Eight new Sister Care presenters are certified to teach North American seminars following an October 25-27 training in Bel Aire, Kansas led by Sister Care developers, Carolyn Heggen and Rhoda Keener. Heggen says, “We are touched by the life experiences and passion for healing ministry of these new presenters. Because of their varied circles of relationships and their many connections, we anticipate they will open new doors for the sharing of Sister Care.”
Since its beginning in 2008, the Sister Care seminar has been shared by MW USA with 4, 300 women in 16 countries; these women, in international settings, have taught thousands more. The manual, Sister Care: Equipping Women for Healing Ministry, written by Heggen with Keener, is available in 12 languages. The seminar provides women with tools for ongoing personal healing and for responding more effectively and confidently to the needs of others.
Cyneatha Millsaps, MW USA executive director, and Berni Kaufman, executive assistant, will provide ongoing support for the new presenters who will work in pairs, and logistical guidelines for groups who host seminars. Keener and Heggen andKeener will continue teaching international seminars.
Millsaps said: “Mennonite Women is excited about certifying 8 new women for facilitating our Sister Care Seminar. We have reached thousands of women in the last 10 years; with the additional teachers at this very critical time in the history of our church and country, the need for SisterCare is more important than ever. We believe God is about to do something new with and through women.”
Meet the new North American Sister Care teachers:
Alicia Manning, Williamsburg, Virginia, of Calvary Community Church (C3 Hampton) is an educator, minister, therapeutic foster parent and caretaker. Through her work and life experiences, Alicia helps others unpack the pain of trauma and embrace a healing, restorative mindset rooted in a biblical understanding of who we are in Christ.
Grace Tijerina, Brownsville, Texas, serves as a pastor and church planter. Having faced difficult issues in her own life and found healing, it has become very important to Grace to walk with other women in their journeys of healing.“My heart just opens up when I see or hear about women going through difficult situations.”
Hildalejandra Pellecer, Grand Prairie, Texas, is a member of the executive board of Iglesia Menonita Hispana. “I see the need to have someone who can help understand some of the pain and sorrow that our sisters face in life and are often not able to express to others.” Hildalejandra feels called to help bring healing in women’s lives.
Hyacinth Stevens, West Haven, Connecticut, is the Pastor at King of Glory Tabernacle in the Bronx, NY and works as the Program Coordinator in New York for MCC East Coast. As part of her pastorate she begana mentoring program for young women and teenage girls in the community around the church. Hyacinth brings a passion for transformative discipleship.
Jill Swiers Baker, Albany, Oregon, fiercely believes in the power of positive friendship and deep laughter and the healing that those can bring. In her job as a high school counselor she works hard to provide services and support practices that lead to better mental health for her students. She is a healer at her core and feels called to healing ministry.
Marta Castillo, Norristown, Pennsylvania, is a pastor passionate about connecting people with a gracious God. She finds the Sister Care materials speak essential truth into women’s lives at any life stage. “Sister Care gives us the opportunity through Scripture and storytelling to learn about God’s love and healing power.”
Sandy Drescher-Lehman, Green Lane, Pennsylvania, is a spiritual director and pastor at Methacton Mennonite Church who counts it a privilege to walk with people through the joys and difficulties of life. “My calling is to connect people to the unconditional and abiding love of God that I’ve experienced my whole life. My challenge is to live a balanced life of work and play, exercise and rest.”
Twila Lehman, Albany, Oregon, brings her love of teaching and people to SisterCare. In her work as a community college instructor, she had the opportunity to advise, teach, encourage and support her students. As a facilitator with SisterCare, Twila is excited to equip women with tools to care for and support each other through life’s journey.