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Interview with Marianne Gauggel

FPC: Marianne, you have been a precious help to your husband over the years. What big lessons have you learned? What advice would you give younger women to help them persevere?

Summarizing over 40 years of ministry in a few lines is not easy.

Different phases, different steps have followed one another. And so, many opportunities to serve. Sometimes engaged in action alongside Jeannot, sometimes stuck at home with practical things to do. Time and again, I had to learn that the important thing is not “doing” but “being”.

I needed to be attached to the Vine, fed by his Word just as much in evangelizing and in teaching as in times of practical service. Cultivating my communion with God and directing my thoughts on his Word on not on my feelings is a daily discipline. Sometimes I felt like I was on the sidelines, out of the way. Why? Because I considered my practical occupations to be without “spiritual” value! When I perceive my value as dependent on what I do, I become vulnerable.

My key verse: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. [1]” Accepting that I am where God wants me to be and being convinced that he wants to use me there for his glory, frees me. I can glorify God in my everyday life with the help of the Holy Spirit. It is he who produces these good works in me which God prepared in advance.

The model of the woman of noble character in Proverbs 31 encourages me. She recognizes with joy her husband as the head of the family and of the community. She demonstrates this by taking care of the house and the land so that he can fully assume his role as a leader in society (at the city gates).

A Chinese proverb says that the wise person adapts to circumstances like water takes the form of a jug. How wonderful it is to be able to accept wisdom from above, to not depend on one’s own resources but on him to adapt to our circumstances and to be useful to the Master.

Marianne Gauggel

[1] Ephesians 2.10.

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