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Our weekly newsletter filled with news, updates, and inspiring stories of how God is working in the Bay Area.

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Sign up for The Good Stuff

Our weekly newsletter filled with news, updates, and inspiring stories of how God is working in the Bay Area.

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We are so grateful to be part of a life-changing church, where we believe God is always moving for our good and working through us to bring light to other people. For those of us who are married, changing lives begins at home. The BACC families’ ministry is a great place where families of all different shapes and sizes can find transformative friendships with God and each other.

This is a story of how God uses our marriages and families—and even the challenges and unique experiences in them—for a good purpose. 

Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.

Malachi 2:15 NIV

Gene and Maritza Kim have been married for 24 years. In their family, they have special needs and emotional health challenges. One of the battles the Kims face constantly is unbelief that God can still use them to help others, given the needs and limitations they have as a family. But God has used these circumstances in their lives for the purpose of giving others hope. Recently, he worked through them to inspire and change the lives of the Dominguez family. 

Gene met Alejandro Dominguez through work. During a work lunch, Gene shared about his son with special needs and the incredible support they have through their faith, marriage, and church community. Alejandro and his wife, Margarita, have similar challenges in their own family; as they got to know the Kims, they saw that the Kims had weaknesses but also saw how God gave them strength.  

The Dominguezes started coming to Let’s Talk Night and church and met the Kims’ friends, Levi and Jen Cody. The Codys and Kims had been taking hikes together every Saturday to stay connected with God and each other during the pandemic. During these walks, they would take time to let down about how things were going in their marriages and homes. They invited the Dominguezes, who began joining the hikes with their family. 

The Dominguezes then started studying the Bible once or twice a week. As they built their relationship with God, they found the courage to share vulnerable things in their marriage with one another that they had never shared. This brought them closer than they had ever been, and they were baptized in December of 2021! They have also brought many family and friends to church and inspired their daughter to begin studying the Bible. 

God has a great plan for our marriages and families, even in our challenges and limitations. As we keep him at the center of our lives, we’ll see the ways he is using everything we go through for a good purpose.

The Dominguezes’ story reminds me of a recent podcast episode from Deep Spirituality called “The Great Adventure of Marriage and Family.” The episode features an interview with author Al Baird, who shares how the challenges he and his wife went through enabled them to give faith to other couples in similar situations:

“And we could help them and we could give them good advice on how to cope with it, and how to even grow through it and heal and how to grow in their relationship. So in the tough things that we go through, Satan and God often work on the same things. Satan tries to destroy our faith in God and destroy our faith in each other. God, on the other hand, uses hard times or can use the hard times to cement our relationship with each other and our relationship with God and increase our trust. Because we realize that we are not invincible. In and of ourselves, we are vulnerable. And if I don’t have God to lean on, what do I have? But with that faith and that trust, then we feel like we can handle anything.”

For some extra inspiration, we highly recommend giving the episode a listen this weekend to learn how God can make your family stronger together than you could be on your own, just as he continues to do for the Kims, Codys, and Dominguezes.

Till next week,

Sam and Tenea Manuel

East Bay Lead Ministers

Written by

Sam Manuel

Sam is a former outside linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers. Since retiring from the NFL, Sam has worked in the ministry serving communities in the Bay Area.