By Kathleen Reed

For the second consecutive year, Chosen to Speak recently celebrated the commissioning of women in the cross-cultural coaching sessions during the spring of 2024. Group members across eight time zones from eastern Russia to western United States, shared insights from their weekly studies, and provided speeches they had prepared or improvised, as well as  opportunities for personal, professional and spiritual growth. Participants confidently stepped up as conference speakers, podcast guests, Bible study leaders, counselors, and coaches as their knowledge, skills and experience grew.

One of the members, Margo from Moscow, Russia, held a crowded room of conference attendees in rapt attention as she told her personal story of trial and triumph, and challenged audience members to greater courage and faith. “I shared my testimony about how Jesus found me, led me through many rough things, forgave me, healed me, and exposed me, and that He will always love me,” she said. ”The audience laughed and cried with her and cheered throughout her presentation. “I thank God for the amazing opportunities he has given me. It’s just cool when you realize God can use you to share His truth and love.”

Margo has since stepped into the role of a small group leader at her church and is coaching the members to boldly share their faith stories too. She says, “The further you follow God’s path, the more it will define your life. Take a chance! If you win, you will be happy. And if you lose you will be wiser. No matter how big your dream is, God’s dream for you is always bigger.”

Terri from Cottonwood, Arizona, joined the group partway through the journey, but made up for lost time by attending every one of the remaining sessions, diligently preparing her lessons, participating in the discussions and speaking activities, and texting group members throughout the week with prayers and encouragement. As a Global Ambassador for Spirit of Martyrdom, she was recently featured on the At Risk Radio podcast https://www.atriskradio.com/global-ambassador-terry-breens-path-from-rock-concerts-to-delivering-bibles/, where she confessed that she can pretty much talk to anyone, but she hated praying out loud and was afraid of speaking publicly. Through Chosen to Speak, Terri gained confidence in both areas, and recently helped host a large training conference. .

Noreen from Verde Valley, Arizona, accepted the challenge to step into a leadership role during the coaching sessions. Her experience as a missions worker in Uzbekistan gave her the ability to coach members in English and Russian. As a licensed counselor and high school basketball coach, she added an extra layer of depth to the weekly gatherings as she urged participants to face their fears, dig deeper, work harder, own their mistakes and move toward the goal. “It’s important for each member to be at their best, and that happens best in community,” Noreen said. “It is also important to celebrate each team member’s personal success.” Noreen will continue to work as a counselor and coach, as well as a small group leader in her community.

Natalya, our veteran translator, worked hard to build cultural and linguistic bridges to help unite members on both sides of the Atlantic. She recruited participants, set meeting dates and times, and was always available to translate, even if she had to do it from unusual places like a hospital clinic, train station or cafe. She contributed to the Russian language translation of the Chosen to Speak curriculum, and has served as a defendant and mediator in leadership disputes. She said, “It was an honor and privilege to soak and dig deeper into God’s Word and the book Chosen to Speak. Thank you for the opportunity to pray and fellowship with beautiful and devoted sisters in Christ and to build up each other. What a blessing!”

Chosen to Speak is much more than an aid to communicators who want to improve their presentation skills. It is a faith-based community intent on creating strong connections, strengthening character, shaping content, and opening doors for speaking opportunities at home and around the world. Reach out to the network at contact@chosentospeak.com to find out more about how you can become a client, a coach, or facilitate a class in your church or organization.