December 18, 2015
Dear Emerson and Sarah,
We recently received your e-mail asking for a financial donation. We try to be prayerful and purposeful stewards of our offerings and contribute to several local and international ministries. We primarily lean toward supporting missionary efforts in the US and abroad and Christian residential programs for people with significant needs.
When I received your email, I spoke with my wife and she brought to my attention that there are very few ministries that have touched our lives like Love & Respect. She and I have written a summary of part of our personal story (below), which is a little involved, so please read it at your leisure. It is a long-winded way of saying that we would be happy and honored to support your efforts to expand the reach of Love & Respect.
Several years ago, two things occurred simultaneously. Someone far away mailed us the L&R CDs. Shortly afterward, someone else invited us to a local L&R video seminar. Of course I did not want to go…but doing my “husbandly duty” I said “yes.” The information resonated in my soul and every other man in the group. I stood up at the end of the seminar and announced, “We have to take this back to our church!” And we did.
More recently, a friend asked for help to find a youth fellowship for her sons. We accompanied her to a multi-site local church that none of us had ever attended before. After the service, the church’s Outreach Coordinator engaged us in conversation. She asked a few questions, and she mentioned L&R. She replied they were hemorrhaging people in Divorce Care: she wished they could help people with marriage. We said, “Well, we might have something to help you.”
We then met the Program Director and gave her some L&R info, but she was not ready to give it much attention. God had other ideas. The following week as a janitor was cleaning the office he saw the Love and Respect material on her desk. He raved to her about the conference and said he gives the CDs to every young couple he knows. The Program Director took note.
A month later we learned that a rural church was hosting a L&R video conference. The Program Director could not attend, but offered it to couple in her church who had already called lawyers and were on the brink of divorce. The couple agreed to go to the video conference. Two days after the conference the Program Director received an email from the wife saying, “I have tears streaming down my face as I type this. We attended the Love & Respect Conference this weekend and my husband recommitted his life to Christ and we are NOT getting a divorce. We are going to make our marriage work.” The Program Director was amazed, and asked us to help coordinate L&R video conferences going forward. This unexpectedly catapulted us into their leadership structure, and we have been blessed to serve them for the past few years in many other capacities as well.
We believe that God has led you and Sarah to develop Love and Respect, and we recognize that it is a ministry that has required your entire efforts. We also realize that much of your work, though extraordinarily vital to the members of the body of Christ, is uncompensated. Therefore, we are blessed to support you at this time, and we encourage you to remain faithful to the ministry, and fundamental reliance on all of the promises of Scripture in a way that honors God and brings deliverance to those willing to hear and apply that message.
God bless you and Sarah and your ministry richly in the name of our returning Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.