In 2012, Nathan and Sarai de la Espada first attended a Spanish Art of Marriage (AOM) event in Panama City, Panama, at the home of Hugo and Kenia Guerrero, FamilyLife leaders in Panama. Their marriage and their lives have not been the same since.
After the event, Nathan and Sarai wanted to impact marriages and encourage couples who were struggling, but what they didn’t know was how that ministry desire would actually unfold. A lady who had heard about their desire to help marriages sent a couple to see them; this couple was in serious marital difficulty. After Nathan and Sarai spent an evening listening to their story and their problems, they invited the couple to join them in their home for the next six weeks to go through the Art of Marriage. Not only did the couple show up faithfully every week, they also accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, and they experienced the miracle of a healed relationship.
The pattern began and kept repeating. The same lady continued to refer couples to go and meet Nathan and Sarai. At the end of the meeting, Nathan and Sarai would invite the couple to return and participate in the Art of Marriage over the next six weeks. These couples experienced a total turn-around in their relationship with each other, and many invited Christ into their hearts.
As this pattern continued over the next four years, at some points Nathan and Sarai were hosting AOM sessions two or three nights each week. The sessions were almost always with just one non-believing couple per night—and the couples usually accepted Christ by the end of their six-week commitment.
Eventually other friends began to refer couples to Nathan and Sarai, and their reach continued to grow. Although they have not really kept track of how many couples they have impacted with this one-couple to one-couple AOM outreach, they estimate between 75 and 125 couples.
Now Nathan and Sarai have been looking to launch another outreach with the help of the mayor of Panama City. Many marriages in Panama are set up as something like common law arrangements. In this case, the couples simply show up at the courthouse and they are all pronounced husband and wife in a mass ceremony. Nathan and Sarai are hoping connect with all of these couples and invite them to participate in an AOM event.
Nathan and Sarai de la Espada, graduating from Hispanic FamilyLife Level I and II