NCM training helps attendees see how to be Jesus in their communities
Eighty leaders from Nazarene Compassionate Ministries in Panama, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic met in September in the Dominican Republic to receive a training titled “Jesus in my Community.”
The training was carried out with the support of the district NCM, Nazarene Discipleship International (NDI), Nazarene Missions International (NMI), and Nazarene Youth International (NYI) ministries. The objective was to train leaders so that they could train local churches to develop a ministry capable of transforming the lives of people in their communities.
Dhariana Balbuena, Esteban Rivera, and Yaima Diaz shared sessions on topics such as migration, response to disasters, and human trafficking, among others.
Wellington Muñoz, one of the participants from the Dominican Republic, works in patient care at a hospital where more than 800 people come every day.
"I have never seen compassion the way I saw it during these three days," Muñoz said.
Muñoz felt like he applied what he learned as he returned home. He recalled treating a foreign woman with a baby girl who was approximately one month old during the morning. After his lunch, he met that woman again. She asked him if he knew of any place where someone might give her some food.
He told her to ask at a nearby cafeteria. As she went to the cafeteria, he watched to see what was happening.
"At that moment, I asked myself, am I feeling pity or compassion for this woman,” Muñoz said. “What would Jesus do?"
Then, he saw that she was rejected at the cafeteria, so he shouted, "Give her lunch and put it on my account."
At that time, Muñoz says, he had no money, but he did have the ability to get food, and that’s what he did.
“Somehow, I remembered what I had heard in the Jesus in my Community training, and I thought and said, ‘Jesus, in my work!’"
Participants received the book Compassion From the Beginning by Dhariana Balbuena.
“We appreciate all your support and for this tool that enriches everyone's knowledge," said Paquita Bido, NCM coordinator of the Central Field. She also thanked the entire team for making the training possible.
Alicia Richards, NCM coordinator for Western Panama, said the conference was a blessed time together as they discussed what is plaguing their most vulnerable communities. Paola Morales, an attendee from Panama, recalled the testimonies of what God is doing in the denomination and how they inspired her.
"My hope is for all the tools and strategies that were given to us [will help us] be a compassionate church, seeing people with the same eyes that Jesus sees them."
-- Mesoamerica Region Church of the Nazarene