1 Peter 3:15b
My father was a very interesting man who lived what he believed. He could work in “a word for the Lord” into just about any conversation. Nevertheless, there are some who like to actually prepare a script that they use when witnessing to a friend; they are more comfortable that way. Others like to naturally fit it into a dialogue that is already in progress. The most natural way that this happens is if Jesus is always on your mind. Whether you are in constant communication with your best friend or you are excited about what he is doing in your life, you will be more apt to share the reason you are so hopeful when he is not far from your thoughts. Part of being prepared with an answer is to know and love the one you wish to speak of.
Women to Women Leadership Training
"I have been a believer for 18 years, I have served in the church most of that time, and this is the first time I have had the opportunity to receive training for the things that I do." These were the words of Beki, a young pastor's wife serving alongside her husband in a prominent church in the capital of Kosovo. Beki is passionate, gifted, and an effective leader. She not only leads the women's ministry in her church, but also serves on the national women's commission. She is a woman of influence and a woman with potential. As my teammate and I heard her words we were struck anew with the urgency to offer her, and women like her, the opportunity to receive training in a way that is accessible to them.
The women of Kosovo are a group caught between two worlds. The society around them is modernizing at an alarming rate. They are bombarded with western media and the western ideas of feminism, but they are also bound to a long tradition of women as sole caretakers of the home and children. Women in the church have embraced their freedom to be involved in work, ministry and leadership, but they do not want to forsake their familial obligations. As such, training women in Kosovo requires a program that takes into consideration the unique challenges that women face balancing responsibilities in and out of the home. A resident program is not an option and an intensive approach would only lead to discouragement and drop out.
Women to Women Leadership Training (WWLT) is a program designed with the unique challenges of women in mind. A ministry of Entrust4, WWLT offers a flexible training schedule that can be tailored to each country and culture where it is taught. Some courses take a year or more to complete, but the overarching belief is that it is better to have women trained slowly than not at all. The six courses in the WWLT curriculum seek to develop women in the three key areas of Bible knowledge, ministry skills and character, so they can in turn entrust what they have learned to others.
In August of 2010 the women of the C&MA Kosovo team launched the first WWLT site in the capital city, Prishtina. Beki was among the first group of women trained as facilitators for the WWLT courses. Immediately, Beki implemented the facilitation skills she learned in her role on the national women's commission, resulting in the most effective women's event the commission has hosted to date. Beki's husband sees the value of her training and has agreed to take on the responsibility of the home for a week so that Beki can accompany C&MA missionaries for a training opportunity in Switzerland this spring. Beki is enrolled in the course, Women Serving Women, which covers concepts such as spiritual gifts, identifying needs, and developing ministries to women. As we make preparations for this trip I am continually touched by Beki's enthusiasm and gratefulness. She is an effective leader in the church, a woman gifted by God, and with a little training, her gifts and effectiveness have and will continue to be multiplied as she serves the women of Kosovo.