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My Journey to Proverbios 31, Ministerios Para la Latina
By Diana Torres
In 2007, I attended my first Christian women’s event. The Breath of Heaven Conference took place here, in Charlotte, North Carolina. I felt I really needed to go. As I was a first time mommy of a 7-month old, I longed for the company of Christian women. At the conference, I experienced another first. I saw Lysa TerKeurst and heard about Proverbs 31 Ministries. I recognized her voice because I had heard the one minute encouragement on my local Christian radio station. But this time, I would hear her speak God's word for much longer than a minute and in person.
Let me tell you that from that day on I learned to love Lysa. I did not know her, but I knew she was my sister in Christ. More importantly, she was real and transparent. She told the story of her longing for her father to see her, not just look at her, but really see her and love her. I thought, “Wow...that is what I wanted as a little girl too.” Yet, I did not understand why she would put herself out there and why she was being so vulnerable.
Despite my discomfort with her vulnerability, I appreciated her and admired her for her willingness to be so real. I cried and cried as she shared her testimony, telling her audience about her abortion and her premature daughter. I still did not get why someone would share such intimate life details with complete strangers. You see, in my family, dirty laundry was washed at home and it was never to be aired out in public. During the breakouts, there was an opportunity to talk with the speakers. I looked at her from afar. I saw Jesus in her and thought she was "holy" and I could not talk with her.
Years passed and I followed her to other conferences and listened to her and Renee on the radio. I read a few of her books. I grew to depend on the Proverbs 31 daily devotions.
One day, while perusing through the Proverbs 31 website, I noticed the Spanish Ministry. I was so excited because although I speak perfect English (pardon the lack of humility) my first language is Spanish. Although I was born in Los Angeles California, I consider myself to be Salvadorian. I was literally, "made in El Salvador." My mother was pregnant when she migrated to the U.S.
I waited for God’s perfect timing. I did not know it at the time, but working with women, to encourage them to be authentic, and to see the beauty in their past and how to use it to glorify and expand His kingdom is my calling. I believe God used this time to allow me to practice my gifts, and I started a women's ministry at my local church.
I do not profess to know what I was doing, and with reluctance I went to work. I felt ill- equipped. I searched the Proverbs 31 ministries website looking for mentors or training and found She Speaks. Oh how I wanted to attend but it was completely out of my budget!
By the second year of our women’s ministry, I had assembled a group of ladies to lead with me. Once again I turned to Proverbs 31 Ministries for guidance and found that the ministry was offering a Spanish version of She Speaks, Ella Habla. Four of us enrolled and attended the first Ella Habla! That day I met Van, the director of the Spanish ministry, and immediately felt as if she were my second mother...my spiritual mother. I also met Lysa! I was so excited that I hugged her. I was embarrassed later...She looked so perfectly beautiful and she was still a reflection of Jesus.
I kept in contact with Van and she agreed to be my mentor. I wanted to hang out with her and all those women to learn from them. I began to translate the radio shows that Judith records and let Van know I would volunteer in any way possible. Today I am part of the Latina ministry team for Proverbios 31, Ministerios Para la Latina and I praise God with words from Psalm 139: 16. “You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!”
Diana Torres lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband and two daughters. She works as a pediatric psychotherapist and volunteers with Proverbios 31, Ministerios para la latina.