Women Ministries Training Material Now in Spanish

Post a Comment » Written on October 29th, 2008     
Filed under: News
BELL GARDENS, CA (October 29, 2008) – Trinity Abila was scheduled to travel last July to Colombia to provide coaching for leaders of women ministries in Covenant churches there. However, all of the material used by the Department of Women Ministries was in English.

As a result, a team of translators from around the country was formed in June, and the first materials were ready for Abila and are now being used in the United States. That initiative also led to translating training materials for the Advocacy for Victims of Abuse (AVA) program into Spanish.

Abila is a ministry coach in the Pacific Southwest Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church and a member of Chapel of the Pines Community Covenant Church in Arnold, California. She speaks passionately about her trip and the importance of the newly translated material.

Ministry coaches help local congregations discern how to best develop their women ministries. The Colombian women had little or no previous resources, Abila says. They also are in the very beginning stages of forming regional and national leadership.

Abila sys she is thrilled and humbled by the women’s desire to reach out to others, especially given the poverty in their communities.

“Their priorities and focus on the Lord was amazing,” she recalls. “Even though they had nothing, even though they wore the same set of clothes every day, they were passionate about Jesus.”

She led the women through half the material and will return in February to complete the training.

The newly translated material was recently used for the first time in the United States and offers a new opportunity to reach Hispanic churches, says Lynda Delgado, who helped lead the translation work.

In September, the Hispanic Center for Theological Education (CHET) held the first-ever coaches training in Spanish in the United States. Twenty-seven women from eight churches attended, says Delgado.

The women came from the surrounding suburbs of Los Angeles and represented various Hispanic countries including, El Salvador, Mexico, The Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Venezuela and the United States.

The women responded enthusiastically to the training. One student said, “I learned the importance of being organized in ministry and the importance of having a clear vision and mission regardless of the size of the group before you can reach your goals.”

Another student added, “I learned the importance of prayer in knowing the vision and mission God has set out for us. I also learned that it is important for the leader to run without impediments and run with a pure heart in order to help others, hear others and learn from others.”

The women went through half of the training. Trainers will visit the churches in the future to complete the training, Delgado says.

The experience also proved an affirmation of the decision to translate training materials for regional coordinators and local advocates for the AVA program. “The women said this is one of their biggest needs,” says Delgado.

The material should be ready “pretty soon,” Delgado says. A couple is translating the material, and Karen Figueroa, a staff member at CHET, is overseeing the work.

The translation team and instructors are trying to discern the best ways to communicate the material so that the basic principles are clear, but also so women can adapt them to their different contexts. For example, the cultural context for women from Nicaragua might be different than for women from Mexico, Delgado says. She adds that the needs of first-generation and later generation Hispanic women vary greatly.

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