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Preparemos a líderes del futuro


Por Lourdes Calderón

La Academia Hispana de Liderazgo para Jóvenes (HYLA) es un centro donde jovencitos y jovencitas de la Iglesia Metodista Unida se capacitan por unas semanas durante el verano. Cada año, HYLA recibe adolescentes de distintas conferencias de la Jurisdicción Sur Central. Este año, dos jovencitas de nuestra Conferencia de Nuevo México participarán en el entrenamiento y recibirán becas por ser la primera vez que su conferencia participa.

Angel nació en Nuevo México y es de una familia metodista tradicional. Sus padres fueron líderes y ella creció en la iglesia. Aunque el inglés es su primera lengua y habla poco español, se siente orgullosa de su herencia hispana y piensa que puede hacer mucho más que solo asistir a la iglesia.  

María, es hija de una familia inmigrante mexicana que vive en la zona de Pajarito Mesa, una zona desatendida sin electricidad, gas ni servicio de agua potable. A María le gusta venir a la iglesia y quiere aprender a ser una líder cristiana.

Testimonio de Angel

My pastor Lourdes Calderon asks me:  “Angel, what would you like to do when you grow up?  Have you ever thought about exploring the ministry?”  

One day she asked me if I would be interested in attending a leadership program for teenagers in Dallas.  She told me all about this program and got me very excited about going.

It makes me happy to know that there are training opportunities in areas of leadership for young kids my age. I envision myself being a part of the church beyond my local congregation.

I am 13-years-old, born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I am in 7th grade at Christine Duncan Heritage Academy.  My family and I are members of St. Andrews United Methodist Church.

I have learned many things about Jesus Christ in my church. Also it is the best place to know and help people, get involved with the community, and make new friends. I was involved in the music ministry and on Sunday services. I also help in the (SACM) food pantry.

Someday I would like to lead the music ministry. It’s the most enjoyable and uplifting part in worship. I also want to teach other youth to be as close to God as I have been, and become as involved as I am in church.  It would be nice to be the manager of the SACM food pantry. I like helping there. It feels very rewarding when I hand people a box of food and witness their joy.

My church has made a difference in my life.  Now, I hope to be able to make a difference in someone else’s life.

Testimonio de Cuquita

Hola!  I am María del Refugio Meléndez and I am from Mexico, but my family and my pastor call me “Cuquita.” I enjoy going to St. Andrew’s UMC in Albuquerque.

The people in my church are mostly Anglos and they don’t speak Spanish. My parents do not speak English, but I do.

I live in an area where there is no water, electricity or gas. I would like to move out and live somewhere else but my parents cannot afford it. School for me is hard because I am 15 and I am still learning English.

My brother Carlos is 18-years-old and he was doing great at school, but because of his non-immigrant status, he was not allowed to get financial aid or scholarships, and he could not go to college. So, he moved to Dallas and he works in construction. We miss him very much. I have two younger brothers.

I do not want to stay where we live. There is no future for us. To take a bath I need to heat water on the wood stove. I wish I could take a shower.

Every Wednesday, since I was eight-years-old, my pastor Lourdes comes to my house up in Pajarito Mesa. She teaches us about what God wants for our lives. She always tells me: “Cuquita quiero que pienses en involucrarte más en la iglesia.

St. Andrew’s has Spanish and English services, but I like to go to the English service. I like to help in the office, with children, and sing with the praise band.  Unfortunately, I don’t go to church very often, because my mom and dad work all the time.

I sense people know me in church because they talk to me and ask me about my life. They make my family and I feel very important.

During the summer I will attend HYLA in Dallas. My pastor has invited me to go to the summer training on how to learn to be a leader. She says the Academy is the right place to learn more about working in the church and in el barrio.

My parents are happy because they know Pastor Lourdes wants what is good for us. I want to know more about Jesus and do positive things that will help me to help other people.


--Lourdes Calderón es pastora de la IMU Saint Andrew’s
Conferencia de Nuevo México

el Intérprete, marzo-abril, 2010