Marriage Retreats Offer Hope for New Beginnings

God continues to use marriage renewal events in The Alliance to restore broken relationships and reveal His healing love and grace. In August, nearly 40 couples in an Asian nation attended two marriage retreats hosted by Alliance international workers. One person was saved during the first event, and five came to Christ at the second one.

Before the retreats, participants took the Prepare/Enrich® online assessment, a relationship inventory for couples who want to improve their marriage. They then received a report that identified the unique strengths and potential growth areas of their relationship.

It was evident before the retreats that many of the couples were facing serious challenges in their marriages. “So we e-mailed prayer partners in a neighboring country and in North America, asking for urgent prayer,” an Alliance worker said. “What a blessing it was to see how God used the teaching sessions and individual couple counseling times to bring healing to marriages.”

Among the couples who attended, one drove more than six hours to the event. Another came as a last resort before filing for divorce. “In the first session, this couple would not even look at each other,” a team member said. “But after a counseling session, they slowly warmed toward each other. By the end of the retreat they were holding hands, praying for each other.”

One couple, both Christians, had been married for less than two years. Their marriage had gotten off to a rocky start. They requested counseling, “and the Holy Spirit worked powerfully,” a worker shared. “They sought and gave forgiveness, and they renewed their vows. Both were filled with new hope for what God would do in and through them.”

“A Big Difference”

“When the retreat began, you could see sadness on one wife’s face,” a worker observed. “She looked like she could barely hold back her tears.” When a team member approached the couple, they readily agreed to meet for counseling.

“After the session, you could see a big difference,” said the worker. “The husband repented for hurting his wife so deeply, and God brought healing to their marriage.”

Following the retreat, one husband shared, “The growth I experienced will not only benefit me but also can encourage a more harmonious relationship between our extended families and have a positive impact on our friends’ marriages.” Another participant wrote, “By the time the retreat ended, our marriage and our lives had a new beginning!”

Pray that the couples who attended a retreat will apply what they learned and inspire others to work on improving their marriages. Also, pray for God to provide another local couple to be trained as facilitators in the Prepare/Enrich® materials so they can join in hosting marriage retreats. Pray, too, for funding for these ministries and for the Holy Spirit to guide in the planning and preparation.

—This article was adapted from reports by international workers.


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.


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Read about another marriage event hosted by Alliance international workers.





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