Redemption Stories: The Carpenters from Coram Deo Church.

June 1, 2012

Cole & Jeanne Carpenter remarry, EACH OTHER, on the Hobby Farm at SOS Marriage Care.
Redemption Story


Heart Care Testimonies

Each year we get wonderful testimonies from couples about how God has restored emotional, spiritual and physical intimacy in their marriage. It’s an extra blessing when we get a “thank-you” from years gone by; because we know we have been successful in teaching couples to “fish!” This is because those couples now know how to really pray through issues when they arise in their marriages each month, week or day. Most couples pray together more at our table in 3 days than they ever have in their entire married life, so we feel blessed to teach them how to continue to maintain marriages as God designed them!


Husband & Wife of 34 years

Vicki and I have been married for 34 years. We’ve dealt with infidelity, drug abuse, attempted suicide and a host of other issues. After finally putting my addiction to prescription pain killers in the rear view mirror, our relationship started to heal. We asked each other for forgiveness for the sins against one another. From that point on, our relationship was much heathier, happy and successful. We didn’t think our relationship could get any better, but then we went through Heart Care and it has.

During Heart Care I (Steve) used “pain words” and experienced a whole new level of forgiveness. The “heaviness” that I had been carrying around is gone. I had gotten so used to carrying around that heaviness that I didn’t realize it was even there. This is “true” forgiveness. Roger and Denise have done a truly amazing job at creating a safe and loving place for God’s Holy Spirit to move, stir and convict.


Wife of 20 years
Back in September of 2015, a wife of 20 years had called and wanted her and her husband to go through Heart Care which he wouldn’t do. After meeting with the wife and giving her prayer support and encouragement through phone calls, she gave up on her marriage. Her husband was not interested in reconciliation and didn’t care if she moved out or not. He was emotionally detached and often times mean to her. She had moved her heart far from him and, against better counsel, started ‘seeing another man – a ‘good Christian man that wanted to propose to her.’ WHAT?

Then, her husband wanted her back. She left the other man, still ‘in love’ and connected to him, as she had moved in with him. Yes, a good Christian woman, deceived like Eve herself. However, she is now back with her husband of 20 years and they are scheduled for Heart Care in early 2017.

On Facebook this wife posted a 2017 picture of them and she wrote: “This is what a miracle looks like.” Praise God for a miracle of a family and marriage prayed for and redeemed!



Couple’s faith in marriage restored

In August of 2014, Brianna called asking for help for her ‘relationship’ of 5 years with Gabe. Keyword: relationship. They had been living together for 5 years, had a child together and had 4 other kids, 3 from her previous marriage, and one from a previous relationship of Gabe’s. They found themselves “Constantly picking at each other,” and Brianna went on to state that they, “had lost faith in the concept of marriage.” To that statement, I agreed that marriage was in a bad state in America and one could easily lose faith in it. But she agreed that she thought we could help her with her ‘relationship’ issues.

We had never been asked to work with a couple that never had a desire to even get married one day. It wasa crisis of belief for us to know God had sent us this couple to care for them and to the point them to Jesus, that one day they BOTH might become followers of Jesus.

Brianna and Gabe joined our Sunday night gospel community, and after two years had each made
commitments at different times to follow Jesus and even move apart, after buying house together, and get marriage in a wedding performed by none other than a former SOS Marriage Care Heart Care Graduate, Nathan (read his marriage miracle in the Heart Care Workbook chapter ‘Bitterness’).


Husband & Wife Reconcile Days Before Decree Finalized
In late summer 2015, Jenny came alongside a wife named Bree to do Heart Care. Her husband had moved out of the home and had started seeing another woman. During Heart Care, Bree was able to lay a lot of sin and brokenness at the foot of the cross for the first time. She had just recently started following Jesus with her whole heart after hearing one of the last messages from Ty Schenzel, a wonderful pastor that was killed in a car accident with his wife Terri, one month after this specific sermon.

Bree did not give up hope or praying for her husband. As Bree prayed for her husband she kept her heart open to what God could and may do in their lives. She did NOT date anyone of the suggested people, ‘friends,’ would try to set her up with. One day she found herself being invited to coffee by her husband, just before the final divorce decree was scheduled the following week.

Her husband, Kevin, later said that his goal at coffee was “just to apologize to Bree for the mean things I said and did during the divorce trial. BUT, her heart was so open…” From there they both broke down, wondering why they had gotten to where they were, and seeing that they really didn’t want a divorce.

As God would providentially have it, Kevin attended a church service the following Sunday with Bree and heard the gospel message preached. We had a cancelation in our Heart Care schedule and filled it two weeks later to help Kevin and Bree connect their hearts like never before. They are now doing life together as a family, pictures at our Fall SOS Hobby Farm event last October, and attending church every Sunday. Praise God for miracles like this!



Wife of 35+ years that met just once with Denise and prayed thru bitterness

Traditionally we don’t meet with individuals because we believe that God wants to reveal so much to couples and we like to teach a couple how to minister to one another’s pain. In some cases, one spouse isn’t open to meet, so it’s always amazing how that even working through bitterness on one side of the marriage opens hearts of emotional connection in marriage.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the your [counseling] last week. When I shared with my husband he received me – understood – and was happy I went to see you. That is all God’s work in arranging circumstances, ordering how they happen, preparing hearts. I am slightly in shock and overwhelmed with happiness. I hope one day we can all 4 sit together and experience what Jesus can do when we trust and ask. Thank-you, thank-you so much.


Husband & Wife of 8 years

We are so fortunate to have learned about you both and your marriage counseling [now referred to as mentoring!]. We’ve been so blessed & inspired by the amount of time & energy you spend pouring into marriages. Thank-you for being a huge part of saving our marriage! We are truly forever grateful to you, Thank-you!


Husband & Wife of 9 years

We are so grateful that our Mentors recommend us to Heart Care. Your ministry is vitally important and we want to support you to the greatest extent we are able. Satan has used bitterness, hurt & immorality to destroy the family – particularly here in the U.S. – and we are seeing the trickle down through our children, amplified with each new generation. More personally, we have so many friends that are now going through painful divorces and the causes are so obvious to us now. They are hurting and broken and need the Lord’s healing and restoration, just like we did and continue to as well.

We want to thank you so much for your willingness to serve the Lord and others and for all you did for us, and our son. We are here to support you in any way we can. Please never hesitate to come to us if her is anything we do can do! Thank-you!

PS. We’re celebrating our recovery by adding another mini-human to our circus in the spring!


From a hopeful wife of 12 years after our interview dinner

Thanks.  I was actually hopeful in talking w/ both of you and listening to my husband.  We had tried some counseling together this past fall & he opened up to you guys sooo much!  It was a completely different experience.  I really appreciate your honesty the other night, like I said things have been VERY difficult, off & on, but especially these last 6 months.  Things just seem to keep building & I can see my husband really just shutting down & shutting me out.

It was interesting when we left because I shared with him that this journey has been a really amazing experience in my relationship with God.  I have never felt closer to God, probably because I’m leaning on him so much every minute of every day & really feel like I have no one else, but I’ve also never felt farther away from my husband, because he’s just not the man I married & not living life the way God created for him, and that is so sad.  I know God uses all things for his good & I can definitely see that he is using this to grow me closer to Him.  I have given him all my trust & am just trying to be obedient to what he is asking me to do.

Thank you again for taking the time to sit down with us.  I really feel like I can have hope that I can have the man that God created him to be as my husband.

From the same wife – 14 months after Heart Care

 God really is in the business of restoration & transformation.  We are really doing GREAT!!  God has healed so much not just between the both of us, but in other relationships as well. I continue to be amazed & awed daily of the changes I have seen in my husband over these past 14 months.

So thankful for your faithful work in all you do to serve Him & it’s amazing to see the ripple effect in how we can continue to put to use the training & healing we’ve received to not only change our lives but help others see Him. _____________________________________________________________________________________

Note from couple, married 12 years, one week after Heart Care

Thank you both for your faithfulness to serve God in restoring marriages & for giving us the tools to unlock our hearts towards others and each other. Thanks you for making an eternal difference in our marriage, helping us recognize our sinfulness towards one another and giving us truth to break through those strongholds and leave them with Jesus for good. Watching God work through both of us this week has been amazing, humbling and we are so very grateful for your prayers and service to Him.


Heart Care Couple from the St. Louis area – Summer 2013

It’s hard to believe that just 4 days ago we entered your home/office and you welcomed us with open arms and open hearts. It is difficult to fully articulate what our hearts feel and our minds are processing. What we do know is that God has used you as His voice to speak truth and love into the heart of two miserable, hopeless struggling people.

We also know this: Without the simple yet bold presentation of God’s word and principles, our marriage was headed for failure. God took our pain last might to the cross and has filled us with a renewed sense of purpose; restored our love for one another; and showed us what His plan is for our marriage. It is our pray that God will continue to bless your marriage and ministry. Thank You for being Jesus to us? We love you both.


Letter from a wife of 9+ years

I want to give you both an update on the state of our marriage and thank you for all of the time, effort, and prayer you have put into our marriage over the last 9+ years. I don’t know where we would be today if it weren’t for the two of you.

 As you know, several months ago, I had decided that my life just wasn’t going the way I had hoped it world. I was so tired of it all. I intentionally decided to stop being the headstrong, controlling, manipulating, dipping faucet wife that I had been and I decided to take my rightful place BESIDE my husband – not in FRONT of him.

This one decision has led to an amazing change for our marriage. (No surprise there, I’m sure you know!) We argue less. We enjoy each other in EVERY way that married couple should. There is less conflict in running our household, how to raise our son and how to be as a family. Since I am no longer a nag, my husband feels more confident taking the lead role in our family. With him at the helm, I feel more confident that the decisions being made are the right ones. I could keep going on, but I think you the ideaJ

 Thank you both for being there for us. We really appreciate your advice, your prayers, your patience and most importantly your friendship.


From a guest at one of our events

 Happy Anniversary, you’ve helped so many others! It’s that one seed you are planting in the hearts and souls of others that has the potential to help others celebrate that same joy you have for oneness. The way you foster fellowship, like the egg hunt, is critical in today’s society because believers need the support of other believers; and they need to help to spread God’s word to those who don’t believe – He Lives! in each of us. Thank you denise, for being an honest and wise woman – true love and caring for others means helping them expose their faults and encouraging them to move faults to faith! We so love that in you.  


A Facebook Post from a gal married 8 years that we had the privilege to introduce to Jesus…

Driving home from church…my daughter is in the back with her bible and her Ipod and I see the light of her iPod touch and I look back, and she is not playing it but using the light from it to read her bible in the dark. This girl…she amazes me sometimes!

The same family attended our Easter Egg hunt and the Mom said her daughter was reading her Adventure Bible on the way to our Hobby Farm that day as well. Wouldn’t it be great if we all read our Bibles as the Adventure it is everyday!!


Note from a couple we met more than a decade ago that asked us speak at their church in O’Fallon, MO

We’re so glad you have sent info on S.O.S. Marriage Care in years past. You were the first ones that came to mind when we were looking for marriage retreat speakers. You both did an amazing job and I know your message was taken to heart.



I want to say how much I truly appreciate you. You have made such an amazing impact on my life. God’s timing is truly impeccable, and I am so glad that he chose to have you help me in my life journey. Thank you to both for your loving ministry to couples. God bless you.

Wife of 10 years : Heart Care Training, Canada


We are very thankful for your ministry. It has had a big impact on the future of our family. We thank the Lord for SOS!

 Husband & Wife of 6 years : Heart Care


Wonder if you are building your guest cottages yet? Would be wonderful talking to you again sometime!

Wife of 14 years


I have met some really amazing people in the last month that have truly changed my life. It’s amazing what a little work and effort can change. I’m truly blessed to have the people in my life that I do. Thank you Denise & Roger, we wouldn’t be here with out you.

Unbelieving Wife of 7 years – she accepted Christ during Heart Care!


We are doing better than ever. I thank God everyday that we met you guys! We were just saying last week that we would not be together had it not been for you guys. I want you to know

that every anniversary we share, you guys are in our hearts.

Wife of 6 years : Heart Care


My husband and I are doing better than we ever have before. I’m starting to understand what you guys were talking about when you said things like, “emotional intimacy.” We were talking just the other day about how we didn’t even know that anything was missing from our marriage, but now that we experience such intimacy with each other, we can’t imagine how we ever went without it. And we’re starting to notice that hardly anybody we know is really connected to their spouse the way God intended for them to be. It’s so sad, really.

[My husband} has initiated prayer nearly every morning. He prays specifically for my issues with fear, and I pray for his issues with lust. He has had such tremendous success in the areas of lust, pornography, etc. He talks with me about it freely (and almost daily) and I see a noticeable difference when we see a “hot chick.”…his head snaps away so fast…he doesn’t stop to look even for a second. He calls when he is unusually tempted at work, and he is praying so much more about it. He said just the other day that he feels so connected to God and free from shame. He was singing a song on Sunday and said that he was just filled with gratitude for the grace God has given him. It’s just so amazing to see the growth in him.

We are SO grateful for the ministry that you guys have. We’ve recommended several people to you. Whenever you guys think we have enough years under us, we would love to start serving.

Wife of 2 years, 6 months :: Heart Care/Crisis Ministry


It was the best experience in my life. I can tell you care about others.

Single 23 year old woman, unmarried that Denise worked with


Heart care helped us see the bigger plan God had for our marriage. That the choice was ours to trust God and let him refine us through our relationship. The concept of the little boy/girl heart gave us better listening/communication.

[In a later email…] I wanted to send a quick note and thank God for you and Roger and the impact you guys had on our marriage through your friendship and SOS. We are preparing to meet with our first couple this week and got out our SOS books to look back on “the process’ we went through. It is only by HIS grace that we will be able to listen and pray them through their issues! Will let you know how it goes.

Wife of 3 years


When we did our Heart Care, we expected more “marriage counseling” and a “start to finish” sort of experience. What we got instead was something completely different. You and Roger helped us tear down all the broken-down, rotting crap that was made up our foundation (if you can even call it that) and helped us build something new and strong. You didn’t “finish” anything with us – you restarted us by giving us something solid and healthy to build on for the rest of our lives – a place to start – a launching pad.

Wife of 5 years


It’s been a long while since we last spoke, but I wanted to drop you a line and let you know that my wife and I are doing very well since our time with the two of you. The session, though relatively short, was extraordinary in the way you helped us gain a more complete and intimate understanding of each other and our individual experiences in the relationship. We have been able to come together and love one another despite difference of opinion and personality, probably more so than in any point of our relationship. It’s an astounding change compared to where we were a year ago. I wanted to thank you again for what you’ve done for us. You are doing an amazing work.

Husband’s email to us the year after their Heart Care in 2010, married 5 years :: Heart Care/Crisis Ministry


God showed me it was His love that allowed me to love my spouse so much despite his betrayal. I knew most of his childhood stories, but never realized how they would manifest and show and grow and resurface 50+ years later.

Wife of 22 years


The awareness that we really do complete each other, and that we need each other, and that we may someday help another couple, and that forgiveness takes place for transgressions.

Husband of 22 years


The program was so enlightening and encouraging for me. Although things didn’t work out as I had hoped for my marriage. I sure learned a lot about God’s plan for marriage that I never knew. It was a great program.

Wife of 23 years, being left in divorce, that Denise worked with


God works in mysterious ways. Everyday has been better, just as you said it would be. WE are having a wonderful time “together” in Alaska. Thank you so much for your life-changing ministry.

Wife of 25 years on anniversary trip


Honestly we’ll miss Sunday night with all of you BUT just wanted to admit something I’m not proud of…this is the first time we made room in our suitcase for our Bible and it’s in my husband’s (of course mine is full of swimsuits, coverups, and shoes—but that’s not the point). We will be having “our” Bible class together and praying for all of you …while we spend 11 days on the beach, near the beach and around the beach…

Wife on 39 year anniversary trip


I want to thank you for everything you have done for me. When I call you and unload my problems you never act like I am an inconvenience, even though I know you are a very busy woman. You never tell me – that’s just he way it is- or that I need to get over it. I’ve never had very good relationship or life role models, and it is still hard for me to think that my life and marriage can be good, but everyday I am getting a better understanding. It all started with you and Roger. I want you to know what a huge difference you have made in my life. Even though I am still not quite there and neither is my husband, I am confident we will get there with God. More than showing me what a good marriage should look like, you showed me what being in a real relationship with Christ looks like, and I can never thank you enough for that.

Thank-you from a Pre-marital couple, now wife of 1 year


There are no words to express the thanks we have for everything you guys have done for us – all your love, support and guidance during this sometimes stressful, but exciting and awesome time! We feel so much more ready for marriage and our life together thanks to your coaching. God bless you two, your family, and SOS Marriage Care! We’ll for sure stay in touch!

Premarital Med Students


Thank you for your participation with us on our daughter & son-in-law’s wedding day. You both have been very instrumental in their relationship, and we are blessed by the fruit we see in them through your ministry. It’s exciting to see God at work! Thanks you for your obedience to Him and your love for others.

From Parents of a Premarital Couple


We are grateful for your ministry and the many lives you have touched, and marriages you have restored. You have blessed us through the impact you have had on our friends’ lives in 2011. We are so thankful.

From Friends of SOS Couples


Denise, I wanted to check in with you and tell you God is at work in our marriage! He is most gracious to give me a softer heart toward my husband. His mercies are new every morning; it is so refreshing to think about God and the beauty of the Gospel. When I think about His character and His attributes, and when I believe the truth of His word and promises, it changes my heart and gives me contentment. I am SO GRATEFUL. God has opened my eyes more and more and I am trusting him for every circumstance, including our marriage. Thank you for being part of God’s work in my heart. He is using you mightily and will continue, of this I am certain. Bless you, sister!

Wife of 20 plus years that Denise worked with and prayed with and for via phone and Facebook


The following note was sent with a financial gift and musical “E-T” card that says on the inside “We’ll always believe in you” – we still play the card with music every so often and feel truly blessed over and over again!!

We have been meaning to contribute to your work for quite some time and have finally managed to do so! You were a God –send to us when we needed you and hope to help you out now!…We hope to give back as our finances allow! God Bless

From a couple married 17 years, that we worked with several years ago, before SOS Marriage Care


Thanks for the book Systematic Theology; I’m going to read it on our next beach vacation, just kidding. It is going to be a great resource on this awesome spiritual journey that you go me started on. Love you guys so much. You have taught /shown me so much. Thanks for being so much more than mentors, but for loving me and my husband right where were at.

 From a wife of 20 years that we worked with and mentored 6 years ago


I just got done reading everything on your website and all about your ministry, and I felt moved to make a donation in support of the wonderful work you two are doing! I wish we lived closer so that we could meet…it sounds like your husband and you are exactly the kind of mentors my honey and I could use for pre-marriage coaching!!! Thank you for all the wonderful work you are doing and may God continue to bless your efforts.

Premarital gal after reading the FamilyLife Article about us


I live in Northern NJ, and had just had another one of those “talks” with my husband, you know the ones, where one (me) just goes on and on about what’s wrong with the marriage, and the other just gets silent. Defeated and at my wit’s end, I hopped in the shower and went over the now-worn roads of our relationship in my mind; again, they ended in the same place: we just can’t stay together. We just can’t. We’re fundamentally wrong for each other. Even if we could find the right counselor, we couldn’t afford it. And even if we could afford it, would anyone be able to understand us? All of a sudden, a tiny prayer popped into my mind. “God, this is my marriage SOS. Our ship is sinking and we don’t know how to fix our boat. Please, hear me.”

When I got out of the shower, I Googled “Marriage SOS”. And here you are. I don’t even know if you guys work with people from outside of Nebraska. But I do know that finding your link is not a mistake, and that God answers prayers. I know He wants my husband and me to find intimacy and love again, and to use that bond to bring the Kingdom here…

If you’re willing to work via Skype with a young couple from NJ, let us know. If not, I understand. But may God bless you for the positivity and hope that even just your webpage represents — it was plopped in my lap by the Holy Spirit, and even just that increases my faith! May your ministry be prospered and blessed and I hope to hear from you soon.

Thanks, — I googled “Marriage SOS.” And here you are. You’re Christians

 From an email from a young wife in New Jersey


…Your care and gift of hospitality is truly amazing in the face of an ever more depersonalizing and alienating culture. The Lord Jesus Christ is doing a great work through you and Denise. Blessings and again, Thanks.

Special note from a retired Pastor to Roger


Through Heart Care God has healed the bitterness in my heart and kept me from engaging in an evil for evil relationship. The wounds I had from my childhood and marriage had locked my heart and only when I yielded that to Christ was I able to experience true freedom. My husband and I now enjoy one another’s company and I can actually see a vision where we are working together to help others. I never thought that would happen!

Wife of 12 years :: Heart Care/Crisis Ministry


Before working with SOS Marriage Care, we were barely hanging on. My wife wasn’t even staying at home. We were both miserable and didn’t know what to do. Neither of us believed in divorce, but we felt like there wasn’t any other choice. Since then, we have had a pretty huge improvement and change. We are both less bitter, more caring for one another and our faith and lifestyle choices have been much improved.

Doing Heart Care was the most beneficial for us. The main take away or part of the process that I think was key to our marriages’ recovery was the fact that the process wasn’t focused on the more superficial symptoms like what our most recent fight was about, but rather it took a holistic approach. Starting at the beginning (of each of our lives) and talking about important things that gave/gives the devil a foothold in our lives. This process also helps us to understand how and why we react to different situations in certain ways.

Husband of 4 years :: Heart Care/Crisis Ministry

2009 or before

Guess how many quotes from pre-marital coaching still go through my head! We are doing great despite life’s challenges…I married a keeper!

Wife of 6 years, Omaha, NE :: Pre-engagement/Pre-marital Coaching


A biblical foundation was really laid out for our marriage. Understanding our roles and responsibilities has really been a blessing. I fully trust my husband to take my needs into account before his own when making a decision, which makes it easy for me to encourage and support him as he leads our family.

Newlywed Wife from Indiana :: Pre-engagement/Pre-marital Coaching