The powerful results of the Bogotá FamilyLife Congress
“When I arrived, my cup was empty. I had no purpose. But with each session and workshop, God filled my cup to overflowing. I leave here with a renewed purpose. Families all around us are pleading for help. Let us not fail them. I leave here ready to fill the cups of others.”
This is a quote from a Venezuelan attendee at the FamilyLife Congress in Bogotá, Colombia, this past fall. Three hundred and twenty ministry leaders and volunteers from fifteen countries gathered for three days of training and fellowship. God used this event in a powerful way to energize, connect, and equip FamilyLife teams like never before.
As you’d expect at a large conference for missionaries and ministry leaders, the attendees were yearning for new ministry skills, best practices, and training. The 26 workshops included pertinent topics such as Discipling Key Couples and Launching City Movements. The sessions were designed to help these couples not only take steps forward in their own marriages and in their relationship with God, but also receive inspiration and practical advice for growing their ministries and helping others experience God’s grace in their marriages and families.
This event came at a much-needed time. About 25% of the couples had been so discouraged and beaten down by COVID deaths and lockdowns that they planned to withdraw from the ministry. But God stirred their souls and resurrected their passion for blessing marriages and families, so much so that they are returning to their countries to launch back into action!
Following the event, God is already bringing new ministry opportunities to these couples. Three blended families in Colombia, Panama, and Ecuador formed the FamilyLife Blended Latin America team to reach stepfamilies. Their first project is to develop a micro-learning course around the 32 FamilyLife Blended video vignettes from The Art of Parenting®. The Love Like You Mean It® video course also launched in several Latin American countries. And FamilyLife LAC (Latin America and Caribbean) has licensed several core FamilyLife resources and is establishing regional printing and distribution centers throughout the continent.
The Bogotá conference also provided fresh enthusiasm and encouragement for FamilyLife leaders who are overseeing new initiatives. In Argentina, Sebastián and Úrsula Díaz were invited to speak at a large provincial governor’s event in La Rioja. The organizers gave them the green light to present the ministry of FamilyLife and printed 3,000 FamilyLife fliers for the attendees. The Congressional Chamber decreed that hearing from FamilyLife at this event was a cultural imperative. Sebastián addressed the governor and vice-governess and prayed for them. And in Spain, the FamilyLife team is celebrating their first printing of FamilyLife’s The Art of Parenting®.
Perhaps the most significant results are in the hearts of those who attended the FamilyLife Congress in Bogotá, as shown by their responses:
“God melted my frozen heart. He solidified our marriage and resurrected our passion for the ministry.”
“We are going to reactivate and strengthen our ministry and amplify our mission field to include other churches in our area.”
“We were deeply challenged as a couple to continue building our unity, trusting God for all that He commands as we live for His glory. These are among the best tools we have ever seen for the church. The greatest effort we can contribute to the expansion of the gospel is to strengthen families.”
What’s happening in the Latin America/Caribbean region is something FamilyLife is working and praying to see happen in every area of the world: local movements of passionate couples who are obeying God’s calling to bring hope and help to all families.