Aside from my children’s families, I have a community of families my husband and I treasure – our Family Life team. These people share the same vision, passion, labor hard to bring help and hope to families, and pay the price for the battle for hearts and homes. Each family is facing different challenges in our journey and is at different stages in our family lives. But more than being a team, we have become “family.” We have FUN, laugh a lot, love deeply, support one another through the ups and downs of life, pray for one another, celebrate meaningfully birthdays, anniversaries and milestones, recognize and accept our different strengths and weaknesses, and work as a team in different places in the country. We consider ourselves broken and scarred vessels that continue to find healing from our woundedness and point to the greatness of our God who called us, sustains and empowers us to do what He longs for – families to submit to His lordship and tap on His resources and blessings to live life well.
A young couple with two elementary grade girls they homeschool joined us last year after their masteral studies at the International Graduate School of Leadership (IGSL) where we taught classes. They are pastoral leaders in their denomination, come from Baguio’s tribal group, and are back reaching out to communities and doing parenting classes in a public school.
They work alongside another couple who reaches out, mentors, and serves as foster parents to PMA cadets, city police officers, and conducts seminars in government organizations and schools. My husband mentored them when they were in college and set a protective standard before they got married. Now they lead a team in Baguio and the Ilocos region, have a grown up son and adopted a five-year old girl who is the family’s joy and pride. They are advocates for fostering and adopting children.
Another addition two years ago is a young family with two boys and another child on the way. The dad was our “inaanak” on his dedication as a child, and he and his wife are friends with our son so they are just like our children. They bring the innovations and millenial thinking into the team and help address the needs of young families.
Another family is composed of four active sons from preschool to high school. The dad dates and treats his wife regularly, is a very involved father, and gifted in leadership, administration, lesson design, and finance. He also used to do community work for a non-government organization and pastoral work. The wife is an enthusiastic teacher, goal and results-oriented and initiates relationships that open doors for ministry. They also studied and teach at IGSL among international students and are our main persons for the parenting program in public schools.
Another couple based in Davao City annually facilitates DSWD’s Strengthening Families program, hosts a weekly FamilyLife program at DXFE, facilitates couples’ groups, conducts facilitators’ trainings, and many more. They are senior citizens with ailments but they are untiring in their work among couples and families. They have three children who are all professionals, one of whom had a brain tumor that eventually got healed through medicine and prayers. Assisting them is another couple who is our all-around office worker, handyman, electrician, driver, driving instructor of our children, basketball playmates, homebuilder’s group facilitators, and more. They joined us ever since we pioneered FamilyLife in Davao in 1997. They have five grown children with one grandchild.
One couple who now leads FamilyLife, have faced a never-ending battle of major health problems and major heartaches, yet they have been persevering through it all with hope in God and in His goodness. They have a professional and a son in college who overcame dyslexia. The mother shared their journey with their son in a past article. As they struggle, work through, and sometimes triumph over these difficulties, they have experienced God’s provision, grace, and peace. Their journey makes them want to reach out and minister to those families who are hurting.
Different challenges and stages, but one team committed to strengthen families by facilitating marriage and parenting seminars, classes and couples’ support groups using the HomeBuilders Couples’ series. In helping others, we are enriched as well with one another and with those we minister. It is indeed good to bond with other families to journey and grow with, to mentor and learn from, to spur us on to accomplish more together than being on our own.
How about you? Does your family connect with other families that could help strengthen your family or you theirs?