Contributed by Rev. Mark Lincoln
Crescentia DeGoede, Director of the Blessing & Family Ministry, was invited to the Omaha Family Church in Nebraska to meet the families, give matching and marriage education, and deliver the Sunday sermon.
On Friday, June 8, Crescentia met with 11 young people from the community to share, ask questions, and socialize over sushi. The atmosphere was relaxed and people felt comfortable to share their opinions and to ask questions.
On Saturday, June 9, the community held a Matching & Blessing Preparation Seminar for single young people and their parents. Crescentia presented on the meaning and value of the Marriage Blessing, as well as practical steps for starting the matching process.
Local Pastor, Rev. Mark Lincoln, shared:
Crescentia is a very good public speaker; good eye contact and rapport with the audience; comfortable with the material. Impressive for a young person like herself. She used her experience with her own husband for examples throughout the presentation. So we also got to know her family and we could feel her heart toward her own matching and Blessing. Crescentia conveyed her gratitude for her holy marriage saying, “New frontiers of love present themselves year after year.” She shared that learning to love your spouse is what opens the realm true love for us. She also said, “The purpose of the Blessing is joy. When we suffer in our Blessing, God suffers.
There was also time for questions, one-on-one conversations, and breaks.
On Sunday, June 10, Crescentia gave the sermon and brought the words “true love” to life. She began by saying that what she sees when looking at the congregation are heavenly soldiers; God’s army; the ones who made the foundation for a young person like herself. Early in her message, she made the point that “We are loved, we are precious, and what we do matters.” Her message was strong on encouragement, while at the same time challenging everyone to take an honest look at how we are living our lives. She asked, “What are we doing to show true love today? If we are not loving, then we are not living.” She poured her spirit into the sermon and energized everyone; sometimes with tears; sometimes with a loud voice; and sometimes with her laugh and smile.
After Sunday Service and lunch, Crescentia presented a sampling of The Marriage Course. Six couples participated in the one-on-one exercises after watching the video segments. Her hope was that it would give the community a sense of the value of The Marriage Course and a desire to experience the entire seven-week program as a congregation. Even spending a few hours with the program was an enriching experience for the couples. The participating couples shared things they appreciated about each other and took a closer look at the differences in their personalities as husbands and wives.
Rev. Lincoln shared in conclusion, “It was quite a whirlwind visit with Cresentia leaving Sunday evening. We were inspired to receive so much from one of our young leaders.”