The prophet Elijah had a hard job proclaiming the One True God. Elijah
realized he needed help. (Okay, so he really just wanted to get out
of the prophet business). But God persevered and continued to call
Elijah as a prophet, while enabling him to discover and identify his
Raziel Badillo (St. Luke Lutheran Church, Reading) knows that in good
business and in our faith journey it is imperative to find and train
our eventual replacements. As a leader and prophet in the Latino community,
he is looking for many people upon which the mantle of prophet, teacher,
leader and minister can be placed.
When Raziel and his wife Lorena attended the West Berks Mission District
assembly and then the Spiritual Gifts workshop at the 2004 synod assembly,
he recognized the enabling hand of the Holy Spirit at once. How do we
find leaders and ministers for the Latino ministry initiative? By going
out and meeting the people in the community, then helping them discover
their spiritual gifts and recognize their other life skills. Follow up
the initial program by connecting these people and their discovered gifts
to ministries and needs within the community and church. Put it all together
in the correct cultural context and language, and we, the church, will
be taking steps to fulfill the Great Commission to “go therefore
and make disciples of all nations... ”
Raziel brought his idea and need to the West Berks Mission District Stewardship
Team, who had already begun leading and introducing spiritual gifts discernment
programs to individuals and congregations in the mission district. “Are
any of these programs in Spanish?” he asked the team. The answer
Now, thanks to Raziel’s work with a program called LifeKeys and
the help of his wife Lorena and Pastor Rebecca Knox (Christ, Grill),
the answer is ‘¡Si!’
The Badillos gathered a group of seven for a midweek, midday disciple-nurturing
experience. Our time together is as invigorating as a good siesta, without
the sleep. Housewives bring their children and free baby-sitting is provided.
Self-employed business people close their businesses for the three weekly
sessions totaling eight hours.
The Bible readings, prayers, food, and conversation reflect the participants’ multiple
countries of origin. The group celebrates our diversity of gifts and
upbringing, along with our unity in faith and as members of the Body
of Christ. We are identifying our God-given gifts, where and how we use
them at work, and where and how we use them for sharing the good news
of Jesus Christ. We will look to see if we are not using our gifts, or
if we are using them at work and not in the church. We’ve already
begun to see that being different is how we reach out with the Gospel
to all people.
"Remember that YOU are blessed to be a blessing," says Raziel. "God
bless us! ¡Vaya con Dios!"
You can be part of this exciting program, too! See the article on the LifeKeys/Blessed
to be a Blessing retreat in this issue of Partners.