Norma and the Women of Chihuahua

Whenever I have visited the Dominican Republic, my hosts have always joked about how their culture is perennially running late. But there was no sign of that this morning. An hour before the conference was scheduled to start, women were already filing into the sanctuary and the excitement was palpable.

Sitting near me were two women who are instrumental in the Spanish broadcasts of Revive Our Hearts (ROH) in both the Dominican Republic and Mexico. Mayra Ortiz (pictured on the right), who is part of the Spanish translation team for ROH programs in the Dominican, introduced me to Norma Gonzales de Najera (pictured on the left), who is from Chihuahua, Mexico, which is in one of the Mexican states on the U.S. border. Norma is a pastor's wife who first became acquainted with ROH in 2005, when she and her husband were presenting a seminar about humility and forgiveness in their town. There was a woman from Chicago who attended this Chihuahua seminar then, and she gave Norma a handout from Nancy and ROH about forgiveness. But it was in English and Norma didn't understand it.

Intrigued, she went online to see if anything was in Spanish from ROH. She found ROH had some books in Spanish, so she purchased them and started reading more about the ministry. So she wrote a letter to Nancy  and invited her to visit Chihuahua but Nancy couldn't come at that time. In the years since discovering ROH, Norma and her husband continued to teach from these resources. She has found in ROH all the subjects that they and the women in their church need and she's very grateful.


Norma told me a bit more about Chihuahua during our conversation. It's a city with significant crime problems, Norma said. There are many reasons, but juvenile delinquency is one of the factors. (I did some research on this later on and found out that INEGI, Mexico’s national statistics institute, reports that from 2007 to 2009 homicide became the leading cause of death for young adults between 15 and 29.) Years ago, the government invited American companies to set up factories in that city in order to build the local economy. The government promoted women working in these factories and set up free daycare centers. But now they are reaping an unintended consequence as juvenile delinquency has soared. So the government has turned to the local pastors and asked them to help combat the violence.

Therefore, Norma's ears perked up when she heard a Spanish translation of ROH a year ago and realized what a great resource it could be for the women of her city. Last June, her church contacted the radio team in the Dominican and asked to rebroadcast the program in Chihuahua, radio time which was paid for by her church. To adapt the Dominican program for Chihuahua, Norma would introduce the topic in the Mexican dialect and then take questions afterward. After a few months, the government required that all AM stations upgrade to the FM bandwidth. Unfortunately, her local Christian station couldn't afford it and closed down. So now Norma has to drive to the next closest Christian radio station, which is an hour away and does not reach Chihuahua. Therefore she is trying to promote her program's transmission via the internet.

On February 15, Norma will be meeting with all the pastors' wives in her region to see what they can do to spread the ROH messages there. Her proposal is to put the program in Spanish along the border between Mexico and U.S. Her church is small--only 100 persons--but they are willing to pay for radio time in different cities. She's knocking on various doors, waiting to see which door God will open, and trusting Him for the money. For those who are reading this blog, Norma asks that you join her in praying that her efforts will be successful.

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About the Author

Carolyn McCulley

Carolyn McCulley

In 2009, Carolyn started Citygate Films, a documentary film company where she is a producer/director. Prior to that, Carolyn served as the media specialist for Sovereign Grace Ministries, worked in corporate communications, and was a television and commercial film producer. She is a frequent conference speaker and has authored several books.


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