Supporting Ethnic Women
District official Silvia Carrizo encourages younger Hispanics to fulfill their ministry calling.As a woman, Silvia E. Carrizo struggled with feelings of uncertainty and inadequacy in her early years navigating Assemblies of God ministries. This never became more apparent than in 2012 when she became secretary-treasurer of the Southern Pacific District, one of the AG’s 14 Hispanic districts. Despite experience leading district women’s ministry starting in 2006 and working with diverse ministries around the globe, Carrizo still believed getting her opinions across on certain issues was like overcoming the walls of Jericho.
“When I’m in doubt, I trust in the guidance of the Lord,” Carrizo says. “I thought becoming director and executive of a district was impossible.”
After she completed Bible school in Argentina, Carrizo traveled to La Puente, California, to study at Latin American Bible Institute (LABI). She graduated in 1998 and served as an instructor at LABI the next 15 years. She remains on the school’s board of trustees. Carrizo also taught at Facultad de Teología Internacional in Montebello, California, preparing young men and women for ministry.
“One of the biggest rewards is to watch students grow in the ministry and with the Lord,” Carrizo says. “I just visited in Argentina and one of the lady pastors approached me and said I was her Sunday School teacher when she was a girl.”
Carrizo sees her new two-year appointment to the Assemblies of God Commission of Ethnicity as an avenue to help women find their ministry calling in the Fellowship.
“In order for women to succeed in ministry, fulfill their calling, and empower them, I like to listen to every generation,” Silvia says. “It is important that we bridge the older and newer generations together with developmental programs for women that educate them, prepare them for ministry, and give them the opportunity to be able to get credentials.”
Carrizo is a firm believer in the idea of transferring the mantle of faith from one generation to the next (as Aaron did with his son Eleazar in Numbers 20:22-29).
“God calls us to pass on our faith, wisdom, and experience to our children, to empower them to become those men and women that will lead revival in the years to come,” Carrizo says.
South Pacific District Superintendent Sergio Navarrete is supportive of more Hispanic women becoming ministers, educators, and evangelists. He has worked with Carrizo for 20 years.
“Silvia is a Hispanic power for women leadership in this area, nationally, and across the world,” says Navarrete, who also is vice president of Assemblies of God Hispanic World Fellowship. “It is a great blessing to see how the Holy Spirit has been guiding her to new levels of ministry.”
Carrizo advises women desiring to become ministry leaders to stay humble.
“When you succeed, it is because of God,” she says.