Contributed by Justine Cherutich
On Saturday, March 17, forty-three participants joined the Matching Preparation Seminar held at the Dallas Family Church. The presenters, John and Helen Abelseth, were very patient, truly understanding, and very encouraging to the participants. John delivered the content of the workshop wholeheartedly. Participants asked many questions that John and his wife kindly answered, at times referring to their own profound experiences as parents. His sharing helped families and their children have a better grasp of the matching process. He advised parents not to push their children, but wait until their son or daughter is ready to start the process. He also emphasized that everyone’s experience is different and that once the process starts, one should be patient and never give up.
Parents were very grateful to know how many resources are available to them to help their family’s matching process. One sister said, “I was hesitant and did not know what to expect, but I am now very grateful that I came.” In the afternoon, we had three moving and educational testimonies. We listened to one recorded testimony from Leighton DeGoede, Crescentia DeGoede’s husband. The other two testimonies were given by our own Dallas members. One mother gave us an insight of what she and her husband experienced to match their daughter, and later on their son. Another newly matched couple gave us a glimpse into the highs and lows of their matching process in order to be where they are now. They were all moving testimonies. And of course, John’s testimonies throughout the lectures were eye-opening for many of us and truly made a difference. We are very grateful to all of those who volunteered their testimonies.
The next day, March 18, was a Matching Supporter Training. We had 11 brothers and sisters in total participate in the Matching Supporter Training. The content was eye-opening for many of us. Two of the participants had been Matching Supporters in the past, but for most of the participants, the content was new. The amount information was at times overwhelming, but John WAS helpful in answering our questions. Toward the end of the day, John helped each of us to register online as Matching Supporters so that we will be able to access educational resources and candidates’ profiles on different matching websites.
All in all, the workshop went better than anybody expected. Many families gathered and John and Helen were excellent. They were understanding, patient, and encouraging when things were not as smooth as they should have been. It was a learning process for us. Many of the men from the community were still in Las Vegas, so many ladies stepped up to organize the seminar. I would like to especially thank Mrs. Jackson and two young ladies, Marina and Jin Ae, who helped throughout the workshop.
Of course, the heavy lifting starts now—to stay on course and retain the information we have received so that we can help our communities and support one another.