Born in Argentina, Liliana Fernandez de Farina, president of the Latin American Baptist Women’s Union, was only nine years old when she felt God’s call.
“I knew perfectly that the spirit of Deborah was on me. I was going to be there outside of the church, helping people, leading and advising people,” Farina said.
Part of the Baptist World Alliance Women, Farina is leading the women of the 24 conventions and the Associations of Hispanic Baptist Women, located in the states of Texas, New York and New Jersey, to be an “army of volunteers working outside the churches.”
Part of her role is going to the city halls and governments of each area to ask them about the community’s needs. Educating the children is mentioned most.
“At the same time while they are in the kindergarten with us, the group of mothers is going to be taught by the other sisters and brothers in churches in that city, in any country of Latin America,” she said.
Farina is also leading UFBAL women in helping those considering abortion.
“We started in Argentina — [offering] a free phone call — because when a woman receives the news that she’s pregnant and she’s thinking of an abortion, she can call that number [from] any country she is [in], and she’ll receive immediate help on the phone. Depending on the country where she was, she’s connected with our vice president within 24 hours,” she explained.
“Now we have more than 350 babies born in just one year and a half, growing up,” Farina said.
Dozens of projects
UFBAL’s women facilitate 37 projects, including Christian social ministry, evangelization, helping victims of natural disasters, rescuing street children and those in at-risk situations, leadership training, missions and supporting abandoned women who have been abused.
A future goal is supporting Latin American female missionaries in India.
The objective of the most recent five-year period is to “attract, encourage, train and involve young single women and younger married women” in their local Woman’s Missionary Unions.
This push is a success, as 40% of attendees at the recent leadership conference were younger than 45 years old. The youngest was 14 and fully participated.
A mentoring program is also being developed.
Even during 2020, when the offices where social projects occurred were closed to those who needed them, UFBAL kept going because “the mission that God entrusted to each woman — that of serving others and bringing the good news of the gospel — spoke louder.”
Four decades of ministry
Since hearing God’s call as a young child, Farina has been serving for 39 years.
Outside of her volunteer work with UFBAL, Farina is part of a pastoral marriage and stays busy with the members of their church. She and her husband are also writers and conference speakers while also working paid jobs.
Though Farina notes that “continental leadership is a big part of my daily life,” she graduated as a professor, English translator and psychologist.
“My ministry and professional life can’t be divided. It’s just one life and purpose — so thankful to our Lord!” she said.
Farina is always encouraged when she is with a group of BWAW women.
“This meeting was planned thousands of years ago in God’s heart. You live not for yourself. You live for the work because you have a special purpose. In your finger, you have the information that is just yours. No one else has your fingerprints — no one. No one has your purpose.”
Prayer needs for UFBAL include:
- Strong health.
- Wisdom to see and do His will.
- Resources for travel costs, which are very expensive in Argentina.
To find out more about UFBAL, go to www.bwawomen.org and find this region in “Continental Unions” under the “About Us” tab.