It started at a high school reunion where James, one of our FamilyLife Chinese speakers, reconnected with his friend after 30 years. They found out that they were both Christians, his friend from a Christian heritage and James as an adult. James mentioned to his friend that he and his wife, Joanne, were speakers for FamilyLife in China. James’s friend said, “We need this marriage training too. You need to come to our church.”
James’s friend approached the senior pastor of his church about inviting this Weekend to Remember® marriage conference to their church. The pastor agreed and invited FamilyLife to present the conference, but requested to have only Chinese speakers. This was the perfect timing to try out the first ever “all Chinese speakers” Weekend to Remember. Our Chinese speakers had been preparing and were now ready to present all the talks.
From the time we launched FamilyLife in China with government approval five years ago, our largest FamilyLife Weekend to Remember conference had been 180. We got excited three days before the conference when we were told that 350 couples had signed up! By the time the conference started, 381 couples showed up—a total of 762 in attendance for our first all-Chinese Weekend to Remember.
At each of our FamilyLife conferences, we have one of our Chinese speaker couples lead the couples in the audience to recommit their marriage by reciting the marriage vows. For most couples in China, this is the first time they have heard, let alone recited, the marriage vows. It is always a powerful way to end our conference. Couples look into each other’s eyes, many with tears, and hear their spouse express those words maybe for the first time.
From the evaluations, 62 people indicated beginning a new relationship with Christ. Talking with the staff the next day, they are making plans for the next conference so that they can invite even more. We now look to serve these couples with a follow-up training so that they can be a blessing to others.