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Newsletter - August 2021

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

A newsletter from Building Strong Families, Inc. And Dr. Pauline M. Rivers August 2021

UPDATES When we wrote to you in February 2021, we stated that “…we are excited about 2021…we have big dreams and plans and expectations for 2021!” And even though we still have a few months left in 2021, we continue to plan for, and expect big things. If we can imagine it and ask for it, God can exceed it We are so thankful for how you have continued to support us in 2021. Serving Virtually. Because the coronavirus has stayed with us much too long, we have continued to provide services virtually through Zoom. In March 2021, we offered the virtual webinar, “When it Comes to Your Door: Mental Health Issues in the Family”. And our women’s support group, “Time with My Sisters”, has continued to meet virtually in February and in May. Although these virtual platforms like Zoom, initially felt like an inconvenience (at least for me; just being real), they have truly turned into a wonderful way for us to stay connected, to continue to serve you, and to reach people from other states that might not otherwise have attended our programs. So, God does have a way of making things turn out for our good! Serving In Person. Following the CDC recommended guidelines, we have been able to safely host two in-person events. In June, we collaborated with Dr. Suzanne Foley of MaxLiving Health Center-Carrollwood to host a Heart Health Seminar at the Sadye Gibbs Martin Community Center in Plant City. And in August, we hosted the Healing Emotional Wounds Seminar in a hybrid format. Some of you joined us virtually through Zoom and Facebook Live, while others of you joined us in person at Bethel Gospel Tabernacle (our friend in ministry, who once again opened their doors to us). Celebrating a Milestone. This was a milestone year for us! Ten years ago in January 2011, the Healing Emotional Wound Seminar was launched. It truly is “the one that started it all”! Since we launched the Healing Emotional Wounds Seminar, our services have grown to include the Women of Worth Conference, Time with My Sisters Support Group, Men of Courage Seminar, the Relationship Enrichment Seminar, Strategies for Success Workshops for Youth, and most recently, the mental health wellness webinars. But it all started with the Healing Emotional Wounds Seminar in 2011! We can only do what we do because you support us. So, thank you for praying for us and supporting us. And as often as you think of us, please remember to pray for us…. UPCOMING EVENTS: Time with My Sisters Saturday, October 2, 2021 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. A ZOOM Meeting ZOOM sign-on info will be sent to those who pre-register by emailing More Than a Conqueror: Triumphing Over Trauma Saturday, October 30, 2021 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. A ZOOM webinar You asked! We heard! We responded! This is a seminar that we have been asked to do so many times, and we are thankful that everything lined up, at the right time for us to have Dr. Benetta Wholuba (licensed clinical psychologist) and Sarah Smith (licensed mental health counselor) facilitate this session for us through Zoom. The session will focus on triumphing over abusive relationships (e.g., verbal, emotional, physical) and healing from the memories from traumatic experiences (e.g., assaults, childhood memories, etc.). The session also will address how family and friends can provide support in the right way. ZOOM sign-on info will be sent to those who pre-register by emailing Returning in 2022:

  • Women of Worth Conference and Brunch

  • Men of Courage Seminar

  • Relationship Enrichment Seminar and Jazz Brunch

We Need Your Help! We continue to look for ways to enhance and expand our services so that we can indeed serve the entire family. So, we need your help! We are looking for volunteers to serve on our Men’s Programming Advisory Committee (MPAC) and Millennial Advisory Committee (the MAC). If you, or someone you know, is interested in either of these committees, please call our office at 813-759-0260 or email Dr. Rivers at Thanks so much in advance! AN ENCOURAGING WORD…for Families Pray Like It’s Your Family! In this last year, I believe every week, and sometimes every day, someone has reached out to ask me to join them in praying for a friend, a family member, or even for themselves. I’m sure I am not alone. I am sure that has been your experience too. And I do my best to honor every prayer request, to put that name on my prayer list, and pray. I heard something recently that has truly focused and impacted the way that I respond to prayer requests. I was in a meeting a couple of weeks ago and the pastor shared how someone had asked him to pray for a family member. He stated that as he started to pray for that person, the Holy Spirit interrupted his prayer and asked, “would you pray differently if it was your child?” Wow! Think about that for a moment and let it sink in, like it did for me. Would you pray differently if it was your child? Would you pray differently if it was your spouse, or your parent, or your sibling, or your cousin? Would you pray differently if it was your family member? I am so grateful for that timely, appropriate rhema word. I am so grateful that the pastor was transparent and shared his experience, because now when I get a prayer request, I am deliberate and intentional to pray just as if I was praying for my own family member:

  • I pray with fervor and intensity because the earnest prayer of the righteous makes tremendous power available and produces wonderful results (James 5:16, NLT)

  • I pray the Will of God (the heart of God, the plan of God, what pleases God) because if I pray according to His Will (in agreement with His own plan and what pleases Him), I can be confident that He listens to me and hears me (1 John 5:14, Amplified, NLT)

  • I pray the Word of God because I know He watches over His Word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12), and not one of His good promises has ever failed (1 Kings 8:56).

  • And, I pray truly believing, because Jesus Himself said in Mark 11:24, that “whatever you ask for in prayer, believe and it shall be granted to you.” (And…making sure that whatever I ask for in prayer lines with His Word and His Will because He honors His Word and His Will.)

So, let’s commit to keep praying for each other, without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5;17) and to pray for each other, just like we are praying for our own family members! Be blessed! Be well! And keep believing God, that it shall be exactly as He said! Dr. Rivers …strengthening families to help them be great… Contact us via email:

Phone: 813-759-0260 (office) Visit us at:

Mail Us: PO Box 3272 Plant City, Florida 33563

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