Mexico retreat helps bring 170 women to new life with Christ

Mexico retreat helps bring 170 women to new life with Christ

by
Nazarene News Staff
| 05 Oct 2023
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Despojate Conference

More than 170 women attended the Despójate congress in Jiquipilas, Mexico, a retreat designed to facilitate an encounter between women and God as well as initiating them into their new life with Christ. In addition, the retreat aims to help women let go of the “extra weights” that prevent them from growing in their faith and fully surrendering their lives to God.

“We do not want the women of our congregation and its surroundings to be part of just an event but of an entire process that helps them develop their spiritual life,” said Teresa S. Esquinca, an organizer from Jiquipilas.

The congress was held in collaboration with the First Church of the Nazarene of Jiquipilas and the Tranformadas women’s ministry. 

The women's ministry of the Jiquipilas Church planned the congress, and the entire church joined to help the vision come to life. The men served as cooks and waiters with the direction of their pastor, Amauri L. Wendola. The youth were in charge of the praise times, the decoration, and everything related to technology.

The Transformadas ministry was in charge of sharing all the messages at the congress, which were given by active ministers in Costa Rica and Mexico. Speakers from Costa Rica were Sharon Víquez, director of the Trasformadas ministry; Sirlene Bustos, superintendent of the Central District of Costa Rica; Aleida Rojas, associate pastor; Rebeca Martínez, licensed minister; and Chris Mesén, NDI director at the Iglesia Del Nazareno Sublime Gracia. Speakers from Mexico were Febe Tovar, youth pastor; Carolina Teco, NDI director of the Third Iglesia Del Nazareno in Mexico City; and Imelda Champo, director of CAFÉ in Fraylesca, Chiapas.

Some themes of the event were: “Forgiveness,” “The Family according to God's plan,” “Abandonment of sin,” “Sexuality,” “Restoring our image,” and “Full in His power.”

Antonia Escobedo, a congress attendee, said she had high expectations for this event. Escobedo suffered the loss of one of her children, and although she and her husband are pastors, they were still mourning. During a congress message called “Restoring Our Image,” she surrendered her grief to God and finally felt free of her pain.

“God was good to me because my heart was full of peace,” Escobedo said. “One of the aspects that fills my heart the most with joy is seeing that my 12-year-old daughter had her confirmation of faith at the congress and is currently involved in follow-up discipleship.”

The Transformadas ministry emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic in response to the need for the continued spiritual growth of the women of the Central District of Costa Rica. 

Initially, an average of 40 women gathered to have Bible studies in a virtual format. In the process, women from other countries joined, and material was created for the women’s specific needs while following the Wesleyan-Arminian doctrine.

“As a ministry, we seek to take advantage of virtual spaces so that in each study, women perceive themselves as loved, renewed, equipped, and inspired to reach their peers,” Víquez said. “We went from seeing each other virtually to giving each other a hug in person and from writing [curriculum] to being speakers. It is a wonderful gift from the Lord.”

The Transformadas ministry is also supporting the local women's ministry of Jiquipilas by teaching Bible studies to more than 50 women. The women who attended the congress in Jiquipilas received the “New Life in Christ” discipleship book. In addition, the women's ministry leaders of the local church are already beginning to prepare to hold the next Despójate congress to reach more women for Christ.

--Church of the Nazarene Mesoamerica Region

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