God gave Ria a complete new life during the Fatherheartschool

Ria has been coming to our church even from before it was officially established. Through Josée and Eugeen she came to the then prayergroup. She couldn’t attend her church anymore because of frequent and severe epileptic seizures. Her therapist advised her to come to the group on Tuesday nights. Ria says she never quite knew why this woman gave her this advice. At first she came just to get out of the house for a little while.

Ria says she was always well taken care off even when having a seizure. Ria, now age 56, is a mother of four and a grandmother of three. Her childhood and teenage years were difficult. She can’t remember ever having been cuddled or hugged by her parents. One could hardly talk about relationships within the family. She was the only daughter amongst 6 brothers. Her father became an orphan at 6 and grew up in a foster home where he had to work hard and received no love. Moreover Ria’s parents had financial problems and Ria had to wear second hand clothes, she was pointed out and laughed at. She was also repeatedly sexually abused. Her youth was full of humiliation and shame.

God desired Ria! She had no joy at all and wondered she was ever born. About 10 years ago she gave her life to Jesus and during those 10 years God has brought a lot of healing into her life. Especially the last 5 years, she really learned to know the Lord. Slowly she realized what kind of Person He is. People noticed she was changing and one day the neurologist told her the same, Ria could only ascribe this to the Lord. Two years ago after the service Hugo prayed with her that she would be “the head of the family and not the tail”. Her whole life she never felt she truly belonged in her family. Just recently a sister-in-law said “what would we do without our Ria?” Ria is participating much more in the family now. When last year the invitations for the Fatherheart school were given, she very much wanted to come. She asked her husband, he consented immediately and transferred the money.

Transformation after the Fatherheartschool During the school in Torhout Ria again received a lot of healing. When asked what the school means to her, Ria says “I learned to weep and learned to laugh. The teachings loosened things of my past and brought profound healing. The invisible bars are gone. Now I dare to move. I’m much freer, much more joyful and I find it much easier to get in contact with people.”

The heavy burden of humiliation vanishes I was very touched by what Janice explained about the shame of the woman with the issue of blood. For 12 years she had been humiliated by everyone, everything she touched became unclean, she was deprived of any form of contact. She was robbed of everything, the whole world was against her. Up to that day when she touched Jesus and He gave her a new start. I recognized myself very much in that story. After the soaking tears started falling, the tears I never wept all those years. The heavy burden of years of humiliation has been lifted from me. And even so the guilt towards my own children is gone. The guilt because I gave them too little love when they were small.

Bursting out in laughter Thursday night before the service I felt, for the first time, a smile on my lips. Shortly after I roared with laughter… something I never experienced before. Also that night I couldn’t stop laughing. The laughing continues up to now each time I encounter a funny situation and sometimes even without any reason at all. The last day a woman from Switserland came up to me and blessed me while rubbing my back. Years ago I would not have been able to bear that but now it gave me a warm, pleasant feeling. I may now experience how important it is to hug someone and I enjoy it for the first time in my life! When Ria turned 50 she pronounced that the best years were now to come. She keeps Psalm 103:5 constantly in mind “so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s”. This is really happening in her life. For those who know Ria it is clear the school produced a visible transformation. She feels calmer and happier than ever… People notice and inquire about it… The desert blossomed like a rose and God continues to work in her life! Recently her husband needed to make a payment for their son and being at it, asked her if he should already pay for the next Fatherheart school… as Ria really would like to come again…

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