Gabriela Hurtado Vargas and Josué Roman Cavero grew up attending vacation Bible school with the Bolivia Mennonite Church in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Once they became teenagers, they decided to train with the Equipo Sirviendo a Cristo (Serve Christ Team) so that they could start helping to lead vacation Bible school. Margrit Kipfer Barrón, a mission worker with Mennonite Mission Network and Schweizerische Mennonitsche Mission (Swiss Mennonite Mission), helps organize these discipleship workshops that give youth a foundation of Bible lessons and teaches them activities to do with the vacation Bible school kids. The youth learn how to be better followers of Christ, so that they can show others what it means to believe in Jesus.
In these two interviews, Hurtado Vargas and Roman Cavero share their experiences as they increased their leadership within the church.
Beyond: How old were you when you first participated with Equipo Sirviendo a Cristo (Serve Christ Team)?
Gabriela Hurtado Vargas: I participated in the vacation Bible schools since I could understand the lessons. I started to serve with the Serve Christ Team and teach the vacation Bible school in 2011, when I was 17 years old.
Josué Roman Cavero: 13 years old [in 2013].
Beyond: Why did you decide to participate in the Serve Christ Team?
Hurtado Vargas: Since I was really young, I wanted to be a teacher for Sunday school. At the church I used to attend, they let me help out with Sunday school, so I was 13 when I started to teach kids.
Roman Cavero: I like to talk with others about the word of God.
Beyond: What did you learn during the training?
Hurtado Vargas: I learned that the most important thing in life is God, who we should serve by bringing the gospel to all people that don’t know God.
Roman Cavero: I participated because I wanted to learn about the mandate to “go and preach.”
Beyond: What did you like about teaching the children during the VBS?
Hurtado Vargas: I enjoyed seeing that the children had a hunger to learn more about God and the Bible, and they were attentive throughout the VBS.
Roman Cavero: I like to know that someday, the seed that I planted in the children’s lives will bear fruit.
Beyond: How did it strengthen you to participate in the Serve Christ Team and to teach the VBS?
Hurtado Vargas: While I taught, I could see that God helped us and taught us. I understood that God looks for workers who are committed to serve. God supplied all the necessities to make the VBS happen.
Roman Cavero: I learned how to be an example for the children, to not only talk to them, but demonstrate through my lifestyle what it means to follow Christ.
Beyond: What did you learn about your own faith while you were teaching the children?
Hurtado Vargas: At times, I thought that not a single child would come, but God brought us children. God prepared everything so that the VBS happened.
Roman Cavero: I learned to put the teachings [of the Bible] in practice in my personal life.
Beyond: Describe an experience when you saw the Holy Spirit working during the VBS.
Hurtado Vargas: One day it rained really hard, and we thought that not a single child would come. But the afternoon came and they started to arrive, and even though it was still raining, we had class. Some teachers couldn’t come, but all the children came, and after a while it stopped raining. And that is how, no matter how the day is, or what problems we have, God continues to work and bless us. Then, through the children, the parents can come to the Lord.
Roman Cavero: I could see how the children changed their attitude and way of being as they learned the word of God.