The Face of Love


Before she retired, Mary, a colonel in the Brazilian military, was in charge of 3,000 men. Her husband of 17 years is a policeman much lower in rank. As you can imagine, this was very difficult on her marriage. She was in a deep depression when one of the ladies from our church invited her to a special service for women who had completed a Bible study course.

Mary had never been inside an evangelical church. She was so amazed at the testimony of her friend that evening that she came up to the microphone and asked to speak. She looked like someone who was in deep pain and, focusing on her husband’s faults, told us how disillusioned she was with her marriage. As a missionary, I was very uncomfortable, but the woman in charge allowed her to speak until, finally, Mary said she wanted what the women at the church had. Right there in front of the 60 attendees, she knelt and invited Christ into her life.

One of the women invited Mary to join the next Bible course, and then Mary began coming to our services. I met with her regularly, and it was amazing to see the change God was bringing about in her life.

As she heard more about Christ and her new life in Him, Mary learned to be thankful for her husband. He was very skeptical and kept threatening to leave her, but she trusted in God to allow her husband to be the leader in their home. All this was new to him, as she had always been the “colonel” in their relationship. Not long after we started meeting, she told me that all those things that she said about her husband that first evening at the church were not true. She was the problem, not her husband. What a transformation!

After she finished the Bible course, Mary invited her stepdaughters to the celebration ceremony, where she gave her testimony. She publicly apologized to the women who had heard her speak that first evening and also asked her stepdaughters to forgive her for speaking badly of their father for so many years. The young women were really proud of their stepmother! Her husband sent her a dozen roses and a beautiful card expressing his love for her. Their relationship is healing, and though he is still not a believer, he cannot dispute the transformation that has taken place in his wife. It will be only a matter of time before he too gives his life to Christ. Mary’s whole countenance has completely changed from someone who was deeply depressed to someone whose face shines with the love of Jesus.

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