by Ramonda Lunsford, SIM, (and certified Entrust WWMT facilitator)
Twenty women of varied ethnicities, languages, tribes, personalities, educational and family backgrounds and life experiences came together for our first-ever WWMT Kenyan hub training in December 2017.
“I’ve spent a lot of time in the desert,” one woman told us. She and her husband have served the Lord together for 21 years, first in one African nation, more recently in another. Her “desert” experiences included the tragic death of a colleague, followed by years of longing for a baby in a culture where barren women are seen as having no value. Her husband, however, is a man who loves and values her and often reminds her of the many, many spiritual children God has given her. This sister in Christ deeply appreciated the lessons in Developing a Discerning a Heart (DDH), which she told us God used to heal her heart. She became known as one of the most joyful women of the entire group.
Another woman shared an equally heart-wrenching testimony. Born into a war-torn nation, she was placed in the care of a grandmother in a neighboring country. A few years later, she was given to an uncle, charged with caring for his small children, treated poorly and not allowed to go to school. She eventually met her mother for the first time and returned to live with her. During her teenage years, this woman accepted Christ as her Savior. As a result of her new faith, her mother kicked her out of her home and burned her clothing. But she’d found love and acceptance in God. He changed everything for her.
We heard stories like this—some more dramatic, some less so—from each of the women.
God gave us an uncommon openness to one another. We began the week talking about our differences and there were plenty! We followed that discussion by talking about all we have in common and discovered even more ways in which we were alike. Each of us was comforted by recognizing we are all made in the image of God and share his likeness, heart and purpose. By the end of the week, we realized what a miracle it was for us to have such a like-minded spirit of unity and love for one another.
A woman in our DDH group said, “The storyboard was the summary for the whole training. It made me understand my life better and know that everyone has struggles that only God can fulfill and meet. It has made me understand the people I serve. This means serving people has to start from having a deep walk with God. This helps me not to assume and put all people into one basket or level.”
“I have learned how to ask questions! I learned what kind of facilitator I want to be and was given the tools on how to become that facilitator,” said one Facilitating Relational Learning (FRL) participant. Another added, “I can now design a lesson plan and do objectives that will enhance how I bring the word of God to the small groups in my church.”
Every woman wants to take what she’s learned back home to share with other women. Many are eager to apply their facilitation skills in Bible studies they currently lead. Some are thinking about ways to bring these skills to their church members. Women from DDH are thinking about how to share specific truths from the course with others, to further their own understanding of the material and invite women to consider these things for themselves.
Fresh biblical skills to apply in their personal lives and ministries have given these sisters in Christ great excitement and appreciation. It was wonderful to see the truths and applications of God’s word cross cultural barriers and into environments much different than those experienced in the West.