Testimonies From Korean MotherWise class in Houston, Texas
I like doing bible study and therefore I did many bible studies. For the last 20 years, I did about 20 bible study courses which took about 13 weeks each. With all that bible study, the study of FREEDOM FOR MOTHERS was one of the most powerful study which transformed my life.
Freedom for Mothers is a program to seek to be a better mom through the truth in Jesus Christ. For 10 weeks, small group of 5 to 10 moms meet weekly to study, share and pray. The text book provides an excellent road map to achieve this goal and sharing and praying with other moms have been incredibly powerful.
I want to share one specific incident during Motherwise which had profound impact on me. During a Motherwise sharing, one lady talked about her challenge of being timid and passive. When I heard about her 5 year old daughter’s behavior, I realized that was the core of my problems. What is my problem? My problem is that I have a frozen heart that I rarely felt any warm emotions toward others including my husband, daughter, mother, brothers and sisters and friends. I almost never missed them nor wished to see them. In my mind, being alone is better than being with others. If possible, I avoided people and any interactions are mostly out of duty or from formality. I have lived with a sign stating “Leave me alone.”, and put up a hard front to make it sure that others won’t mess with me. Consider such a person being a mother. What kind of mother will she make? I knew this was a problem but I did not know why I was this way or what to do about it.
The chapter 4 of FREEDOM FOR MOTHERS deals with 5 types of our fleshly desires, which need to be recognized and removed. Through the sharing of one member, a lightening came to illuminate my own childhood. I was a child who could not say ‘no’ when others took my candy. I was angry but since I did not know what to do about it, I kept on piling anger in my heart until it got frozen solid. To protect myself who could not set boundary, I avoided others and put up a hard front. I hid behind work…
Now I understand the whole gamut of process. To work on the core is to learn to set a boundary with prayer. Even when it is broken, I do not need to get upset since I can leave it to God. The love of my Lord cannot be taken away from me since it is not candy. Therefore, I do not need to be anxious. When I know I cannot lose the most precious thing to me, I found freedom. Now, I can extend my hand to others without fear. Now, I believe my frozen heart can be restored…
God works miracles. When I am free, of course I will be a better mom. This program took me deeper than I ever been and changed me. I want to express my sincere appreciation to Ms. Denise Glen, Dr. Julie Lee who lead us, and all the members who participated in this study. Praise God!!! Praise His holy name!!!
As we come to our last week of mother wise bible study, Freedom, I like to take a few moments to reflect how past nine week have change me as mother, wife, and as Christian woman. Initially I just wanted to be better mother so I can learn better skill to deal with three of teenagers at home. Being a good wife or being a better Christian was not on my agenda, simply I just wanted to be a better mom. After first session and with each week passing by God reveal to me how wrong my approach to want to be a better mom was. First I had to deal with how my love tank was empty and no one else could fill this tank but only through Christ’s love. After knowing importance of filling my love tank, I had deal with the root of problem. The root of problem is “I”. By acknowledging this I was taken to next step to recognize what I need to be cutting off from my daily life so that I may be the woman He created me to be. This also included the importance of being submissive wife. At last, as I study last week of this Bible study He calls me His friend! Not only a good friend, He choses me first and lay his life down for me. There is no greater love than this. Because I know this, now I know how special I am made in His image, I have all the reason to remain in His love. When I am in Him all things are possible. Now I have more patience with children and gained better self-control which I didn’t have before. Through this bible study I know I am one step closer to being the mother I always dream of.
Reflections on Fatherwise
"The family and the father’s relationship to the family needs more attention and effort spent on it than ever before.
We have never lived in a more fast-paced and hectic world. A person only needs to look at when the men at my church meet to see how busy they are: 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. on Friday’s is the only available time. More and more businesses are demanding much more than 40 hours in a work week often juggling responsibilities that were covered by more than one person. Add to that the pressures of staying in physical shape and there isn’t much time left over for little league games, soccer games, ballet recitals and church activities. Oh, did I leave out time for our spouses?
That is why it was so encouraging when over 100 men answered the call to commit 11 weeks and numerous hours to becoming better fathers. The call was answered by a wide range of fathers from the experienced grandfather to the new dad. Yes we saw some immediate fruit of the study in some men’s lives but the real harvest will be the seeds we planted in the hearts of young fathers. We may not see that fruit for years to come, but, we planted the seeds. Our men want to be great fathers and husbands and Fatherwise is helping equip them with the vision and encouragement they need.
The Wisdom for Fathers conference in Gaborone, Botswana, held in September, was a great outpouring of God’s spirit. This was actually the first men’s conference ever held by Open Baptist Church and 100 men answered God’s call. Again, the men attending ranged from guys who were just married to the “seasoned” man who wanted to be a mentor. The men were originally from over 10 different nations. We saw God speak to men who thought they were not equipped to be the Godly leaders of their families but were encouraged to run the race before them. Just as important, we helped the men of Open Baptist Church plant seeds in the hearts of men that we know God will nurture and bring to a full harvest. We could see fruit all over the continent of Africa from this one conference!"
Called to Calgary
"A year ago I mentioned to a friend that I had a personal need for a Bible study directed at moms. As a mom of four young children, motherhood is my life. For me to find time for study, I needed something that spoke directly to this point in my life. I was excited to learn that the Wisdom for Mothers study was going to be offered. I expected it to help me on this journey of motherhood. Little did I know, God had much more in store.
Toward the end of the summer my husband began to casually explore new job possibilities. When he told me that a recruiter for a company in Calgary, yes as in Canada, had contacted him, we both looked at each other and said “No!” without hesitation. I’m a Georgia girl. Moving here five years ago was the first time I had ever lived outside of the Atlanta area. I went from one generally mild winter to a more mild winter. The idea of Canada was a little too much for me to swallow!
When looking at job offerings, my husband has mostly only entertained those in the south. He had lived up north and had no desire to return to the snow. It just so happened that the Monday night before our study started, I told him that I didn’t want him to rule out any job because of my affinity for warmth. I told him I would support and follow no matter where God took us. He had ruled out some states, and we decided we needed to let God out of that box. While we let God out of that box, we kept him in the box labeled “United States”. Calgary had gotten lost in the back of my mind.
And then Denise Glenn entered my life via a study video. How ironic that on the first day of the study she shared the story of how God took her to Perth, Australia. Pardon me if I get some of the details wrong, Denise, but I’d like to recap your story for those who haven’t seen the video. I don’t remember the details of how the Perth opportunity came her way, but I remember that she didn’t want to go! Her Bible study group was praying over this with her when she was led by the Spirit to beg God to send her to Perth. After this prayer her group looked at her and asked “You want to go to Perth?!” In that sweet southern accent that I will miss so much I can still hear how emphatically she said, “NO! I don’t want to go to Perth!”
I shared her story with my husband that Tuesday evening. I told him that we needed to let God out of the US box. He asked whether he should follow up with the Calgary recruiter, and I said yes. I really didn’t expect anything to come of it.
During all this he had a local company who was also aggressively pursuing him. I was quite content for this company to make an offer and we would just stay here and life would go on as usual.
One week Denise talked about praying that God’s will be the desire of her heart. I had always had this in my mind as a general idea. It never occurred to me that I could pray that I would actually desire the place or thing he had in store. I began praying that if Calgary was His will for us, that I would begin to desire to go to Calgary. Within a week, God had done work on my heart. In that short period of time I went from a place of, “The only reason to take an assignment would be for the money. We could go, pay off debt, and come back in a few years.” To feeling in my heart that I would be disappointed if we didn’t go to Calgary. My head still said no, but my heart had begun to say yes.
After positive phone interviews with both companies, they wanted him in person for further meetings. The interviews were scheduled to be three or four weeks apart from each other. We began to get anxious over the timing. If he would be receiving offers from both companies, we wanted the opportunity to compare those offers before making a decision. How would we stall one company while we waited on another?
My husband received a call from the local company saying that an offer was in the writing, but a key player in the hiring process was out of the country for the next week. At the same time, the company in Calgary called to move his interview up by a week. God was moving these two offers closer together and we were reminded that God is in control of the details. As I sat at the kitchen table working on my study homework one week, I laughed out loud because the topic of the day was trusting God. Sometimes I need frequent reminders!
After much anticipation, my husband finally received the offer from the local company. By this time he had been to Calgary and was told that an offer would be coming from them. That hiring manager was headed to Asia, so there was a delay. The local company pushed for an answer. He gave them an acceptance but made it clear that he was still waiting on another offer. He gave notice to his current employer and prepared for the start date here. Time was passing and we were still waiting. One week from his expected start date, they called to let him know that they were moving offices and he was welcome to postpone his start day by a week if he desired. Again, we saw God at work in the timing of things. This bought him another week to receive an offer from Calgary before starting the job here.
Our main prayer had been that God would make it abundantly clear as to what His will was for us. When the offer finally came from the Calgary company, it was obvious that God has plans for us in Canada. The next day we were told that it might be January before they had things in place for him to begin his employment. This meant that we could be looking at a few weeks of being unemployed since he had been forced to give notice in anticipation of starting a job with the local company. Anxiety over that tried to creep in, but I didn’t hesitate to say out loud that God had brought us this far, and He wasn’t going to leave us now.
Without ever mentioning any of this to his boss, the next day he was offered a week extension on his notice. When he told me about this, this first thing I said was, “God’s provision.”
For the sake of our daughter, I didn’t want to move during a special time at school, which ends in February. We were prepared for my husband to go ahead to Canada, coming home when he could, but the kids and I staying here until the end of February. Now we are told that immigration is taking about 10-12 weeks to process visas. That timeline puts us in March. Notice a trend here about God working out timing of things? Our future is full of uncertainties, but God constantly reminds us that he has us in His hands. He has brought us this far, he isn’t going to leave us now!
To echo Denise’s sentiment, “Did I want to go to Calgary?” “No I didn’t want to go to Calgary!” God has done a big work on my heart over the past couple of months. This study from Denise Glenn has been instrumental that work.
Our family theme song has become “I Will Follow” by Chris Tomlin. The chorus says, “Where you go I’ll go, Where you stay I’ll stay, When you move I’ll move, I will follow you” Our hope is that He will bring us back to Houston in two or three years. It is much easier for my little mind to handle the idea of an international move when I plan on coming back. Cy-Fair has become home. The hardest part of this is leaving our church family. But, where He goes we’ll go. Where He stays we’ll stay. When He moves we’ll move. We will follow."
Praise for MotherWise
"Just felt like I needed to tell you how much you have been my "Paul.” Rarely does a day go by that you and MotherWise don't cross my mind in some form. I am so thankful for what I learned in MotherWise. If I didn't have that spiritual foundation in those earlier years I wouldn't have known how to stand in the past year or be able to see the lessons God wanted to teach me.
So this note is to say “thank you” for mentoring me and teaching me. Your efforts weren't wasted; my faith is stronger than ever - not perfect - but alive and growing."
"Right on" for Fan the Flame
"Denise, I just finished reading the first chapter of Fan into Flame. Denise, this is so "right on!!!" I am deeply moved already by what I've read so far and I believe so timely with what is taking place in the church today!! This is soooooooooo Spirit led and I just don't have the words to express how incredibly excited I am about this study!!! I have tears in my eyes as I have read through this and just know God is going to bless this study in ways we cannot begin to imagine!I'm praying for you as you continue to write my friend! God is already using this to touch my life and oh, how many more lives will be touched as a result!
HUGS! Love you!"
Testimony From Australia
"I just wanted to quickly write and say thank you so much for your ministry and all that you have done for us here. I am currently doing your Wisdom For Mothers course. I just want to thank you and say what a blessing that course has been to me. Unfortunately, I missed the course when it was first run through MOPS. It was right when my baby was born and I missed out on childcare places at the time. I've wanted to do it ever since so was thrilled when it was offered again. I have just gotten so much out of the course and I have really felt God speaking to me through it.
There's so much of the course that I wish I had known before I got married and had children. It has been mind-changing for me in a lot of ways. I so appreciate the way you present the materials and in such an approachable and understandable way. What wonderful truths I have learnt. It's amazing how I have been in church circles my whole life and have not heard teaching on so many of the things that you cover. I don't want to go on and on but I just really wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your ministry. I'm sure you now understand that in our Aussie way we have loved and appreciated you very much!! Thanks again Denise and all the very best for the future."
Testimony From Ukraine
"Most of all I liked the fact that during our studies God was able to change my heart. Denise wrote her book in a very plain and clear way. I'm 41 years old. 8 months ago my husband died and I was alone. I've a son who is 21 but he hasn't accepted God into His heart. Today I suddenly started to feel that I'm not lonely. I have a Bridegroom and I'm His bride. My heart had got bitter for the Lord, but now, Jesus' life flows in me and how wonderful is that! I don't have enough words of thankfulness for this course, Restore My Heart. Through Denise, God made it so clear and plain for us. I'm so happy that there are a lot of us, God's children. I love you all and may God bless you and your ministry."
Testimonies from Kenya
"A lady in Nairobi was introduced to MotherWise by a friend. She called me. After talking to her she went, put up a group in the neighborhood. These are ladies from different churches. They have become one. They pray and encourage one another. They have seen God change a son of one of the members of the group who was addicted to drugs. Families are experiencing a new joy in their marriages, as ladies take up their responsibilities. Not that it has been easy but it is working.
Men have been challenged by their wives. In one church, men started a FatherWise group. They are very committed. They meet at 6:00 am every Thursday before they go on duty. I talked to one man in the group and he told me that he had assumed he knew everything about marriage. He has been a Christian for some time. He is being challenged by the insights of God’s word as he goes through the FatherWise materials."
MotherWise Materials in Kenya, from Compassion International
Note: Compassion International uses MotherWise materials in some of
their Child Survivor Programs to train and disciple mothers of babies
and preschoolers in Kenya, Ecuador, Peru, and Indonesia. We’ve recently
received the report below of the effectiveness of the materials
with these moms in Kenya.
“The beneficiaries have been using the MotherWise bible study materials and 5 mothers have received Jesus from the MotherWise meetings. The beneficiaries are bonding well with each other and are able to share with the CSP implementers (church partner staff) of their challenges. The prayer life of the mothers has improved with some appreciating fasting for their families. The husband -wife relationship has improved in the CSPs since mothers have learnt on how to have good relationship. The mothers are able to meet in their home fellowships where each CSP has divided them into groups of 8 members for easy sharing. Through these groups, mothers have learnt leadership skills and a particular church partner reported that their CSP now has five mothers who are able to preach in their local churches due to interacting with MotherWise materials.”