by Laurie Lind
Details are fuzzy even to her, about how Marina found herself traveling from Papua New Guinea to Switzerland to explore something called “facilitating relational learning” in April 2018.
“I read something,” Marina recalls, possibly in a newsletter, sometime in 2016, from someone with Cru. Or YWAM. Or maybe the organization with whom she’s serving as a nurse in Papua New Guinea. Wherever she saw it, whatever it said, something caught her eye and heart. She visited the website referenced, entrust4.org. She checked out the Entrust initiative called Women-to-Women Ministry Training and signed up to receive Entrust’s monthly update, Spotlight, by email.
As she read, her interest grew. Entrust’s long history in Bulgaria intrigued her, as she had served God in that country with Greater Europe Mission in 1991. Her life goal is found in Col. 1:28, “We proclaim Him, admonishing every man [and woman, Marina adds] and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.”
While she works as a nurse in PNG, Marina also desires to equip women to reach other women. “I have some skills in that area, but they’re kind of rusty.”
By mid-2017, Marina was ready. “I felt very confident in what I’d been reading.” This was something she wanted. She checked the calendar and found a training offered in Colorado, but Colorado is her home state. Wanting to see someplace new, she opted for Switzerland in April.
Marina traveled alone to step into a 10-day intensive training session, with women she’d never met, without having spoken with anyone who’d had the experience.
On the day of her arrival at the picturesque mountainside training center near Lucerne, seemingly unfazed by jet lag, Marina said with a bright smile, “I’m here to gain the tools. I want to see what we can do to reach the women better [in PNG]. Women are being reached, but they’re not being engaged. It’s all lecture. The attitude is, ‘Listen to us [the experts].’”
That approach, of “experts” passing information on to “non-experts,” is common there, Marina says. But she sees an opportunity to equip and nurture both expatriate and national women in PNG, who in turn can minister to others.
“I’m not sure how it’ll look, but I’m here to learn.”
Marina did all the advance homework for Facilitating Relational Learning (FRL), as required for all participants, before she arrived. While in Switzerland, she synthesized what she’d gained through the homework, reflected on how adults learn, practiced facilitated learning for people of all learning styles, while being evaluated and affirmed along the way by the multi-cultural women in her group.
She completed the course, went home to her work in the clinic in PNG and, after time to reflect, sent this email.
“I was very pleased with the FRL training, and it did meet my expectations in every way. But I would have liked more time to practice the skills as I feel I barely scratched the surface.
“I am definitely considering how to implement this facilitation method here in PNG. I can see how the facilitating of small groups could really help women open up and express themselves and grow in Christ together. I am praying about next steps with regard to ministry with women here, and have a few key women in mind to start with.”
Marina’s got it. Refreshed facilitating skills. Understanding of how this could work in the culture where she serves. Vision to share what she’s learned with others. “A few key women” in mind, a prayerful heart and readiness to entrust to others that which has been entrusted to her. It’s the Entrust model.
In this case, it all started with something she read.