BUCKNER—In a church filled with people, one room stood out. A small group of men gathered inside talking quietly. Occasionally, a bit of laughter broke the tension.
Gaudencio Martinez voiced how all of them were feeling: “Nervous.”
Another room buried even deeper in the church had a significantly different tone. The women there were talking quickly—excitedly. They held still as they put on make-up, then jumped back into action.
The scene was different, but Silvia Lares said the women felt the same emotion as the men: “Nervous.”
For the four couples who were married in one ceremony at The Village Church in Dallas, the day was years in the making—19 to be precise, since Gaudencio Martinez and Silvia Lares met at a friend’s house.
Whatever originally brought the four men and four women together as couples, they gathered for the wedding ceremony in large part because of their involvement in the Buckner Family Hope Center at Bachman Lake in Dallas.
All have participated in classes to strengthen their families and their relationships. Their children have been involved in Buckner programs, as well. As families, they have volunteered to help their neighbors through Buckner.
Albert Reyes, president and chief executive officer of Buckner International, and Ricardo Brambila, director of the Family Hope Center, officiated at the joint ceremony for the four couples.
“We serve families at every level,” Reyes said. “We help them work through economic, emotional and spiritual issues. In the process of those conversations, we talk about God’s model for the family. We talk about husbands and wives committing to each other, laying the groundwork for stability for the entire family. These couples today are standing before their neighbors committing themselves and their families to God.”
The moment nearly overwhelmed Martinez in the middle of the ceremony. He fought back tears as he professed his love to his bride. He wants to set an example of what a godly relationship looks like for their teenage sons.
“My wife and I believe it’s a good example for our sons,” he said. “It’s a symbol of unity for the family.”
Buckner programs already have made a tremendous difference in the family’s life, Martinez said.
“The programs Buckner has are focused on the family. They focus on my sons. They’ve helped my sons. They’ve helped me. It’s helped me work toward a better future,” he said.
“Buckner is helping families little by little. People used to know Buckner through a brochure. Now they know Buckner through the people who are involved in it. They see the change in our families. They see the change in our children. As a result, they want to know more about Buckner.”
In some ways, a ceremony years in the making is the start of many years to come.
“I wanted to be more of a family,” Sylvia Lares Martinez said. “Buckner gave us that opportunity.”