Friday, September 9, 2011

God's good gift of sex

In the rural areas of Zimbabwe there are many myths that surround the topic of sex. Mr and Mrs Nyams taught very well on God’s view of sex and how our culture and wrong beliefs have distorted this wonderful gift from God. One lady from the areas we taught was really thankful for the teaching and this is what she had to say:

“My husband and I are HIV positive and our sexual relationship was far from being enjoyable and our relationship was suffering because of that. Both my husband and I attended the teachings that Mr Nyams did and I would say we learnt a lot. It was helpful as well for my husband to hear from another man the expectations of woman when it comes to sex. He is now patient with me as a woman and listening to my needs and desires. Our sex life has been ignited and so has our relationship. We now know that even if we are HIV positive, we can still enjoy this wonderful gift from the Lord. Thank you so much for your teachings, something I would not have been able to talk to my husband about. You gave us room to start talking openly about our needs and desires.”

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Family Champions Training Feedback

A team of Joanna, Douglas and Letson from Harare and Winston, Susan (Mr and Mrs Nyams) and Khumbulani from Bulawayo spent an intensive week of training with one and a half days at each of Chiweshe, Kaitano and Dotito (Mashonaland Province, Zimbabwe). That meant travelling in the afternoon to the next place on some interesting roads. The report speaks of “the very long and dreaded journey to Kaitano!” Thank God that he watched over them and kept them safe.

The Family Champion couples attended with a few others from each congregation. At every station we taught on: Leave, Cleave and Become one; Domestic violence; Gender based violence and its effects; HIV and the family; HIV, gender and culture; HIV basic facts and Sexual Purity. The response was really encouraging; they had a lot of questions. In the evening, the men had a bonfire and had some time with Mr Nyams to talk about their questions.

Teaching some topics, such as sex and sexuality, in the rural areas can be quite challenging because of our culture, and we faced this in Kaitano as we had a lot of older people in the audience. We actually had one old man walk out of the sessions a couple of times! Mr Nyams later had a talk with him and he understood why the teachings had to be done. In Dotito, which has a fairly young population, we did not have problems in teaching our material as they easily received it.

All in all, it was an amazing and fruitful week. God was really faithful, the people loved the training and it was such a pleasure to be a part of what God is doing in families in these areas.
We will give more news of what the family Champions are doing next month but they are very much out on their own and need our support in prayer.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Family champions are called to repair broken families

Imagine that you have a rusty old bicycle. It is so old that it is hard work to pedal on the flat but you are happy with the way it rattles along. Then your friend who is a mechanic in town comes home. He takes a horrified look at your old bike and sets to work with spanners, screwdrivers and oil. In an hour it’s a completely different machine. You wonder how you could ever have been satisfied with the way it was.

Family can be like the old bicycle. It is in need of repair but we don’t realize because “that’s the way things are.” Family Champions are called to repair broken families just as the mechanic fixed his friend’s bicycle. However, families are harder than bicycles to fix because we live in a fallen world.

Think again about the first chapters in the Bible: God’s beautiful plan for marriage is pictured in Genesis 1 and 2. Then in Genesis 3 Satan enters the perfect world God made. Adam and Eve are tricked and disbelieve the beauty and goodness of God’s plan and their relationship is damaged. The results are with us today:

Shame of nakedness: “They realized they were naked and sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves” (3:7). What a contrast with 2:25 when the man and woman were naked and felt no shame. Men and women still hide who they really are from each other. There are hidden secrets in many families. We are not open with one another.
Fear of God: “They hid from the Lord God” (3:8). In Genesis 2 there was an open relationship with God. Probably Adam and Eve had often walked with God in the cool of the day. Now they hide. We still do.
Blaming each other (3:12): God asks Adam. “Where are you? Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree?” God is not impressed when Adam blames Eve saying, “The woman you gave me…” How far Adam and Eve have fallen! Modern families also blame and accuse one another.
Conflict in the home: The domination by the husband in 3:16 is part of God’s curse. It is a picture of domestic violence far removed from the harmony and loving headship implied in Genesis 2.
Fighting between brothers: It got so bad that Cain murdered his brother (4:8) and went out from the Lord’s presence (4:16).
: Already in Genesis 4 Lamech married two women (4:23). Marriage had become a matter of convenience rather than a partnership growing into oneness (see 2: 24)