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Hispanic leaders train for 'missional advance'

Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013
By David Raul Lema, Jr.

HOUSTON (BP) -- More than 200 Hispanic Southern Baptist leaders converged in Houston for "Avance Hispano 2013" for missional training in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, LifeWay Christian Resources and GuideStone Financial Resources presented five workshops in Spanish for Hispanic leaders June 9 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Participants were challenged from different perspectives of the Christian mission. From the local work inside the church, outside the church and across the world, participants chose learning experiences that helped expand their vision and work.

NAMB presented a workshop on "Demonstrating the Love of Christ in Your Community." Joshua del Risco, director of Hispanic evangelism at NAMB, coordinated the event and Ricardo Vera, west region evangelism coordinator at NAMB, was the guest speaker. Vera, a church planting veteran, shared ways a Hispanic church can become a key ministry agent in its community.

The IMB presented a workshop on "Pastors and Planters without Frontiers." Jason Carlisle, director of Hispanic mobilization at the IMB, was the coordinator for the training and Guillermo Mangieri of the IMB was the guest speaker.

The IMB also presented a workshop for Hispanic women called a "Tea for Prayer" led by Fanny Mangieri. She is the coordinator of the Intercessory Prayer Network "Viajando de Rodillas" with the IMB and the wife of Guillermo Mangieri.

Dressed in traditional female Muslim garb, Mangieri led women through the social ritual of a traditional tea ceremony. As she explained the Muslim culture and how Muslim women dress and live, she told how to present the Gospel in that context.

After enjoying the tea and desserts, the women were led in a time of prayer for Muslim women around the world and for the light of the Gospel to reach them. The goal of the training, Mangieri said, was "to take a peek inside the life of a Muslim woman."

One of the women participants, who asked not to be identified because of her missionary travels, said "the experience was spiritually impressive in the unique way in which we were taught to pray, share tea and share Christ with Muslim women."

More information about the prayer network in Spanish is available by contacting Mangieri at fmangieri@imb.org.

LifeWay sponsored a training workshop for leaders focusing on marriage counseling. Luis Lopez, director of LifeWay en Espanol, was the coordinator.

The workshop, "Marriage Out of Danger," was led by author Leonardo Guerrero, who recently published a book by the same title. Guerrero, pastor of the Hispanic ministry at Fuquay Varina Baptist Church in North Carolina and a marriage and family counselor, noted the dark areas of marriage today: pornography, spousal and child abuse and infidelity.

GuideStone hosted a seminar for pastors and leaders on preparation for missional mobilization through retirement planning. Miguel Perez, GuideStone's representative for Hispanics, led the workshop. According to Perez, "most Hispanic pastors do not seriously prepare for retirement and as a result many find themselves unable to stop working or nearly destitute during their senior years."
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David Raul Lema, Jr. is associate team strategist for theological education ministries at the Florida Baptist Convention.

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