17 Years ago I proposed to Rhoda at a magic show. We were married 5 months later.
Unfortunately, some marriage stories are not being told but are being erased and censored from the public square, even being made criminal. The hope we have in Christ for a transformed heart and renewed mind which proves abundant life in a loving marriage is being attacked and labeled as evil today. Jesus brought together two very unlikely people in a marriage that survived great testing and trials, attacked by popular culture and criticized as a fraud.
The Gay Lifestyle
Daren Mehl was living as a gay identified man, fully embracing what he believed was “gay Christianity”, a belief that his monogamous relationship with his boyfriend was acceptable to God. Rhoda Mehl was living as a queer identified woman embracing a lesbian mindset but open to any options that looked like love. Having no luck with women, as a glutton for punishment, began dating a polyamorous bisexual man. Both Daren and Rhoda believed they had found love in those relationships, but Jesus would soon lead them to true love.
A divine opportunity presented itself when the man Rhoda was dating, someone Daren also once dated, invited them both to a dinner party. A casual friendship budded between Daren and Rhoda. Daren began giving Rhoda dating advice on how to navigate the turbulent relationship she was pursing. She had a thing for unavailable men.
Through separate situations and events, Jesus brought Daren and Rhoda closer together.
Daren was invited to a church prayer service where he asked God to reveal if he was really gay or not. He prayed that if God didn’t want him to be gay that God to break up the relationship between him and his boyfriend, because Daren knew he could never do that on his own. With the faith of a mustard seed, Daren also prayed that if he wasn’t gay, that God would work it out so that Rhoda and him would be able to get married. To his surprise, when Daren returned home from the prayer service to greet his boyfriend, his boyfriend broke up with him.
Daren continued to faithfully and with good will as a friend support Rhoda through the breakup with her boyfriend. To honor their mutual friend, Daren waited a customary two weeks and then asked him if Daren could date Rhoda. Their mutual friend was happy for the couple and blessed the opportunity.
While Daren was still a gay identified man, and Rhoda was broken herself still queer identified, Jesus would have their love grow for each other over time. With great trust in the Lord and love for each other Daren proposed to Rhoda on July 11th, 2005, then they got married on December 11th, 2005.
Grace for Change
Jesus did a mighty work in their lives over a decade and a half, ministering to Daren and Rhoda through scripture and fellowship with other believers at their church.
Daren was healed from desires for sodomy as Jesus renewed his mind and heart toward himself and other men. Rhoda experienced healing of deep insecurities and self-worth troubles of desiring acceptance from people rather than acceptance from God in Jesus Christ. Jesus blessed Daren and Rhoda with a son in 2013, and a daughter in 2015.
This beautiful love story that Jesus orchestrated and the born-again marriage that Daren and Rhoda live in today is being challenged by a dark force that doesn’t want to hear of the transforming power of Jesus to set the captives free of homosexuality. In opposition to Daren and Rhoda coming together in their mutual faith in Jesus Christ, the LGBTQ lobby is calling their testimony a fraud and harmful their community.
“Conversion Therapy” An Attack on Transformation and Marriage
The LGBTQ lobby supported by billions of dollars of popular culture marketing have labeled this love story as an evil narrative. They turned Daren and Rhoda’s testimony and similar testimonies into a monster called “conversion therapy” and this boogey man is used to scare the naïve individual into believing the LGBTQ need to be protected from the mythical “ex-LGBTQ” story.
“Conversion Therapy” is a religious/political catch all euphemism for anything, and we do mean anything, that implies or directly contradicts the LGBTQ community beliefs that one is born gay, there is no need for change, and trying to change is harmful because it stigmatizes LGBTQ and leads them to depression and suicide.
Daren and Rhoda’s testimony that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, directly contradicts LGBTQ beliefs that being gay is the highest form of freedom and authenticity for oneself. With “Conversion Therapy” narratives they create the belief that someone leaving a gay identity and lifestyle is a dangerous goal, it is harmful, abusive, condemning, hateful, bigoted, old fashioned, narrow minded, and ultimately an expression of internalized homophobia. The testimony of Jesus working in Daren and Rhoda’s life, and the fruit of that, is being called evil and “Conversion Therapy”.
The LGBTQ community label Daren and Rhoda’s marriage as a “great evil”. They treat it as a threat to their community’s health. The transformed life and children birthed in their faithful commitment to Jesus proves the blessing of God to repentant and humble life of disciples of Jesus in contradiction to the self-centered, prideful and generation ending life of homosexuality.
No Weapon Formed Will Prosper
This spiritual battle with darkness is not finished. Daren and Rhoda Mehl are now ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ and preaching and teaching the knowledge of God.
The testimony of their marriage is contradicting the lies of the LGBTQ narrative that people cannot and should not seek Jesus for wholeness and restoration in mind and heart if that would result in heterosexuality.
The gospel message of Jesus directly confronts the lies of the “conversion therapy” narratives, a house of cards built by the LGBTQ lobby. Daren exposed this house of cards when he boldly testified to world leaders at the United Nations, United States Senate, and multiple states legislatures of the transforming power of Jesus to set people free of homosexuality.
Even though their testimony is being criminalized as “fraud” under the guise of “conversion therapy” across the world, and potentially in the United States if The Equality Act passes, Daren and Rhoda will continue to minister the gospel and testify of the power of Jesus – a prophesy of freedom to those still trapped but want out of the LGBTQ belief system.
Their mission is to declare freedom from sin and the LGBTQ identity and lifestyle through faith in Jesus Christ. They are missionaries with Agape First Ministries and desire to make the name of Jesus famous by declaring His power to transform lives. They equip the church with the knowledge of God and insights in how to minister to people leaving the LGBTQ life. Daren and Rhoda believe that restoration of marriage and the FAMILY is part of God’s strategy.
Daren and Rhoda have a heart for those touched by LGBTQ chaos and confusion. Their desire to make disciples of those coming out of the LGBTQ is solidly founded in the love of Jesus Christ. They believe there is a great harvest waiting for many prodigal sons and daughters to come home. Their desire to train and equip the church to receive them is their top priority at Agape First Ministries.
You can become a partner with Daren and Rhoda by visiting their ministry page at https://www.agapefirstministries.org/darenmehl