The Witness of an Ecumenical Marriage
– by Franciny Jimenez
My name is Franciny Jimenez, I’m 28 years old and part of the Arbol de Vida Community in Costa Rica. I’m a devout Catholic. This past July I married a man who is not a Catholic, his name is Uriah Wilson. He is a Baptist. You may wonder how has this worked for us? Well, the Lord has been great and merciful with us.
We joined CEM (the university outreach in Costa Rica) when we were friends and students in the same university. The feelings we had for each other grew in that time, but it was difficult for me to think about the fact that he wasn’t a Catholic. I asked myself how could this work in the long run? I doubted. We were invited to join the community and from then on, we were greatly blessed both individually and as a couple. We found a place where we could share our Christian faith, and which focused on the things we had in common, not in the differences of our Christian backgrounds.
As we discerned our call to marriage, the community became a key instrument of the Lord. In it we met another ecumenical couple where he is an Evangelical and she is a Catholic. We heard their testimony of life as a family, how they raised their children and how they dealt with differences. We got to know other couples like this in our community and were very encouraged to believe that it was possible and pleasing to the Lord that we should start a family coming from different backgrounds.
A community couple gave us a course preparing for marriage and this was very important since they understood the doctrinal differences we had to deal with. It was very enriching since people outside our communities often don’t understand this kind of unity and many leaders and pastors in our churches may be very closed to ecumenism. The community was therefore a help, supporting us and guiding us as we sought for God’s will for our lives.
The Lord has spoken to our heart through community brothers and sisters, through prayers from them and prophecy, to confirm that our union is a blessing and a witness to the peoples about the unity he wants for the Christian people.
It’s incredible when you see how God places the pieces in our lives and, even when circumstances seem to make no sense, He gives a purpose to our lives. The Lord has shown me his love and fidelity, and has blessed me with a Christian man, who is serious about his relationship with God, and has allowed us to be part of a community of brothers and sisters who support us in growing and being a testimony of His love to us.
Franciny Jiménez is a member of the Arbol de Vida community in San Jose, Costa Rica. Taken from the Sword of the Spirit’s Booklet for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2019. Used with permission.