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Monday workshops for Hispanics encourage evangelism, church planting, sending missionaries

The National Hispanic Baptist Network organized more than 20 workshops designed to encourage pastors, lay leaders and women to evangelize, multiply and be on mission.

NEW ORLEANS (BP) – The National Hispanic Baptist Network (NBHN) organized more than 20 workshops designed to encourage pastors, lay leaders and women to evangelize, multiply and be on mission.

The workshops, held on Monday, June 12, at the Sheraton Hotel on Canal Street, drew approximately 150 Hispanic Baptists. The full-day program was divided into four separate tracks made up of six hourlong sessions led by different speakers representing institutions like Lifeway Christian Resources, the North American Mission Board (NAMB), the International Mission Board (IMB), Dallas Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary among others.

This year marks the first time the training sessions for Hispanics offer a full program designed specifically for women, taught by women. Sol Rodriguez, from Idlewild Baptist Church Español in Lutz, Fla., started the women’s program with a workshop on integrating God’s Word in our lives.

“We have to read the Bible and study it. It’s not enough to pick it up every now and then or just at Sunday service. … To know God we have to spend time with Him. … Go into your devotional time with the expectation that you are going to hear from God,” she said.

Carolina Gomez, from Iglesia Bautista La Vina in Westwego, La., said that she found the women’s workshop track refreshing for women’s spirits. She specifically enjoyed one of the workshops that addressed how women’s temperament and personality are unique and important to the Kingdom of God.

The other workshops for women were Connected to Serve and Glorify God, “Strengthened at the Branch,” “From Flower to Fruit” and “Set Apart for Him.”

Prison Fellowship ministry had a short presentation about its Angel Tree program through which churches can minister to the families of imprisoned men and women. Sofia Sanchez, the ministry’s church mobilization manager, explained that Angel Tree is a door to minister to families affected by parents in jail. Churches can minister to the children of incarcerated persons by bringing them a gift at Christmastime with a message from their jailed parent. The process starts when a parent in a Prison Fellowship program signs their child up for Angel Tree. Angel Tree then sends all the resources the church needs to prepare a gift for the child and coordinates getting a message from the parent.

At NAMB’s well-attended breakout, attendees heard from Felix Cabrera and Winston Williams about church planting through Send Network. Cabrera, Send Network Español vice president, said that a healthy church is one where the Gospel is preached, everyone is involved in ministry, new believers are discipled, there is a generous spirit, there is more than one leader, there is a focus on prayer and where there is a heart for evangelism.

Williams, church-planting catalyst with NAMB, went over all the resources pastors and churches have available to them through Send Network to guide the path to become churches that plant churches. These resources include the Multiplication Pipeline, Send Network Residencies and a resource kit for churches that want to be sending churches, among others. These resources can be accessed at sendnetworkespanol.net.

“We believe in what you are doing, we give thanks to God for how He is using you. … We want to put more wind in your sails through with these resources. … Send Network is here to help you wherever you are in the process,” he said.

There also were two opportunities to hear about international missions. Annel Robayna, Hispanic mobilizer with the IMB, led a session on mobilizing the next generation for missions. In another room, Diego Fernandez of Movilizacion Hispana, motivated pastors to send missionaries to the nations reminding them that there are still 3,000 unreached people groups and that it is our responsibility to take the Gospel to them.

Beyond training and encouraging, the workshops served to bring Hispanics from across the country together to catch up, celebrate, and look toward the future together.

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  • Keila Diaz

    Keila Diaz is a digital communications assistant with the Florida Baptist Convention.

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