News - Calling: The Weekend That Changed Everything

Calling: The Weekend That Changed Everything

wedding ringsWhen Emily (Chalker '54) Moore and her husband Al attended a Marriage Encounter weekend in 1976, they had no clue that they were taking a first step toward ministry that would impact countless others. Looking back on a fruitful work that began with God's nudge and eclipsed three decades, Emily encourages others: "God will enable you and help you grow into the job." Here's her story.

Seeing Others Touched Way He Touched Us

The Free Methodist church was just getting involved in Marriage Encounter, and as we became leaders we started traveling to other parts of the country to help them get started in this ministry.

It was exciting to see God touch other couples through Marriage Encounter the way He had touched us. We saw marriages renewed, marriages saved, and each weekend experience was a blessing to us.

Our “Very Present” God

We traveled to many parts of the United States and Canada, participating in weekends—all the while working full time. Then came a request from Free Methodist missionaries in South Africa to send a team there to get Marriage Encounter started in their area. Off we went in 1984 for this new adventure.

This was during the apartheid era of South Africa and the weekend was held at a retreat center that allowed the mixing of races. So we had blacks, colored, Indian and white couples—all relating to our talks and the way the Lord had touched our marriage. It was a beautiful weekend as the couples reached a new level of relationship with each other and with the Lord. God was very present.

Surprising Reach

We also developed an Engaged Encounter program, which we presented at Greenville College, other colleges and locations. This enabled couples to seriously confront possible problems before proceeding to marriage.

After retirement we continued our involvement in Marriage Encounter until we had participated and led about 138 weekends over 35 years. We have precious memories, dear friends and many experiences—all because we said “yes” to God’s leading.

Something I’ve Learned About Calling

Don't hesitate to respond to God's call because you think it will be too difficult. He will enable you and help you grow into the job.

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This story was published on October 25, 2016

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