Mark & Christine Daniel, Directors FamilyLife UK, were recently invited to speak at the Belong Group gathering of 65 couples in Malta for “A Weekend Together”.
Founders Leslie and Charmaine Caruana said: “expectations were exceeded and surpassed.”
The Belong Group put together an ambitious programme for the adults and children which included learning and fun for everyone. Mark and Christine led sessions to help couples deepen communication, resolve conflict in a healthy way and understand each other’s needs and ‘Love Languages’®. Leslie and Charmaine led a session on Growing Together in Maltese.
Charmaine: “For us personally it was a great experience and an immense encouragement.”
Leslie: “I felt that what we wanted to communicate to the audience did reach them very effectively and helped the couples in their journey.”
The majority of attending couples came to benefit and strengthen their marriages. Many also came because they were struggling and wanted help. The Daniels and Caruanas and several priests were able to support those in need.
Leslie: “On Saturday afternoon so many couples came to speak to us, pouring their hearts out – all they needed was a mature couple to listen to them and share their own experiences, I guess that this service is lacking and we should explore it in a deeper way as the need is crying out loud.”
Next year Leslie and Charmaine and some couples from their team would like to facilitate events right across Malta.
Leslie: “I feel that as a next step the ministry could benefit from training in this field. There are more couples like us within the Malta ministry that would be able to do what we did and that would produce a great MULTIPLYING effect. Usually we depend on priests to give talks and one comment that we received was that this was their first time they attended a weekend fully led by a married couple rather than a priest and they felt good.”
Feedback from couples was extremely positive. One person was very clear about the benefits:
“Do not miss out on this opportunity to invest in your relationship – it is NOT the usual lunatics clapping hands and fainting in spiritual reverence wondering if it’s a comic opera you have attended, but great, real couples who share with you their experiences and difficulties. They also share tools to apply within your marriage that will help you get better and prepare for when the ‘shit hits the fan.’”
As follow-on from the weekend many couples expressed an interest in participating in Together small groups to continue growing their relationships as well as deepening the spiritual dimension though Bible study. They also plan to develop a mentoring programme to help those with ongoing needs.
Belong Group was founded in 2004 by Leslie and Charmaine Caruana to bring together couples who want to help other couples enrich, nurture and develop their relationships. The group’s mission is to bring joy and hope into marriage through monthly meetings, seminars and couple weekends. They also invite a priest to hold Mass at gatherings and host a variety of social events to bring together families for fun and friendship.
More about A Day Together…
More about Together small groups…