"Let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we will not give up." Galatians 6:9
A VISIT FROM AMERICAN BAPTIST MISSIONARY, REV. INGRID ROLDAN-ROMAN
Monday, November 23, 2009
Utilizing a theme of “Walking in the Shoes of Others”, the Rev. Ingrid Roldan-Roman, American Baptist International Ministries Missionary, gave an inspiring message to the ABSW community at a recent Community Forum where she emphasized the importance of seeing and experiencing life from the perspectives of others.
“God’s work can only continue with these hands we possess,” she said. “I can see in the work we do how God uses us to do the work of Jesus Christ as we walk in these different pair of shoes. Every pair has a different story.”
Rev. Roldan-Roman was commissioned to minister in El Salvador in 1987 and reappointed to serve in Panama in 2001. Involved in numerous ministries, she directs and serves as a professor at the Panamanian Baptist Theological Center of the Caribbean and is involved with the Federation of Baptist Associations of Costa Rica and the Baptist Theological Center of the Caribbean. She ministers on both sides of the Panamanian -Costa Rican border.
Rev. Roldan-Roman also carries pastoral responsibilities at the Iglesia Bautista LaGran Comision in Sixaola, Limon, Costa Rica and directs a tutoring program for elementary and high school students, in her home, as a social extension of the Theological Center.
Among her many accomplishments Rev. Roldan-Roman was awarded an honorary doctorate from ABSW.
Rev. Roldan-Roman cited Matthew 25:31-40 as key to her work and noted that when she was 15 years God provided direction in not only what she should study in college, but revealed that one day she would “cross the sea.” She spoke of several experiences where God not only made provisions, but also opened doors for her.
The beginning of her ministry started with volunteer service in the mid-1980’s, ministering in El Salvador, then progressed to employment as a missionary. “I give praise and thanks to the Lord for being able to work in El Salvador until 1994,” she commented.
Although faced with severe challenges when she embarked upon service in Panama in 2001, she noted that “God has been marvelous,” providing the opportunity to minister and live among many types of people.
“I have so many other people’s shoes, in different places,” she mentioned as the Theological Center was established in 2002 with students representing a myriad of denominational traditions.
Where some people may see obstacles, Rev. Roldan-Roman sees opportunities for ministry. In using an analogy to Moses and the burning bush she indicated that God called Moses to do a “titanically big job.”
“But God keeps putting in front of each one of us burning bushes; there is work to do. We need to stop being surprised that we need to walk in others’ shoes.”
The small church she pastors is located on the only street in the community which is also located directly in the area’s flood plain, but due to its location near the river, several times, every year, the river floods requiring massive clean up efforts. Slides were shown illustrating the destruction residents and members of her congregation endure season after season. Yet despite what could be viewed as discouraging trials instead yields perseverance, determination and optimism with renewed faith.