Affairs are now soul-size; the enterprise is exploration into God.—Christopher Fry
And Abraham went out, . . . not knowing wither he was going.—Hebrews 11: 8
Riding home, Brent and Edna smiled at each other and held hands. They had just finished their last counseling session with Pastor Cortez concerning the family problems involved with Brent’s working overseas. At home they talked for hours about their new situation, now that Brent was going to stay home. They even prayed together about it, a new experience for them. They explored different job possibilities for Brent, ranging from applying at a local engineering or construction firm, or a government job, to starting his own company. They also talked about his possibly getting some refresher courses in I. T. They even discussed the possibility of sharing products Edna learned about, that really promote health and heal many diseases ranging from diabetes to cancer, and which could give them a good income through network marketing.
The couple also discussed the possibility of getting a group of people together who might be struggling with similar matters, even spiritual or faith difficulties. Together, they thought, as concerned Christians, they should also talk about and pray together about the enormous family and sexual problems facing the Philippines, such as 10-12 million parents working overseas, 14% of unwed 16-19 year old girls getting pregnant or already having a child, and at least 610,000 (illegal) abortions annually.
They developed a list of people from their church and some friends in the church of Pastor Cortez. These folk they invited to a Monday evening discussion group. They also invited their pastor, Rev. Henry, and Pastor Cortez to come as resource persons on alternate Mondays. Of the approximately 15 couples or individuals they invited, who promised to attend, 12 laypeople showed up the first evening. After introductions, one of the attendees spoke up and suggested a third name, a retired American Christian counselor married to a Filipina, Dr. Phillip Jones. The group agreed to him as another resource. Edna put up a white board and asked the group to divide into 4 buzz-groups and brainstorm about what they’d like to discuss and explore as a whole group. Later someone from each group got up and wrote their topics on the board. These were their main ones:
1. Do parents really need to work overseas? If they give that up, what will the family do to survive?
2. What does the Bible say about having faith that the Lord will provide?
3. Help us understand the Bible, salvation and the kingdom of heaven.
4. How to forgive someone—even God—for some really awful things that have happened, even years ago—that have made faith difficult through these many years?
5.. Why does God, apparently, inflict bad things on good people, or at least allow them to happen?
6. Why is there so much evil in the world?
7 Why does God often seem far away, and why am I—are we—on this earth?
8. .What should the Church do about the wide-spread alcohol problem?.
9.. How can we improve family communication?
10.. What about the cell phone and social media problem?
The group then ranked these topics from 1-10. With that Brent reminded the group to come next week, to discuss their first choice, #3, and invited them to the dining room for coffee, merienda and fellowship.