d changed the date so that everyone could attend, so no one was there.  Instead of calling her husband to pick her up, she decided to walk home.  Silvia wanted the exercise and she also wanted to use the time to think some things through – alone with God.  She thoroughly enjoyed it!  This seems like such a small “stretching forward” for this woman, yet it’s not.  God takes our small steps and helps us grow.  I think that she is going to be making lots of positive changes in the near future.

Of course, we see big changes, too.  The women we work with in Pastoral Care for Women face all kinds of situations – abandoned by husbands, murder of an adult son, domestic violence, strained family relations and so much more. 

“Darla” rushed into class late, despite having a high blood pressure episode earlier in the morning, so she wouldn’t miss our study.  She is dealing with an abusive spouse who has backed off because thier 18-year-old son threatened his father if he touched her again.  Darla began attending a Bible study about a year ago and then found out about our courses.  She has placed her marriage in God’s hands and is concentrating on being the person God would have her be.  A number of times she has stayed after class to speak with us.  She is grateful for the very practical topics we talk about, such as healthy communication, because they help her as she tries to work out her marriage relationship.  She feels that she has grown stronger as a person and is better able to face her life challenges with God's help. 

It doesn’t matter whether it is fast or slow, but stretching forward toward God’s life-giving salvation is growth in these women’s lives.  Thank you for your support of this ministry – through World Mission Offering, regular support and prayer – as we encourage women of all walks of life in Costa Rica to seek wholeness in Christ.