Cultivating faith in our families

Last Sunday we celebrated 4 years of marriage workshops at Rios de Agua Viva, one of the Covenant churches in Oaxaca.


Nils and I have been a part of this ministry from the beginning, and it is a joy to see and hear how God is at work in the different families who have been participating over the years.  The theme for this last workshop was cultivating lasting faith in our families.  I facilitated a time of Bible and personal reflection on how we are doing and then shared different ideas from the book Sticky Faith by Kara Powell.

One highlight was hearing each group’s reflections from their study of Deuteronomy 6:4-9:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

We looked at the importance of sharing our faith every day, in stopping along the way to notice the small gifts from God.  We talked about how love should be at the center of all of our relationships.  We recognized that the Word must be on our hearts first as parents in order to share it with our children.  We looked at the importance of symbolism in teaching faith to our kids.

In each group there were older couples with adult children as well as younger couples with little kids or no kids yet.  It was beautiful to witness the sharing of wisdom between generations, and especially to hear the older couples share openly about their mistakes and encouraging the younger families to make faith and time together a priority.

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A second highlight was when I had the opportunity to share about the importance of family traditions and how celebrating Advent in our family has helped cultivate a sense of wonder, joy and love.  Advent is always a special time for us to do devotions and pray together while we light the Advent candles.  Each Advent I seek to find new ways to draw my kids into the mystery of the season.  This year each one of us is filling out a coloring/doodling prayer as our Advent calendar.


When we arrived in Oaxaca, we discovered that Covenant churches here did not celebrate Advent or follow the church calendar so whenever I have the opportunity to teach about it and celebrate it with them, I go for it!  Here is a previous blog post sharing more about celebrating Advent in Oaxaca.

We are grateful for these opportunities to reflect with other families on how we can deepen our faith in and love for our Father who because of His love for the whole world sent his Son to us.

May you, your families, and church families experience the wonder, joy and awe of this season of Advent.

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