Will and Suzy Brown, who have served families overseas for many years, are well aware of how the stress of living and serving cross-culturally can take a toll on family relationships. So when they were invited to lead the marriage and parenting portion of a debriefing seminar for Asian workers, they responded with enthusiasm, as these are issues close to their hearts.

“We have a passion to see marriages thrive everywhere, but specifically we desire to see marriages on the field be a source of enjoyment and refreshment to a couple, not an added stress,” said the Browns.

The Browns packed their bags and headed to a country in South Asia, where they immediately began meeting with couples and hearing their stories. Marriage and family issues are a common reason that couples in ministry end up leaving the field, and the Browns knew that if they could strengthen and encourage these couples in their own families, many more individuals and families can be reached with the Good News.  

“It breaks our heart to see couples [who once were] filled with passion and a burden to share truth and hope lose their focus after experiencing the stress of maintaining a close relationship with their spouse. We believe it is partly due to the fact that there isn’t much encouragement for their marriage. There are seminary classes and trainings on church planting and even spiritual direction. But rarely do these couples have an opportunity or encouragement from their agencies to take time to nurture their marriage and family.”

One of the participants at the seminar explained it this way: “We get training in the Bible and sometimes we even get to talk to a counselor, but with Will and Suzy we get to talk to someone who not only understands Christian marriage, but also knows what it’s like to keep your marriage strong on the field.”

Toward that end, Will and Suzy have offered to walk alongside these workers in a year-long mentorship program created by FamilyLife Canada called The Marriage Mentoring Initiative. They’ll meet with couples over Zoom monthly and offer practical, biblical advice for keeping their marriages strong in the midst of ministry demands.

“We have heard from many couples that this time has proven to be an invaluable investment in their marriage,” said Will and Suzy. “We pray that a vibrant and growing marriage will lead to greater fruits and satisfaction in their work for the Lord.”