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Manual 3 of Timothy Leadership Training is titled From Harm to Harmony - Overcoming Violence in the Family, which can be a challenging topic to address.

Here is a testimony from our partner, Global Training Network, and their work in Rwanda that led to change in the whole community: 

One pastor planned to confront harm and violence in his church family and went about it in a creative way. He wanted to discover more of what is happening in his church families, so he asked his youth group to write him anonymous letters describing their home life but omitting any identifying details.

These descriptions led him to realize he needed to address some issues. He suggested that his youth group kids write respectful letters to their parents, asking them to please deal with issues of harm and even violence in their homes. Some responded positively and the pastor then launched separate men’s and women’s classes dealing with family life, including spousal concerns.

Eventually he instructed people in both classes to write anonymous respectful letters to their spouses, addressing problems in their homes. Again, they were instructed to omit identifying details. These letters were then handed in and read publicly in both classes. The effect was electric. People realized what a big problem family harm and violence is and realized that they are not alone. They also realized they could repent and deal with their problems without feeling that they were somehow worse than everyone else.

Many couples were able to create greater health in their marriages as a result. In addition, harm and violence in families became a subject that could be talked about.

This creative approach enabled families to deal with difficult subjects while minimizing their sense of shame. Eventually, there were several who testified publicly about what God has done in their family life.

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