Awed by God’s Love in the Middle East
Leo and I always looked forward to being invited to give talks. It’s always a privilege for us, to be precise! And whenever the talks would be for a CLP (Christian Life Program), I cannot help but get emotional. I find myself looking at brothers and sisters of the service team: preoccupied with their individual roles and responsibilities; ever so attentive to the needs of their group, anxious of the time and the smooth flow of the activity…then I look at those eager and enthusiastic participants: eyes glued on the speaker, with either a nod or a shake, intent on digesting the talk and looking forward to the groupings afterwards — the whole scenario never fails to get me teary-eyed! I am completely awed by everything!Never in my wildest dreams did I think Couples for Christ UAE would thrive and grow into such a dynamic and vibrant community that it is now! It was as if it was just yesterday when, at that weekend of Nov. 20-21,1992, the 1st CLP was successfully conducted by Bro. Rouquel and Sis. Nina Ponte at St. Mary’s Church of Dubai.
Couples for Christ started then with 2 household groups for couples, 1 household group for the Handmaids’ ministry and another household group for the Servants. Little did we know then that the Lord was going to turn our lives around. Year after year, we found ourselves growing in numbers – expanding from one emirate to another; conducting CLPs and teaching programs simultaneously, and eventually introducing the rest of the Family Ministries to the different areas. Such was the affirmation of God’s hand in the mission of CFC that what was once an evening party in a restaurant hall to celebrate CFC anniversary became a half-day family event in a park and which would later on be held from St. Mary’s main hall to the open grounds of a University! Who wouldn’t be awed by that?! Now on its 23rd year, we see the Lord continue to use Couples for Christ-UAE community to be a conduit of faith, hope and love. Lives continue to be transformed, hearts and minds continue to be opened. There’s no stopping the winds of revival! I can only but pray that we would continue to remain steadfast in our “YES” to our awesome God because, after all, to be of service is a privilege indeed.
by Leo and Rita Verdolaga