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January 28, 2010

Restoring God's Image Bearers

This article was originally published at Christian Reformed Church in NA website.
(http://support.crcna.org/site/News2?news_iv_ctrl=-1&page=NewsArticle&id=5611)

In 2008, Abraham and Elaine Lee attended an “Image of God” inner healing conference at one of their partner churches, All Nations Church CRC in Lake View Terrace, California. As they took in the participants’ stories and experiences, the Lees immediately thought, “This is it – this is the missing piece we are looking for in our ministry in Mexico.”

“We have concluded that to do ministry well, family ministry, which greatly emphasizes the daily relationship with loved ones, needs to be at the top of the list,” said Abraham and Elaine Lee. “Many Mexican families have accumulated hurts from unhealthy relationships with their family members. It saddens us to discover so many people struggling with the results from hurts in their hearts when they are created to be loved by God since they are His image bearers.”

“Our prayers, since that initial seminar, have included our desire to organize a similar seminar for the Mexican churches we work with to offer freedom from all kinds of relational baggage they’ve experienced in their life journeys. Participants would first forgive any wrongdoing they experienced or perceived from their authority figures. In doing so, they would begin the second stage of restoring their broken relationship with God, the main focus of ministry.”

In late November, the Lees hosted a two day “Image of God” seminar at the family ministry center they work with. “The number of people who came didn’t meet our expectations, but God’s blessings on those who were there were beyond our comprehension. God used the lectures, prayers, group sharing, Father’s hug and communion to touch, comfort and restore the broken image of God participants carried of themselves.”

One couple, who were struggling in their marriage, attended the seminar in hopes of restoring their relationship. Through the seminar, they came to share their hurts with one another, improving their communication with each other.

Another couple took their 21-year-old daughter, Conchi, along to the seminar. Both parents were heavily involved in ministries within their church especially as the father was a pastor. “Both parents were so involved in different ministries, attending the needs of others, that they neglected their children’s needs,” say the Lees, “Their actions hurt their children. Things became difficult for Conchi. At one point, she was tempted to committee suicide. Thank God that the seminar guided her to become sincere before the Lord.” At the end of the seminar, Conchi shared her testimony with her parents and their relationship was restored. They returned home full of God’s joy.

But some participants were given a difficult time by their families for even attending the seminar.

“‘You? Going to a Christian seminar?’ was the last comment 17-year-old Norely heard from her siblings the night before the seminar. But still she came, not knowing what God had prepared for her,” the Lees shared.

Norely was an introverted and reserved girl with a long and gloomy face. “She had often received verbal abuse from her father who told her, ‘You can’t do anything,’” the Lees said, “As a result, she had a severe inferiority complex.”

But God used the seminar to work within her and soon, she began to noticeably change. “Her facial expression changed. She began to cry with joy and laugh with freedom,” Abraham and Elaine shared, “She now proclaims, ‘I want to live out my life for God. Now I understand why people raise their hands in worship. I now cry with joy when I praise God in worship.’ She’s became so talkative and keeps talking about what has happened since last month.” While Norely still has a long way to go to overcome many challenges, especially within her own family, she’s already out of the starting block; one of the hardest parts.

Healing is happening. Restoration is beginning. Pray that God would continue to use Abraham and Elaine to equip people like Noreley. the married couple, and Conchi and her family to shine the light of God in our dark and confused world.


Abraham and Elaine Lee have served with CRWM since 1999. They and their family live in Cuernavaca, Mexico, working to strengthen the capacity of local churches.

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