At a time in life when most people are contemplating slowing down and taking it easy, Roland and Cindy Weber are doing anything but. Not yet retired from two successful, busy careers, the Webers are eagerly saying to God “Here I am, Lord. Send me!”
Actively involved in their church throughout their 42 years of marriage, the Webers were first introduced to FamilyLife™ in 2010 when Cindy came across FamilyLife Today® on the radio. The Webers were so impressed by the biblically based marriage and family teaching that they soon became Legacy Partners of the ministry, followed by Group Coordinators for FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember® (WTR) – encouraging more than 200 people to attend. Then they began volunteering at various WTRs across the country and the Love Like You Mean It™ cruise.
Shortly after attending the premiere of Family-Life’s Art of Marriage® (AOM) in July 2010, Cindy awoke one Saturday morning and declared to blurry-eyed Roland, “God wants us to take the Art of Marriage all over the world!”
They immediately pursued hosting an AOM in their local church, but for various reasons they could not get it off the ground. As 2011 turned into 2012, they were becoming discouraged. They didn’t understand what had happened to that mysterious Saturday morning call from God to take AOM around the world. Soon they just put the whole idea on the back burner. Little did they know that God was at work listening and responding to the prayers of a couple more than 1,000 miles away.
Obeying God’s call for believers to spread the gospel throughout the world, the Weber’s church launched a missions endeavor to send at least 1,000 church members outside Northwest Arkansas on a cross-cultural missions experience in 2012. Roland and Cindy decided to join a team going to Tres Reyes, a village of 2,000 people in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico on the Yucatán Peninsula. The team decided that evangelism would be a major focus of their trip as well as providing practical help of laying the foundation of a much needed church building there.
During one of the team’s planning sessions, Cindy suggested they do the Spanish language version of the Art of Marriage as part of the mission trip. The idea of a marriage conference was fully embraced by the leadership in Mexico, and immediately plans were set in motion to hold the event at the Bible Institute of Cancún.
With only six weeks to prepare, the Webers immersed themselves in the AOM training materials. Not only were they leading a marriage conference for the first time but they didn’t know any Spanish! Forging ahead they kept sensing God saying, “Trust Me!” God not only provided all the financial resources needed for the trip but also Ministry Partners to cover the entire cost of the AOM books and DVDs. Originally planning for only five couples, the event quickly blossomed to 100 people. 150 more were turned away due to space limitations.
People flocked to the event, some coming from five hours away. The singles on the mission team provided childcare each night for forty children in a garage area while their parents attended the AOM. Other team members prayed for attendees’ prayer requests throughout the event.
God moved mightily! Twenty-four people gave their lives to Christ during the event. (Another 21 came to Christ in the village during their afternoon door-to-door visits.) One couple from Cancún, married just six years, decided they want to leave a legacy and cancelled plans for divorce. Another couple who traveled five hours to attend asked the Webers to come to their village because the need is so great. Many tears were shed and marriages given new hope in Christ.
The most amazing story of all is the couple who approached the Webers after the conference and through an interpreter told them that in 2010 they came across the Art of Marriage on the internet. This couple was so stirred by the biblical content they began praying that someone would bring it to their area. Suddenly it became clear—this was about the same time the Webers received the strange call from God to take AOM all over the world! They realized God’s timing is perfect in all things.
So what’s next for the Webers? God is opening doors for them to host an AOM in Hawaii and Alaska. They are also considering returning to Mexico to host another AOM. They also hope to soon share the AOM Spanish version in their own community through their Hispanic church.