BIG Impact hosted a national conference on The Five Love Languages with Gary Chapman, and Financial Management with Don Christensen, at the National Children’s Palace in Bucharest May 23-26. Some 300 people attended four days of biblical training, focused on enriching the Christian family in the areas of marital communication and financial management. Pastor Emi Moisa from Arad shared about this event:
“Even though I heard about Gary Chapman long ago, when I read his book The Five Love Languages, I admit I wasn’t ready to meet with him. But when I received the invitation to attend the motivational conference for families, organized by BIG Impact, having the well-known American writer as a speaker I decided, without hesitation, that my wife and I should attend it. And thus, together with several couples of friends and acquaintances we came to the National Children’s Palace in Bucharest, ready to learn how to improve the relationships in our families.
I noticed immediately that Gary Chapman is an open man, sensitive and passionate to contribute to the improvement of the quality of couples’ relationship, who desires a fulfilling marriage. He is a very good communicator, with experience gained all over the world, and also with an amazing adaptability to the given context. Equipped with many practical things, useful to the couples, Gary uses his inborn talent of a storyteller, as well as thoughtful humor, to open up the hearts of his listeners. With much creativity he has led us to acquire, live out and be motivated in teaching others how to put into practice these beneficial things, which he has discovered in his many years of pastorate and marriage counseling.
We were challenged in those four days to evaluate carefully if we can find the two ingredients necessary for a fulfilling marriage in our families, namely to feel loved and appreciated and solve efficiently the failures. Then he opened up burning topics like how to use anger correctly, to solve conflicts without a fight, to fulfill the sexual act of marriage and manage the things that bother you in your partner. These important topics touched us, helping us to realize once again God’s wisdom and the richness of His grace towards us and our families. We left this Conference being built up, nurtured and challenged to be good families, who serve God and our fellow citizens.
The benefit of attending this event was doubled by the teaching about financial management according to God’s will, in our families, offered by a man with wide experience in this area, Don Christensen. Thus, God reminded us that we are stewards in all things of what He has given us and that, one day, we will give account for the way in which we used His gifts. We were shown again the connection between the material world and the spiritual world, and we were challenged to work in order to improve this area so neglected in our culture.
The special teaching, the time of reflection and personalization of these important lessons received, the interaction within the couple, the context of genuine worship and free time for fellowship and discussions have contributed to a dream experience given by God to all of us.
We pray that God will help us to succeed in seeing the changes that He desires in our family relationships and then, like a circle in the water, in many other families in the area where God has placed us.”
Cristian Barbosu, pastor at Metanoia Church, Arad, the coordinator of BIG Impact motivational conferences shared with us his insights:
„God has brought a significant number of couples from all over the country to the Love Languanges conference, at Children’s Palace in Bucharest, with Gary Chapman, one of the well known authors and speakers on family issues. In a very relaxed, but profound style, Dr.Chapman has touched many hearts and minds through his biblical and family life experience. He was seconded by Don Chrisensen, a renown expert in financies, who helped us assess this important area of our life, offering us solutions for avoiding, or for getting rid of financial crises, which so often affect our family relationships.”
Other participants at the conference also shared what they learned:
“I have learnt that I need to be more careful with the needs and love language of my wife. It is easy and it is worth making some efforts to make my wife happy. I cannot serve in the church and neglect my wife and her needs, even those I do not understand. Regarding the financial aspect, I have understood that I am an administrator and I want to transfer my wealth in heaven. I no longer see giving as a tax but as an act of worship.”
“Personally I felt blessed to attend this Conference, especially that the next step in my life is a very important one – marriage. I have discovered both my fiancée’s love languages and mine. I have also been trained in view of a family life without debts.”
“I have come to the Conference to invigorate my marriage relationship, to spend quality time with my wife, to receive new information and interact with the BIG family. I was helped especially by the session on anger that Gary shared. I enjoyed both his simple, organized and full of examples way of presentation, and the fact that the messages were Biblical and well anchored in reality. It was also very useful for me to understand the Biblical perspective on finances and I appreciated Don’s dedication to the cause of the Kingdom.”
“Three months ago, my husband left home and he left me and our child. The Conference helped me and opened my eyes to see my mistakes and the wrong way in which I approached the conflict and the financial resources of the family. If I had known these things earlier, my marriage and my financial situation would have looked better. I hope that God will show my husband his mistakes and restore our marriage. If I have a chance to be a family again I will know not to repeat the mistakes. I am so eager to put into practice what I have learnt about forgiveness and reconciliation.”
“In addition to the information given with expertise, in-depth, applicability and humor, it encourages me to see their model to live significantly when you are older! I personally desire to make sure that the love I convey to my wife and children and to all those around me is well perceived by them. I have also understood that walking under the guidance of the Holy Spirit does not imply that I do not observe the financial principles that the Bible presents. I have understood richness as being anything that is on top of what is strictly necessary.”
“It has been very useful for me to understand both the love and forgiveness languages, and the importance of financial freedom. As a single person I desire to have a beautiful relationship right from the beginning. I do not want to cause my future wife additional sufferings.”
The event at the National Children’s Palace was just part of Gary Chapman’s visit to Romania. The other part, shorter but not less intense, took place at Romexpo, within the Bookfest Book Hall. Friday, May 27, Gary was invited by “Curtea Veche” Publishing House to attend a multi-faceted program, including a press conference, interviews with the national press, the book release of The Five Love Languages – Men’s Edition, and a session of autographs.
Anticipated by the Romanian mass-media with titles like “Gary Chapman, the Missionary of Love in Bucharest,” the attendance of this well-known Christian author at Bookfest was welcomed by journalists from the written press and from radio and TV. Dr. Chapman introduced the five love languages, with his characteristic humor, to journalists from the periodicals “Evenimentul Zilei”, “Gandul”, “Elle”, “Tabu”, and from TV channels TVR, TVR Cultural, Kanal D, etc.
The pictures taken on this occasion indicated that the journalists savored Gary Chapman’s message and the answers he gave to their questions. His presentation opened doors to periodicals that normally ignore evangelicals. A journalist from a secular periodical asked Gary what could be done to draw the young generation to God and the church.
We appreciate the way the representatives from the “Curtea Veche” Publishing House thought of and organized these events at Bookfest. Their work made it possible to see articles, like the one in the “Evenimentul Zilei” newspaper, entitled: Bookfest 2011: The “Marriage Doctor” Came to Bucharest, and to hear the news on Mediafax Agency, which stated that Gary Chapman was the best sold author published by “Curtea Veche” at Bookfest. This was a true miracle!
We give thanks to God for all the joys that He offered us through Gary Chapman and Don Christensen and we hope that the seed they planted, both at the conference and at Bookfest, will bear much fruit.
The interviews that Gary Chapman and Don Christensen had the kindness to give us can be found following the links. Also, the picture galleries include some of the significant moments of their visit to Bucharest.