In a previous post, I talked about the Entrust training for women that we have been hosting on the SEND campus in Farmington, Michigan. One of our female workers in Central Asai recently attended the Entrust training in Switzerland and wrote the following article in our latest SEND Harvest Heartbeat publication.
We were reading Titus 2:3-5. Anyone who knows me, or who has been through the first course of the Entrust Women to Women Ministry Training, would recognize this as a leading question. But it was a question that needed to be asked. I wanted the women I was teaching to understand that they are the mentors and teachers that their churches need.
When I returned to Central Asai after home service in 2010, I wanted to work among women, partnering with a few ladies to encourage them in their ministry calls. I began leading small group Bible studies in a few locations. I was thrilled at the hunger women had to know the Bible — but I was frustrated at the same time. I was one person! Someone in my line of work knows it is dangerous to be irreplaceable. As I taught, I was not convinced that the women were absorbing the truth, and I had a sneaking suspicion that I was boring them. I was boring me.
The Lord provided me with the answer to these dilemmas through Entrust’s “Facilitating Relational Learning” course. In nine weeks, I read through lessons that shed light on my teaching habits, pointed out the needs of adult learners, explained lesson preparation and the crafting of a good question, and gave me a strategy for multiplying leaders for women’s ministry.
I was excited to use these shiny new tools. So, in preparation for the next village visit, I crafted my lesson using main objectives and open-ended questions, so that the women could interact with the text. I was amazed at the result. God blessed. Women learned and put what they were learning into words. They challenged each other’s thinking and asked one another additional questions. They were engaged and excited, and they left with questions that would guide them into more learning.
As a facilitator, leading in a second language, I ended that meeting feeling personally encouraged, challenged and not the least bit exhausted. These are not small miracles.
Are we onto something here? I think so. To strengthen the church, local women need these skills, too. A first group of Russian-speaking women is now in its second month of training, with some of the ladies traveling more than three hours to take the course.
“This material is not easy,” one lady said. “It is making us think. I mean, that’s good.”
All the participants are aware of the need for women’s discipleship. With the Entrust training, they will gain the tools and vision to step into that area of need.
Some of the tools are already being put into practice. “My husband fully supports me in this training,” one woman said. “He has even used some of the material in recent sermons!”
I anticipate many “aha” moments for these women along the way, like when they realized that, although they may be only 10 years old in the faith, they could be the “older women” that Paul was talking about in Titus 2.
Here is what Sherri Divozzo, one of our missionaries in Ukraine, said about this same training. She received her training in the Entrust workshop in Farmington, Michigan this past October.