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Anna Ruth Liao

Sound familiar

by Laurie Lind and Ronda Knuth

Anna Ruth Liao’s church in Legazpi City, the Philippines, encourages people to get involved in house church communities. She and her husband hosted one in their home. Each week, someone in the group was asked to lead the discussion.

“Personally, I hesitated to take on a leadership role,” Anna Ruth says, “because I didn’t feel prepared and lacked the confidence to guide others.”

Sound familiar?

Along with the house church community, Anna Ruth coordinates the church’s women’s ministry and is a worship leader, works as a court stenographer, loves being a mom to her four kids (ranging in age from 18 to 23) and occasionally handles setbacks in her husband’s health. Work, life and ministry is a joy-filled balancing act.

Sound familiar?

Anna Ruth was intrigued when friends from church began to enthuse about training they’d received from a ministry called Entrust.

Her friends had gained practical ideas about communication, teamwork, problem-solving and decision-making. “The advice on time management and goal setting was a big hit,” Anna Ruth says.

The whole church benefited. “The focus on empathy and understanding in relationships [during the Entrust training] helped create a warmer and more supportive community in our church.”

Anna Ruth wanted to improve her own leadership skills.

So she signed up.

She took two core Entrust Equipping Women modules online in 2023; Facilitating Relational Learning in May and Developing a Discerning Heart in September.

Online learning worked great, even though she once slyly turned off her camera so she could sneak some chips, then gave everyone a good laugh as she sheepishly turned her camera back on, chips and all.

In the midst of both laughter and tears, the women bonded and learned.

“It’s not like the usual ways of learning; it’s more collaborative and transformative,” Anna Ruth says, explaining how this training was different from any other she’s had.

How is she applying what she’s learned?

“I picked up on ways to communicate more effectively during worship. Now, I give clearer instructions and engage the congregation more intentionally. It’s made our worship time more connected and engaging.” Developing a Discerning Heart taught her more about seeking God’s guidance in the women’s ministry, which “has led to more purposeful and spiritually enriching initiatives, creating a stronger sense of community and growth among the ladies.”

She loved learning together with women, only a few of whom she’d met before. She valued the focus on both spiritual growth and practical skills.

“Simply put,” Anna Ruth says, “the Entrust modules met my needs and desires like nothing else ever did.”

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