'We heard God is the answer to our marriage problems. And we believed'
Bec and Memo’s story | What happened at breaking point
“I met Memo when I was 18. He was 27. He had a Mexican background and we met through a Mexican dance performance group. We hit it off straight away. We got married and we had four children. But it was when our first child was small, and I was struggling with my marriage, that some Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked at our door. I actually invited them in. I was lonely and depressed. So I said, ‘Come in and have a cup of tea.’”
“They kept coming back, every week, for a year. We read the Bible together and it actually got Memo and I interested in the Bible, for the first time. Before that, I hadn’t thought much about faith or the Bible. I probably thought there was a God. My mum was searching for meaning. Memo was the same. He had a Catholic background, but he had questions. What are we here for? He was always wondering, even searching for answers in outer space.
“After a year, the Jehovah’s Witnesses asked us to come to their church, but we said no … and we never saw them again.
“Some years later, things got really bad for us in our marriage. We were on the verge of splitting up. At the time, I knew that our neighbor was a Christian and she went to church. I had the feeling that I’d like to take our kids to church. So we went to her church, on and off for a year. Nothing really sunk in. But one day, someone at her church gave us a leaflet about a weekend marriage course. She’d heard that we were having marriage problems.
“I showed the leaflet to Memo and he said, ‘You go. You’re the one with the problems.’
“The next day, Memo changed his mind – he said, ‘I’ll go, if you want to go.’
“We went to the marriage weekend. The first session on the Friday night stripped us apart. We fought afterwards. We pulled the two beds apart so that we wouldn’t have to sleep near each other. The next morning, we decided that we wouldn’t stay at the course. We’d tell the organisers and leave.
“But we looked everywhere and we couldn’t find the organisers. So we said to each other that we’d just listen to the first session and then leave. But during that first session, God started revealing himself to us. We were hearing about how God is the answer to our marriage. The speaker said that in a marriage, you need Jesus in the middle, like the third strand of a braid you can’t see. You can’t do it on your own, without him. And they said that the Bible has the answers. They told us that Jesus died for our sins, and that there was an enemy that was dividing us. Memo said that he’d never understood it before. But it became real for us both, right then. It felt like everything was making sense. We cried a lot that day! We came to Christ together. It was instant!
“We kept talking about it on the way home in the car. We couldn’t wait to tell everyone! It was so urgent. From that day on, we’ve never stopped reading the Bible together. And we’ve changed. Our family has changed. We started going to Mexico, regularly, to help in an orphanage. Then, we thought we’d go long-term to Mexico, but the doors didn’t open. Instead, we now work with a refugee ministry in Sydney. We also open our home up to Indigenous teens from the Northern Territory on school scholarships.
“For both of us, our favourite Bible passage is in Acts 9. Saul was nearing Damascus and ‘suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him’. Saul heard the voice of Jesus. He fell to the ground, and later, it says that ‘something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes and he could see again’. (verse 3 and 18).
“That’s exactly how it felt for us. It was like scales fell from our eyes!”