The Words of the Stumpf Family
On the weekend of June 7th we had the opportunity to have Jim and Hiromi Stephens visit Seattle. Hiroko and I had just attending the 5th Parents Matching Convocation in Washington, D.C., and we thought it would be valuable for our community if we could bring some of that content to our local blessed couples. Our brother John DeGoede in Seattle had the idea to do a local Parents Matching Convocation; however, this was a little too ambitious so we scaled it down and created a Parents Matching Workshop.
One week before Jim and Hiromi visited; during Sunday school in both Seattle and Portland, we showed the video “The Joy of Blessing,” which has some very inspiring interviews with some great second generation Blessed Couples. This video gave both the first and second generation a lot of hope for the future and inspired them to participate in the events on the following weekend.
The Parents Matching workshop certainly hit an area of interest for our first generation parents; we had 47 parents attend the four-hour Saturday afternoon program. Jim Stephens gave a presentation called “What About Parents Matching?” After the presentation, we broke into three small discussion groups; in each group a couple or a parent that had already done a matching shared their testimony and answered questions about their matching experience. In the group I attended a mother shared about how much prayer was involved at every step throughout the matching of her son. After the group discussions Jim and Hiromi gave an overview of the online matching resources available at the Blessed Family Association and international matching web sites; they also showed some of the second generation couples testimonies at the absolutelove.org web site. We encouraged parents to bring pictures and information about their matching candidates, and we had about ten photos on the display board. We wanted to have some candidate photos to create the feeling of a matching convocation.
On Saturday evening we went over to Windermere house and had a dinner followed by a presentation by Jim and Hiromi on the husband-wife relationship and ideal sex. Several parents that were not planning to attend the evening program came after their experience at the afternoon workshop. We had 32 parents at the evening program, including some members who don’t come to church. The attendance was also a positive surprise for us since our previous local Blessed Family Department programs were much smaller. This program certainly got the message across about the importance of the husband and wife relationship. We had done this to some degree with the Mark Gungor material and with our family workshops, but in this event we could reach out to many more members.
On Sunday more parents and a lot of second generation drove up from Portland to attend the Sunday Service. All together, 21 people came up to Seattle from Portland, Oregon, which is a three-hour drive. During Sunday school Jim met with 25 of the older second generation to answer questions about the matching and blessing,and Hiromi shared with the parents about the matching and answered questions. We had an overflow crowd at Sunday Service, and there was a spirit of joy filling the church; Jim gave a wonderful sermon, “The Greatest Treasure in All of Human History.” This was an uplifting weekend for our community, and I feel that we sewed a lot of new seeds. I am looking forward to see what will take root and grow. There was quite a buzz and excitement in the air after the Sunday Service, and I saw a lot of couples networking with other couples.
Based on the foundation that was laid during this weekend, we will be able to do some local parents matching convocations in the future and better support our blessed couples with matching their children.
Jim and Hiromi, thank you for a wonderful visit from all of our community.
Richard and Hiroko Stumpf
District 10 Blessed Family Department Coordinators
Most impressive was the visceral relationship that Jim and Hiromi
had. They were especially effective taking turns teaching as it
brought to life our ideal of a couple working together for a greater
purpose. It is inspiring to see this couple breaking through and to
realize that is our future as well. Let us all work to accomplish
what they have modeled for us; what a great world we can create!
This past experience at the Seattle Workshop of Jim and Hiromi
Stephens about the husband and wife relationship has been eye-opening
for me. I wish I could have had this insight on the male-female
relationship before starting my family life. It could have been a
much lesser frustrating relationship. I would suggest to the new
couples to attend this insightful, inspiring and uplifting experience
as a steppingstone for their relationship with God and each