By Richard Greene
As her children grew increasingly rebellious and resentful, Nofoto* knew the fabric of her family was being ripped apart. But this South African mother realized that the problem rested with her and not her kids. And that the solution required dramatic changes on her part! But what and how?
Some friends aware of Nofoto’s struggles invited her to join a Women of Hope listening group in Jeppes Reef, a small rural town in the northeast region of the country. During these sessions, parenting and family-oriented programs in the Zulu language are played on audio players and the women discuss how to apply the Bible-based lessons to their lives.
These programs are produced by the TWR Women of Hope ministry. Zulu is one of 70-plus languages into which the program is translated. They’re making a spiritual difference in the lives of countless women throughout South Africa – and across the world.
Nofoto listened intently and discovered what she was doing wrong as a domineering mother. She was harsh, always dictating to her children and never willing to entertain their views or opinions.
One program in particular touched her heart. It focused on Proverbs 22:6, which reads, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
“I realized that I was bringing up my children with lots of anger and resentment leading to them being rebellious,” Nofoto said. “I had to change for the benefit of my family.”
Surrounded by her Christian friends, Nofoto prayed, seeking the help of the Holy Spirit to become a better mother.
The difference has been striking. God is enabling Nofoto to become patient and compassionate. She’s now listening to the views of her children and better understanding what they’re asking from her.
“The relationship with my children has greatly improved, and I really enjoy their company,” she said. “The sessions have contributed to a warm environment at my home, where my children feel loved and cared for.”
Nofoto thanks God for the impact of the Women of Hope programs. “I really appreciate the role Women of Hope has played in my family,” she said. “I am hoping many more ladies will listen to the program so that other families can be transformed for the better.”
In another distant part of the world, the Khmer Women of Hope program is ministering to parents in Cambodia.
Arunny* and her husband Borey* constantly argued, especially about how to rear their children. “We were having arguments with each other, and we didn’t talk,” Arunny said.
Arunny began listening to the Women of Hope program, aired every Sunday where she and Borey attended church. Borey agreed to listen, too. One program addressed how to handle conflict within marriage. That day Arunny and Borey learned how they could as a couple be more responsible, tolerant and helpful – and as a result set a positive example to their children.
“Conflict is inevitable,” Arunny said, “but we discovered how to solve problems even when we each have different ideas. We learned that the thoughts and ideas of our children and family members are important.”
After the program was finished, what Arunny and Borey did next stunned – and encouraged – their fellow group members. Arunny apologized to her husband in front of the other listeners. Borey apologized back to her.
“Using sweet words is the best way that our family can overcome conflict,” she noted.\
Arunny thanks the program’s producer and the women’s team who prepare the lessons. They’ve made a difference in their marriage and family. “May God bless you.”
* This is a pseudonym used to protect the privacy of the listener.
Richard Greene is a longtime journalist and feature writer who has traveled to more than 60 countries. In addition to serving with TWR, he worked for The Navigators, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse. He and his wife, Lynda, live in the mountains of western North Carolina.