In June, CDI Bishkek’s Women’s Community Health Education team completed their first set of seven health lessons in a village one hour outside of Bishkek. This weekly training set covered topics such as healthy pregnancy, pregnancy nutrition, menopause, and other women’s health issues. While the physical health lessons were helpful, most of the participants found the relational lessons to be the most life-impacting. Recently the team met with the women to ask if they wanted to start another series. The overwhelming answer was, “Yes!” At that gathering every woman had a personal testimony of how the seminar is changing her family and personal life. Listen to what some participants said:
“I have a teenage brother, and we haven’t had a good relationship. I would beat him because he wouldn’t obey me. In the seminar Parenting Teenagers, we received handouts, so I took them home and read them to my family. I explained them to my little brother using kind words and we have started a good relationship. My mother is also trying. My brother is obeying us now, and the relationship between us is changing.”
The seminar has brought peace and agreement to this family and now they have more joy. When Ajar talks about herself and these things, tears well up in her eyes.
Another participant wrote: “I am learning through the Right Relationships seminar how to improve my relationship with my husband, my children and my relatives. I have a good relationship with my husband, but I believe in the future, it can be even better. If you come with more lessons prepared like these, it would be very good.”
When we taught about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) we discussed how most STDs can be prevented through a monogamous relationship with your spouse. Some of the women said, “Yes, but how can we keep our husbands faithful?” This gave us a great opportunity to share about husband and wife relationships. With material pulled from the Eggeriches’ book Love and Respect, we talked about how a husband that feels respected in his home is more likely to stay at home! We talked about a list of “24 Ways to Respect Your Husband.” One of the attendees recently shared that she posted this list on the wall in her house. She is trying to show her husband more respect and she’s been amazed at how it has improved their relationship!
Another mom shared that her husband also reads the handouts she’s brought home from the trainings, and he has stopped yelling at the kids so much, and is trying to practice some of the parenting suggestions provided.
It is encouraging to see women’s lives being changed through practical knowledge and their desire to practice what they are learning. We are anticipating great results from the next seminar called “Staying Young” which covers topics like healthy lifestyle, stress management and exercise.