My wife Dalia and I are Christian marriage educators. We have been serving couples in the area of marriage enrichment for more than ten years. Not only have we spearheaded the marriage ministry in our local church, but we have led national initiatives to strengthen marriage in the African-American church more broadly. I (Dr. Harold Arnold) have written three book on Christian marriage, including Marriage ROCKS for Christian Couples (Judson Press, 2009) and The Unfair Advantage: A Grace inspired path to winning at marriage (CLC Publications, 2015). I am also host of The Leading You Home Podcast where I discuss relationship and leadership issues.
In 2016, God placed in our hearts a vision to fight against the darkness that has enveloped too many Christian marriages. This vision centered on a partnership among all of those who believe in the sanctity of Christian marriage. The vision is to bring together 1000 Christian couples (across ethnic and denominational lines) for a spiritual revival for marriage. In 2016, fifteen couples gathered in the Washington, DC area to brainstorm and pray whether we collectively believed this movement was God-directed. With the Lord's guidance, we decided to move forward with this unparalled movement.
A cohort of marriage and family practitioners and marriage ministries partnered to bring the Eusebeia Weekend Experience to life.
From October 7-10, 2017, we held the inaugural Eusebeia Weekend Experience at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, PA (dubbed "the sweetest place on earth"). God promised us that He would reveal Himself in a mighty way. Indeed, that is exactly what happened--even beyond our lofty expectations.
Approximately fifty-five couples came from as far away as Atlanta, GA to be part of the Eusebeia Weekend Experience. Thankfully, we had a videography team on board to capture the richness of the what is emerging as a divine movement for marriage--a marriage revival of sorts. Please take a look at the video associated with this campaign to get a better sense of what the weekend experience entails. We also have uploaded a few photos from the event to give you a sense of what transpired.
The feedback forms and the qualitative response of the Eusebeia participants has been extraordinary. Whether it was the dynamic small groups, the amazing Praise and worship experience, or the Couples PlayDates, Christian couples were encouraged to elevate the trajectory of their marriage. It was amazing--exceeding even our lofty expectations. And, the best is yet to come.
Here is where the need emerges. My wife Dalia and I personally funded the entire hotel expense for the event--which is $53,000. We also personally funded other expenses such as the event planner, materials, transportation of audio equipment, and more. As you can imagine this placed an extraordinary strain on our lives and on our relationship. I am happy to report, however, that we are even stronger as a couple through the experience.
The fifty-five couples in attendance this year (with most paying a $200 registration fee) yielded income of slightly over $11,000. In order to hold the event and follow what we believed God had directed us to do, we paid the required $28,000 on a personal credit card prior to the event. We have been discussing financial matters with the hotel about the balance that we still owe them (roughly $54,000), nearly all due to not pulling in the number of couples to which we had committed.
Dalia and I do not have the money to pay this balance; however, we pledged to honor our commitment with integrity and sought to work out a long payment plan with the hotel. After quite a bit of back-and-forth, the
hotel has graciously offered to reduce our balance owed to $25,000 (forgiving nearly $30,000) if we can give them the $25,000 balance by mid-December 2017.
This gofundme campaign seeks to raise funds to pay off the exhorbitant credit card debt (prior to this we did not carry any balances on our credit cards) as well as the $25,000 balance. We appreciate any support in this endeavor.
Your contribution will ease the financial burden for 2017 so that we can focus on the work of increasing the capacity of marriages and planning for the 2018 event. We believe that through faithfulness, we will eventually convene 1000 Christian couples for a marriage revival. But, we are excited about all the ways Eusebeia is uniting believers in the Kingdom of God.
Thank you for your prayerful consideration in support of this project. For those who are able to donate $1000 to help us, I'd like to give back to you a few things as my way of saying 'Thank You' for your generosity. But, please know that any amount is greatly appreciated.
No amount is too small in helping us to continue this faith walk for marriage.
- Stewart E & April Wanser
- Harold Brown
- Myra & Michael Holmes
- Mark Frink
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