Hope and Help for Hurting Marriages

Mark and Kora Taube were part of the team that hosted the dinner.

The Alliance has a history of coming alongside couples who are struggling in their marriages. For instance, the Alliance Marriage Encounter (ALMA) is established in Latin America and has spread to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. In some Alliance churches, the 48-hour retreat became the focal point of evangelistic outreach to the upper-middle class.

The Marriage Course, based on Alpha’s meal, lecture, and discussion format, has been utilized by Alliance workers in France. Valentine’s Day get-togethers, couples’ movie nights, and talks on the “language of love” are other ways Alliance international staff have reached out to couples who need Jesus.

Today, Alliance workers in Uruguay are using marriage dinners to build relationships with those who come to the church for discussion.

“As the most secular country in Latin America, Uruguay has a high divorce rate and a large number of people who cohabit,” write Bruce and Stephanie Beers, Alliance international workers in Uruguay. Among those who do marry, “most couples do not receive any kind of premarital counseling and don’t have many tools to help them when they experience a crisis in their marriage. We can show God’s love in a tangible way by offering hope and help for hurting relationships.”

During the past year, the international worker team in Montevideo has hosted three couples’ dinners; a fourth will be held this month. Along with a delicious meal, romantic atmosphere, and music, they also offer a practical theme for the evening.

The topic for a recent dinner was “A Survival Kit for Marriage.” The Beerses presented a bag filled with objects to represent tools necessary for a happy marriage. Included were a water bottle to douse the “fires” that can occur in marriage, a rubber band to remember to be flexible and a tea bag to emphasize the need to relax and talk together.

“We also shared Bible verses that related to several of the articles we brought,” the Beerses reported. “Many of the couples nudged each other when something in particular pertained to them and exchanged meaningful glances as they suppressed their amusement.”

Throughout the evening, conversation flowed, interspersed with much laughter. The Beerses’ teammates, Mark and Kora Taube and Timbrel Hull, provided the music. As the evening ended, the couples were surprised to receive a “Survival Kit” to remind them to apply at home what they had learned.

A few days later, Bruce and Stephanie sent an e-mail to the attendees thanking them for coming. One couple responded by saying they hoped to receive an invitation to another dinner soon. Others mentioned that it was both a learning opportunity and an enjoyable night.

Several couples said they realized they don’t spend enough time together anymore. “This dinner was the perfect ‘excuse’ to do just that,” the Beerses observed.

“We are excited about the possibilities for the future,” wrote Bruce and Stephanie. “Doors to meaningful relationships are opening as a result of the couples’ dinners. Since these dinners are a new concept, and Uruguayans admit they don’t like to try new things, we were pleasantly surprised by the attendance and positive response to these events.”

Pray for preparations for the next Marriage Dinner, to be held September 13. “Specifically, pray for wisdom and creativity—and that many couples will come!” request Bruce and Stephanie.

adapted from a report by Stephanie and Bruce Beers


The prayers of God’s people strengthen Alliance workers to live and serve across the globe. Use our weekly Alliance Prayer Requests to join the worldwide Alliance family in praying for them.


Give to the Great Commission Fund (GCF) and support Alliance international workers, who are providing access to the gospel as they introduce lost people to the light of Jesus.

Give now


Get Involved...


We cannot “Live the Call Together” unless prayer is central to all we do.
Pray with us »


Is God calling you to service? We’re here to help you connect your passion with God’s purpose.
Serve with The Alliance »


Help build Christ’s Church by supporting the ministry and workers of The Alliance.
Give today »