by Jayna Richardson

When the Coronavirus hit, FamilyLife Canada was forced to cancel four Weekend Getaways. They grieved over the six hundred couples who would not be able to experience these special events to strengthen their relationships. But God had other plans—and those plans allowed the team to reach more than 3,000 couples instead!

Through new digital tools such as The Help and Hope @ Home online mini-conference, the Great Marriages Don’t Just Happen webinar series, and new podcasts, the FamilyLife team has been able to build into families and, in some cases, restore relationships that were on the brink of destruction.

“The ongoing pandemic has been disorienting and put extra strain on a lot of marriages and families,” said FamilyLife staff Brent Trickett. “But it’s also brought a huge opportunity to bring stability and strength by helping couples right where they’re at—in their homes—with practical tools to process their worries and to love each other well in this season.”

Nicole and Dennis Van Ee of Osler, Saskatchewan, shared, “Listening to the webinars together opened up opportunities to talk through struggles that were simmering under the surface. In one of the webinars the hosts explained how forest fires can smolder underground for months, or almost a year, only to be reignited by a spark. We have felt that happen in our marriage. The hosts had such wisdom in explaining how to scan our lives for hotspots and then to extinguish those through open and honest communication.”

FamilyLife Canada director Neil Josephson said, “These webinars have guided couples into deeper intimacy by providing tools to navigate the stress of these challenging days more united as a team. They’ve become part of at-home date nights and sparked some really good conversations … conversations that continue to bring hope and encouragement to marriages across Canada and even beyond.”

The attendees agree. Feedback has come in from couples across Canada and even from participants outside the country:

“The Saturday webinars have helped put stability into our lives in these changing times. We look forward to sharing a coffee together Saturday mornings on our patio while we get insights and helpful tools for our marriage.”

“Thanks for starting the conversation for us in this area. We talked for over two hours after the webinar was over! We look forward to the next webinar!”

“Thanks for sharing your story of the darkest time of your marriage and God’s redemption. I was so challenged and encouraged from your speaking this morning.”

One couple used the Great Marriages Don’t Just Happen webinar as a special part of celebrating their 24th wedding anniversary at home (complete with chocolate-dipped strawberries!)

The FamilyLife Canada team is encouraged to see what God is doing in these challenging times. They’re continuing to train marriage mentors and launch new digital tools like online workshops, podcasts, and video series—all to continue the good work of strengthening the marriages and families of their churches and communities.

More about FamilyLife Canada’s digital strategies and resources can be found at https://www.familylifecanada.com/live/.

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