Visionary Family Ministries Summer Update July 2016

Summer is finally here, and everyone is jumping for joy! It's been an action-packed time for Visionary Family Ministries and we are praising God for all that He has done. Pause with us for a moment as we look back on some of the highlights.

So far this year God has led us from Eden Prairie, Minnesota to Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, from McMurray, Pennsylvania to Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, and from Denton, Texas, to La Paz, Bolivia. We've been blessed to be part of congregations in Lewisport, Kentucky, and West Chicago, Elmhurst, Sugar Grove, Geneva and Bloomington, Illinois. We've been out to Michigan once already this year, and just returned from leading a week of family equipping at Bethany Beach.

we continue to be grateful to see god using his word to heal and bless families. God's plan for marriages and families is eye-opening and life-changing. Families, couples, grand-parents and pastors alike have told us how god is renewing their passion to equip families to live for christ!

I think about stories like this one, from a woman in Florida, who told us:

"I was from a broken family. Divorce, death, and dysfunction. I was certain God didn't mean for me to have children. So, when God started our family, I was at once humbled and quite terrified. I promised God I would raise my child to know Him. But I had no idea how to do that.

My husband was from a stable moral family. They prayed at meals and no one divorced or broke the law, but his parents were busy working. They didn't have a relationship with God to share with him. So, when he became a father, my husband said to me, "help me to be present. Help me to do this job well."

I knew I could not help him. I knew I did not have the tools. And I knew my hard heart would fail us both. I prayed and repented to the Lord on my face. I was broken and convicted about not repeating the sinful cycles of my family. So I dragged my baby right to church each week and asked the older women, "How do I do this?"

We have a great church, with great elders, and my pastor introduced us to Visionary Parenting. It was such a gift from the Father, and a nod, as if to say, "You'll be okay. I have provided the tools. Just give your heart to me."

That started us down a lot of changes in our lives. It's not easy, and I don't do it well, but God gives new grace each day, and my kids are all thriving. And God's way is allowing my husband to be present in their lives. I am so grateful."

"ONE OBEDIENT LIFE, BY THE GRACE OF GOD, CAN BE USED TO TRULY IMPACT GENERATIONS..."

Although our world seems to be in so much turmoil right now, God is at work changing lives one at a time, all around the country, in churches big and small, in communities rich and poor, and among people of every tribe and every nation.

The Lord is expanding our ministry to grandparents and parents of adult children - especially those who are parents of "prodigals."

As we've traveled around the country we hear variations on the same story over and over again. "My daughter grew up in the church, but now she's graduated from college she says it's not her thing anymore." Or, "We thought we did everything right for our son, but since he moved downtown and got a job, he's rejected Christianity."

It's perhaps one of the deepest pains a parent can experience, and the helplessness that they feel can be overwhelming. That's perhaps why The Bible Chapel in McMurray, PA, had over 300 people sign up for their "Never Too Late" Conference in May this year.

Afterwards we heard from a couple whose son was raised in the church but has since decided "there's something better out there." This young man's mother wrote to us, saying,

"This whole time we have been praying like crazy, loving him and waiting for a rescue from the savior. Our faith has been stretched and our marriage is stronger than ever as we pray and try to stay relevant in his life. Please pray for my husband and I, that we continue to use all of this for God's glory. Pray that we would be able to support others in the same season and continue being intentional with our son. Please pray that as a family we stay unified and that the Lord does not remove His hand on our son. Your work is changing lives. Thank you for serving the Lord in this way."

Don't believe the lie that it's too late; that your influence as a parent ends the moment you send your child off to college, or the day they move out of the house. The world wants you to believe that it's too late, that your time has past. But that's not true. No-one holds the key to their heart more than you. It may not look like it now, but it's true. It's never too late.

Finally, we're super excited to tell you about our first ever "Visionary Family Weekend Away", coming up Sept. 30-Oct. 2. when was the last time your family spent a weekend truly together - growing through worship, scripture, and fun? we believe god will use this weekend to transform families for generations to come. we want you to join us! this special weekend will be held at forest springs in westboro, wi. click below for more info.
One of the blessings we've had this year is sharing this book with so many new friends around the country! We know that teens face incredible pressures as they prepare to leave home and go to college. This book offers practical steps parents can take to cultivate faith and character during these challenging years.

Thank you for praying for us. Thanks for supporting us. Thanks for your friendship as we continue to press forward with our mission to "build the church of Jesus Christ through global reformation of family discipleship." As always, let us know how we can be praying for you and supporting your family.

With God's Love, Rob + Amy Rienow and Jonathan + Kari Ziman

Created with images by Jon Grainger - "Children Jumping" • katgrigg - "Family" • Justin Ried - "Hope"

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