VIDEO: Nicaragua Family Rhythm Conferences 2015

3 11 2015

The teaching of Family Rhythm goes beyond good parenting practices, which it does well. Family Rhythm acknowledges the pain and disconnection, or you could say the absence of rhythm, in our relationships and holds out the hope that we can continuously move closer to better and better relationships by getting caught up in the simple Family Rhythm story (see here). Simple pattern changes over a long period of time can take us either down a path of asynchronous relationships or increasing connection.

Family Rhythm seeks to show families simple ways, ideas, patterns or habits that daily increase the peace and wonder they experience.

Close to 50 people came from around Nicaragua to hear this teaching. The encouragement we all shared as we worked together will, I believe, linger for a long time in our minds and hearts. Young moms and dads, grandparents, pastors, ministry leaders and others came with great enthusiasm and energy as we shared stories, experiences and ideas for daily improving the direction our families are heading.

Here’s a short video I put together that inspires me, as one mom put it, “to grow in the love of Christ.”

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Family Rhythm Conferences, Nicaragua, 2015

29 10 2015
If you weren’t able to get to Nicaragua for the Family Rhythm conference (not sure what could possibly hold you back!), here’s what you missed and what some participants had to say:
Session 1
The small choices you make in your family every day leads you on a path. Making better small choices, repeated over time, can direct you in a better way. Participants gained inspiration and a bedrock plan for daily increasing peace and wonder in their family relationships.
“I like what Steve said. A simple change makes a new way.”
Session 2
Values left undetermined leaves families aimless. Participants devoted time to proactively focusing on what’s most important for their family.
“I have so many ideas now, more values that I will teach my daughters.”
Session 3
Pain in our relationships is often ignored or denied. Participants recognized that God is present in our pain and loves to give it purpose when we are courageous to face it head-on.
“I grew up without my dad, but I met Jesus Christ. And he is the best Father ever.”
Session 4
Discipline is more than correction, but a whole system of training that builds great character. Participants considered their parenting style and were challenged to move towards God’s perfect parenting style.
“I have a three year old boy and now that I have been getting this teaching, I’m going back home with other thoughts…to understand my child [and] listen to him.”
Session 5
Working through family conflict is an ongoing and complex challenge. Participants learned a simplified pattern that is easy to recall and effective to implement.
“I realized that this conference has been really simple, practical, but really, really effective for us. I found that in the styles of parenting and the pattern of discipline, I [can] go ahead and do these things with my family and share all of this with the families that go to my church.”
Session 6
This collaborative session generated many ideas for developing peace- and wonder-making rhythms and practices. Participants gained a meaningful and highly practical approach to increasing conversations about God building better bonds.
“I’m really happy. I’m going home like a new guy because what I got from this conference is going to help me a lot in order to be able to have a good family, to have a united family, an understanding family and with better communication.”
Other quotes:
“I didn’t want to come to this conference in the beginning, but actually with time, it was something that really impacted my life.”
“The games connected with the teachings. They were simple, practical but really effective with a very good result and a happy ending.”
(Thanks to Wayne and Hellen Hancock and all the people from Skylark, Threefold Ministries and the churches at home who made this trip possible!)
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Nicaragua Family Rhythm Conference Highlights

12 11 2014

My wife, Daphne, and I recently travelled to Nicaragua to train family ministry leaders. We were privileged to be invited as part of a pastoral training team working with Threefold Ministries. We taught two family ministry conferences while the remainder of the team organized details and collaboratively led the ministry couples conferences.

One conference group holding Jim Jackson’s Disciplina Que Conecta (Discipline that Connects) handbook.

One conference group holding Jim Jackson’s Disciplina Que Conecta (Discipline that Connects) handbook.

The people attending the conference were extremely receptive, teachable and enjoyable to be around. The fact that we were training ministry leaders is especially important as many of them will in turn train their churches. One participant, in his appreciation, shared a verse from Deuteronomy 1:11, where Moses expressed a desire that God’s family would multiply. Indeed, may the discipleship of children in families multiply in Canada, Nicaragua and all over the world.

We thank you for your prayers that helped us present this material cross culturally, share transformative experiences and equip ministry leaders with tools for family discipleship.

Photo booth!

Photo booth!

God provided us with Irvin and Davinia, a fantastic translation team. They were not there to simply parrot our words, but communicate our heart while working diligently to ensure understanding for the participants as well as our understanding of participant contributions.

Another prayer request answered in different ways, was that there would be personal blessing and true transformation. They were eager to learn, willing to apply lessons immediately and demonstrated true understanding and changed hearts. Parents learned new training approaches for child connection, discipline and development. Children’s ministry leaders learned unique ideas for teaching the Gospel. Our goofy photo booth helped participants laugh. Our team games energized and inspired them to unite as families. Our group work focused their attention to take ownership of their own family discipleship plan.

Team games! Engaging experiences and memorable moments.

Team games! Engaging experiences and memorable moments.

Alicia and Manuel are starting a church plant. Pray for ministry leaders like them who are seeking to be a blessing to hurting families.

Alicia and Manuel are starting a church plant. Pray for ministry leaders like them who are seeking to be a blessing to hurting families.

Daph and I were particularly touched with the outpouring of responses to one exercise where we asked participants to create something from two bandaids illustrating how God loves to fix what’s broken, mend what’s torn and restore what’s worn out. They shared their stories of family pain while also holding on to their hope in Christ.

May the Gospel multiply throughout the world as families embody Christ’s grace and truth. Thank you for your support!

The conferences team. From left: Steve, Daphne, Helen, Wayne, Janice, Bruce, Doug, Detra.

The conferences team. From left: Steve, Daphne, Helen, Wayne, Janice, Bruce, Doug, Detra.





Teaching Family Rhythm in Nicaragua

7 10 2014
1024px-Concepción_from_Maderas_(landscape)

Nicaragua is known as the land of lakes and volcanoes; pictured is Concepción volcano, as seen from Maderas volcano.

Families everywhere matter to God. Children everywhere do not have a choice where they are born or what family they are born into. Yet God not only loves each one a lot, but also has his hand on them for something special (1 Thessalonians 1:4, MSG). Jesus came to bring us back into right relationship with the Father, which leads us to desire all families around the globe to be brought back into right relationships with each other (2 Corinthians 5:18).

My wife, Daphne, and I are thrilled to travel to Nicaragua from October 21-31. We will be a part of a pastoral training team leading two simultaneous conferences to ministry leaders south of the city of Managua at the Skylark Centre. This centre is a part of Threefold Ministries. One conference is for marriage relationships, while the conference we will teach, called Family Rhythm, is for family relationships.

The Manzanarez family serving as the Skylark Operations Manager and Assistant.

The Manzanarez family serving as the Skylark Operations Manager and Assistant.

Please pray for us in these ways:

  • Clarity of presentation
  • Relevant content and personal connection
  • Transformed leadership and families
  • Personal burdens of attendees lightened
  • Revitalizing experiences for attendees

…there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained [by godly discipline].
-Hebrews 12:11, NLT

Daphne and I will explore the topic of restoring broken relationships (which we all daily have to deal with) through the motif of a rhythm of the heart. This rhythm keeps the hope of Christ-filled and deeply satisfying relationships in view in order to press on through the real difficulties that families face on a daily basis. (Use link below for more information).

The well-kept grounds of the Skylark Centre.

The well-kept grounds of the Skylark Centre.

Attendees will each receive Jim Jackson’s Discipline that Connects Handbook in Spanish, a powerful tool for helping families connect deeply with each other and with God. We are also giving away some copies of The Jesus Storybook Bible and The Beginner’s Bible in Spanish.

You may wish to donate. Please donate at the Threefold Ministries website (link above, click on the “Donate” tab) with the designation “October 2014 Conference Team.”

The philosophy of Threefold Ministries “has always had as its goal, sustainability. Threefold believes it is absolutely essential that if you are going to help people in a meaningful way you must commit to them for the ‘long haul’.”

May the peace and power of God extend throughout the world as we make disciples in and through our families!








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