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LifeWay conducts second training conference for Spanish-speaking international consultants

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Fifty-six leaders from Spain, 11 Latin American countries, Canada and the United States participated in the second annual International Hispanic Trainers Conference, June 7-9 at LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Those receiving training will return to their countries to lead conferences on church, Sunday school and discipleship leadership and other topics, using LifeWay resources.

“We are seeing God open doors for LifeWay Christian Resources all over the world,” Ted Warren, LifeWay’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, said. “We are recognizing our responsibility to share all the resources God has provided us.”

“We want to do more than just sell books and Bibles. We want to help change people’s lives,” he said.

Consultants attending the training represented Baptist conventions, evangelical organizations, churches and distributors. They attended conferences and then were provided outlines, resources, handouts and presentation visuals to use or adapt for their conferences.

“We know we can’t do all the training ourselves,” Warren said. “So God has touched your hearts and brought you here.”

Luis Aranguren, director of LifeWay’s international department established about 18 months ago, said 40 consultants were trained in 1999. In the last year, they have led conferences in their own countries and have been used by LifeWay to do training in other Spanish-speaking countries.

“These people have been representing LifeWay, introducing churches to resources and principles of church development,” he said.

The work of the international department is focused in Spanish- and English-speaking countries, Aranguren said. The first conference to train consultants from English-speaking countries outside the United States will be in February 2001.

Christians in approximately 60 countries can now purchase LifeWay resources in their own currency, Aranguren said.

He said three strategies guide the work of his department — spiritual transformation, evangelism through Bible study groups and family enrichment.

Among Spanish-speaking countries, Aranguren said the response has been greatest in Mexico. Other countries where progress has been very good include Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru and Guatemala.

“Survival Kit for New Christians” has been the most popular resource to date, he said. Others include Living Christian Values, MasterLife, Experiencing God, Jesus on Leadership, Share Jesus Without Fear, Life in the Spirit and The Mind of Christ.

While Spanish products published by LifeWay’s Broadman & Holman division have been available for several years in Latin America, church resources, including Sunday school curriculum, are new to church leaders.

“I think we’re farther ahead than we thought we would be,” Aranguren said.

In addition to existing resources, the international department is providing some on its own, including a picture cube, Cubo Evangelistico, for use in witnessing. Instructions are available in Spanish and English.

Aranguren said a Christian can use the cube with any witnessing plan to visually present the plan of salvation.

“The response has been amazing,” he said.

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  • Linda Lawson