Grace and Emmanuel Ayewah are senior couples who are sold out to building healthy families. They offer support to churches and individuals on how to strength marriages and improve on parenting.
For some years now, they have been running The Marriage Course and The Parenting Course in Warri, Delta state and also in Abuja, Nigeria Capital City which is blessing lots of couples, transforming their marriages and home for better.
Read their story below:
How did you get to know about the Marriage Course
We came across the Alpha Course while on second cross-posting in The Hague the Netherlands between the year 2003 and 2007. Then we were attending Trinity (Baptist) International Church in The Hague.
Curious about the source of the course, we later visited HTB in London and there we got to know about The Marriage Course. We bought the first set of materials from HTB for personal use. We found it useful and decided to run it as one of our ministry services in 2008.
Why did you decided to start running it?
Over some time Grace was developing a family enrichment ministry. She was into guidance counselling at federal government college, Ijanikin after a master’s degree in UNILAG. She later went into pastoral counselling after a second master (MDiv) in an American seminary in the Netherlands.
She practices Christian Marriage counselling both abroad and in Nigeria. But when I retired after 33 years of working (as an information/software engineer) in 2011, she suggested I join her in the ministry as it is better done by a couple.
Having gone through The Marriage Course ourselves, we decided to use it as one of our ministry tools.
How long have you been running it?
We have been running the courses (including Parenting Course) since 2008 in Warri at Soul Harvester Church. We started running it in Abuja which happens to be our second home in 2017 with New Estate Baptist Church.
What is your experience using the tool?
We just concluded The Marriage and Parenting Courses in Warri on Sunday 30th June 2019 with a course party and we had 17 couples did the 8-week Sunday afternoon marriage course, while parents did the 5-week parenting course, many of them were couples.
With about 40 couples invited as visitors at the Course party, we had 130 persons in attendance at the party.
At the party, we had lots of testimonies from both the marriage and parenting courses participants. Some of which include:
A newlywed, beginning to experience in-law problems, applied the principles they learnt from the courses and their parents cooperated, and all is well now.
A couple having problems with managing family money decided to allow the wife to do the finances/budgeting; fewer conflicts now experienced in the home.
Improved communication was a common testimony even for a couple that has been married for 39 years.
For a couple married for more than 35 years, they were able to see how their family backgrounds influence their sex lives, they were able to get a better understanding on this which has helped them in improving their sex lives now.
A particular husband took the initiative to create a romantic environment in their bedroom; the wife was surprised and greatly impressed.
Another young couple identified expectations as the cause of conflicts in their home; they are now working to eliminate all expectations and are happier for it.
Husbands are now helping out with the chores (including cooking) at home to the delight of wives.
Children were so excited that their parents are doing the course that they reminded them days before not to miss each course Session.
Children prayed that the improvements they are experiencing will continue after the course.
At the party, we have 29 couples registered for the next marriage course run. While 17 couples have registered for the next parenting course run.
As couples are clamoring to have the courses run more than twice in a year, we are encouraging a few couples who indicated interest to start running the courses in their homes or churches as well pray for them.
Are there any challenges?
Churches are too busy with many activities. So, it is very hard to convince them to adopt the tool for reaching out to their communities. While interested individual couples find it too expensive to bear alone (It takes a bit of time and money to create the right atmosphere to run the course). But we are encouraging a few couples to run it in their homes.
Also, because of the economic situation in Nigeria, we don’t get much support for creating the environment required to run the courses. But God has been very faithful in meeting the needs.
It takes a lot of effort to get couples to attend in the first place, but participants are shocked and impressed after the first one or two sessions. The course parties and testimonies help a lot in getting new couple to sign up.
We will be in Abuja for the next few months and will be supporting a church to run the Marriage and Parenting course, which will be in September/ October 2019.
We will run the next marriage & parenting course in Warri in February/March 2020
Are you in Abuja or Warri and would want to be part of the course? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more detail
Some Pictures from The Marriage & Parenting Courses and the Course Party
To know more about The Marriage Courses and how to run it, visit http://themarriagecourse.org. Contact the National Alpha Office for necessary training