As I read back on my Pre-Trip prayer requests, I’m amazed at how thoroughly God answered our prayers. We reached our trip purpose by facilitating two excellent Discipling for Development (D4D) 5-Day Foundations Workshops. This was the first time we had ever tried facilitating with all new D4D facilitators except myself. Gary Hipp paired us up well creating three teams led by Bruce, Judy, and myself. I got to facilitate with Monica who grew up in Bolivia like I did, but then in her adolescence had to flee the country for political reasons. The other two teams facilitated very well including the two Navigator couples from Mexico and Chile. Gary and Merri Lee oversaw the whole workshop, but I stayed ready to intervene if and when the other two teams needed it. I grew in my ability to oversee the whole workshop when Gary and Merri Lee couldn’t be present.
The highlight of this time for me was watching how Christ’s strength was made perfect in our weakness. Most of us had crises right before coming that could have been quite distracting (including two family members losing their jobs, business difficulties while away, breaking eyeglasses right before coming, forgetting hearing aids, etc.) So many of us were untried in D4D facilitating. One of us was actually quite anxious about public speaking and was amazed at how much she grew in her ability to facilitate. Our hosts were very gracious.
There were many “aha” moments, and many excellent conversations. It was always a challenge to get people back from their small groups where they were sharing with each other, or pursuing the scriptures together.
We stayed on time, and even ahead of schedule, and yet were able to go deep and have important discussions as our participants connected with the Holy Spirit and the material. The participants’ interaction was dynamic and energizing.
Both organizations, Food for the Hungry and Compassion International Bolivia already understand the gospel to touch all of life, not being limited by a spiritual only gospel. There were a number of areas like this where we already share an important worldview perspective on the Gospel.
One leader explained how the church is like salt that was supposed to flavor society and make it palatable, but instead now preferred to stay in the saltshaker. Discipling for Development can be a renewing force helping church leaders proactively disciple their people and also help them to reach out and bless their communities. People talked about the church not just being located in the community, but actually becoming an integral part of the community.
I especially enjoyed facilitating one of my favorite lessons, “Community Based (or the Three Circles).” Both organizations could see that they are “Community Involved,” in their work because of the budgets, money, and programs behind them. This can be good but often leads to dependency. We all desire to empower those we are serving.
Food for the Hungry wants to work with us to try and move to become a more empowering organization. Compassion is limited in their ability to try new things, but they brought together various pastors of churches they have worked with in the past who are interested in whole-life discipleship for their own people and in being salt and light in their communities.
I sensed Holy Spirit’s presence with me and thoroughly enjoyed using my Spanish.
We will be interacting with Pablo (YWAM-Bolivia) and Marina (Compassion Bolivia) who are the ones interfacing with the church leaders we will be connecting with.
Within Food for the Hungry – Bolivia we will be interacting with Marcio to mentor the top leadership team, and with Ivan, Cintia, and two others for the Facilitator team who we will be coming alongside to mentor the local community facilitator teams.
Pray for the right time and the right facilitators to train our Bolivian Friends (INELA) church leaders in Discipling for Development. Through a series of misunderstandings, they were not able to participate in our seminar last week.
Participants were left with two tasks to work on in the next few months. Review the lessons from this Foundations workshop, being attentive to what the Holy Spirit is teaching them and develop a Personal Development Plan that they can share with their teammates. Some teams will be meeting weekly, and others every two weeks. Pray for sensitivity to Holy Spirit’s work, and for people to form some clear goals to be growing in.
Pray for the right people to emerge from the two large groups of workshop participants, people who we will be investing in over the next three to five years (ready, eager to grow, putting things into practice, taking steps forward, forming and training their own teams).
|I am still in a friend-raising, fundraising mode seeking new partners who want to join me as prayer partners, and also as monthly financial partners. Thank you in advance for asking Holy Spirit if he would encourage you to join my team!
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