Entrust Equipping Leaders
What might it look like to dream big but start small?
July 21, 2023
Guests Lasma Asme and Mo Blackmon laugh and cry as they describe the ups and downs of learning in a second language, launching a new ministry and seeing God work through it all. What might God do with YOUR dreams? Listen and be inspired!
Helpful links and resources

FRL, DDH, DBS and EWS: mentioned several times, the acronyms for Entrust Equipping Women's four core modules: Facilitating Relational Learning, Developing a Discerning Heart, Discovery Bible Study and Equipping Women to Serve.

Entrust https://www.entrust4.org

Todd Randall [00:00:04]: 
Hey there. We're back with another episode of Entrust Equipping Leaders. Today, we'll pick up the conversation between Lasma Asme in Latvia and Mo Blackmon in Canada. About the nationwide women's ministry training God has helped them launch in Latvia and how you can be a part of it. 

Laurie Lind [00:00:24]: 
Let's have another story. think I'm ready for story time again. And I think of Mo, you had mentioned something to me about a story about something that happened for you with the Entrust women's ministry training. Tell us all about that one. 

Mo Blackmon [00:00:45]: 
That was in 2018, so we had it was the fifth year of offering our training, and it was the very first time that we were offering it in Latvian language. So I had the privilege of working together with 2 other Latvian facilitators and we are offering the facilitated training, the first module. And the very first night, as we were praying together the 3 of us and preparing our room to start the training the next morning with 9 women. I did something that I I really stepped on the toes of one of my colleagues and really quite deeply offended her but I didn't realize it at the time. So after preparing the room, we all went home. and she had a terrible night. Just thinking about what had happened and, you know, Satan is very active in these trainings where God is super active. And so he got in there twisting things and speaking lies and Anyways, so the next day, I'm oblivious to all this, and we do the go through the whole training day, and it just felt hard. It felt stilted, and it really wasn't flowing. I didn't know why. And then at the very end of that day, the lady women went home, and we 3 facilitators sat down to debrief the day as we do. You know, what went well, what might we do differently, and that was the opportunity for my colleague to say, you know, I was really hurt by what you did there, and she shared. And, oh, man, I was just cut to the core. I had no idea, but you know, she was right. I had really been unthoughtful and so I I apologized and There's nothing to defend in my actions, and she forgave me. still gets me today. She really forgave me from the heart then and there, and We're able to cry a little bit and hug each other and pray. And the next day, it was a totally different world in our little room. It was wonderful. And, you know, that was 2018. I have a a good relationship with her, and the forgiveness was real. And the acknowledgment of, you know, yeah, just what I had done unintentionally, but still, you know, stepped on her, and she realized that it triggered a lie, a deeper lie in her own life. got triggered by that, and we talk about all those things in the second module. And so we were both we became aware of what was going on, and you know, my sin was unintentional, but still happened. And yeah. So that was a powerful thing. And I I thought at the very beginning, man, that could have derailed things in a significant way because she was an influential leader really in in Latvia and for the training and, you know, if that offense wasn't dealt with, It could have affected things quite badly. But God was absolutely faithful to take us through that. 

Laurie Lind [00:04:11]: 
Praise God. I love the the the fact that you both …  There was Yes, there was hurt and there was misunderstanding, but there was such honesty and such humility on both sides to acknowledge and to confess and to forgive. And -- Yeah. -- women don't always do those things terribly well. 

Mo Blackmon [00:04:35]: 
Yeah. And that really is part of the culture of this training, which I love. Yeah. the humility, and, you know, it's a training that offers very practical skills, biblical skills, but also godly character. and that really is crucial and matters and is part of what we want to see happen. 

Laurie Lind [00:05:00]: 
I want to go back to a question for you, Mo. You had this vision to bring this this training to Latvia, as we've said. As time has gone on, How if at all, how has your vision changed? 

Mo Blackmon [00:05:13]: 
I think one thing that that I've noticed that in the beginning, it was those of us within Entrust who work full time in that organization coming. And, you know, we're their full time. So we've got time to give, and we would meet afterwards and have meals together and spend time, a lot of time following up and deep briefing. And, you know, we were there. We were ready to do very, very long days, and but the women that we were training and who eventually have become the facilitators and leaders of it, they're often in other full time work in doing this as volunteer. And so one way that it the training has been contextualized and changed in in a way it needed to was trimming it down a little bit time wise. You know, we used to do this long slideshow. We took that out. We used to do we used to have killing prayer, right, Lasma? 

Laurie Lind [00:06:18]: 

Mo Blackmon [00:06:19]: 
A very long time of laying hands on women in in a hot stuffy room and praying and praying and praying until we're just falling down. So we we've taken that out and, you know, made it a little more effective. And so yeah. So things have had change to accommodate the needs of women who are working full time or taking care of children at home full time. And any things to be done a little bit quicker, need to catch public transit to go back home to their cities and so on. That's one way. Another way is the Fall training worked for a lot of us. but wasn't always the best for our Latvian sisters. And so now the training is change to spring, and I don't know, Lasma, maybe you can say more about that. 

Lasma Asme [00:07:16]: 
Yeah. For Latvians, summer is very meaningful season because then you have sun and warm time and many camps and times with friends and families  … going swimming. So in that season was very hard to study, to learn, to answer emails and all things what is connected with preparing to training. So in very many times, the woman started to study just in August or September that training was in October. So we thought that easier for preparing is to prepare in winter, in dark evenings, and in Latvia, we have dark in winter starts at 4 o'clock or 5 o'clock. Yes. And then so we changed to from fall to spring. Yeah. 

Mo Blackmon [00:08:20]: 
Another thing that may be changed in my original thoughts way back when was, you know, I wondered if the training might spread to neighboring countries, like Lithuania or Estonia. In the early days, I was in contact with people I knew in Lithuania, and we almost had some people coming. It never worked out and then later on, maybe some people in Estonia, but that didn't work out. So I realized, you know, those dreams have to be held with open hands and before the Lord and to see how he wants to to move it and change it and grow it. And You know, we wondered if maybe some of the Latvian trainers who speak Russian, maybe they could help our colleagues in Georgia or the Ukraine. Maybe it would move into Russian speakers within Latvia. So, yeah, all those were dreams that that haven't happened yet. 

Laurie Lind [00:09:23]: 
We will talk about what is next, what are the bigger dreams, but where would you say the training is now? How many people have been through this training in Latvia? I understand everything is done in the Latvian language now. You don't do anything in English anymore. So English speakers have been worked out of a job apparently. What is the status of it all right now in Latvia? 

Lasma Asme [00:09:49]: 
For now we have 15 graduates who graduated all courses in those 9 years. Yeah. This would be the 10th year for Latvian. But I think some 65 women learned almost 1 year, like, in like FRL or 2 courses or 3 courses. Yes. Next year, we would love to offer 4 courses, and it would be the first time in our history. Entrust's history in Latvia. We never have so much courses, but we really pray and hope that God will provide that. And now we have yes. We have translated all courses, but we are really are hoping to revise the FRL. And, yeah, it has been a sometime, yeah, long time from the first translation. So we have about that. And the part of our work right now is to involve the graduates and process that they are co-facilitating in our trainings. And that also is very beautiful when you are really seeing the fruits of this work and how God blessed them. And, yeah, and to see that they are really really happy to be there and involve in that ministry. And so that is very beautiful. Yeah. 

Laurie Lind [00:11:46]: 
Lasma also, tell us more about your journey. I mean, you went to that 1st training in 2014 where you've never heard the word facilitation before and so forth. You had that thought about woman to woman. And then you went through quite a process and … well, you’re the director of the whole thing for the whole country I think. tell us about that. Where and how did you proceed through and land where you are today? 

Lasma Asme [00:12:06]: 
Yes. In 2014, I took FRL. And then in 2015 DDH, in Riga. And then in next year, I needed a DBS. but we have in our marriage problems with my husband, with Rudolfs and we worked more on our marriage and we went to marriage camp, I would say, and different things. So I really realized that I can't dig in DBS, and my all thoughts and concerns are about our marriage. So I said to my beautiful wonderful facilitators and Livija that I wouldn't come. And but they came to in a fall to training, and they came to Ventspils, to me, and that was very, very nice time together that we spent one day together. There were Mo and Sherry Bohn and Trish Barrett and Corrie. So and in that day, they offered me to go in spring and to learn in Euro Hub So I took in 2017 in spring in Switzerland, I took DBS. And after year. And then in a fall, we were three girls from training, and we didn't have anything to learn in Entrust training. and then Mo offered for us the first time to co-facilitate. So it was our first experience, and I don't know how it went. I think it was terrible. I'm so sorry for those girls. who needed to enjoy. But that was our first experience before Equipping Women to Serve. Yeah. And so after that, 1st co-acilitation in 2017 in the Fall. 

Lasma Asme [00:14:40]: 
I and both Agneses from our hub training and Laura, and also together with Mo, we finish together in Switzerland. Yeah. That all Entrust training. And in that moment already and it was in 2018, I accepted to be a hub coordinator in Latvia. So like together it started that in this spring, I went in a full time ministry. I quit my job. I was full time in full time job with kids and so and yeah. In that spring, I, yeah, quit my job. That was very big decision for me. But God's word help me. So I get answers and I knew that I need to do. So for 5 years, I'm in full time ministry, and I am, yes, hub coordinator in Latvia and very also involved in my church. Yep. So that is my way how I am going step by step. 

Laurie Lind [00:15:59]: 
What would you add to that story, Mo? 

Mo Blackmon [00:16:02]: 
Oh, I yeah. That was that was very special. just when we when we facilitators drove out to Ventspils to meet with Lasma, talk with her. I just remember connecting with her husband Rudolfs too and there was one fun part that I remember him saying, “Sso if my wife skips out on one training, then she can get sent to Switzerland to take it there!” So yeah, that worked out well. 

Laurie Lind [00:16:41]: 
Like it pays to skip once in a while. 

Mo Blackmon [00:16:50]: 
Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. But I thought it was neat as well that Rudolfs could see how important his wife, Lasma, was and is to this training that that she was somebody that that we wanted to pursue, really, to continue to train and then to pass on her learning to others. 

Lasma Asme [00:17:12]: 
And that also helps me in a way that Livija said that she had this feeling from the 1st year that I could lead this program, but she never told me, of course, that. And when I said that I wouldn't come to DBS, she said afterwards that she thought okay, our bird fly away. So this is not like and that helps me that God changed our plans and do something. And maybe if I didn't go to Switzerland and to see than Entrust like worldwide vision and how God works in so many ways in different places and different yeah, in in all world, in the way in women's lives, maybe I wouldn't start to think about opportunity to come in this ministry, and that is very good that God sometimes do more and better than in a first time we are thinking. 
Mo Blackmon [00:18:25]: 
I think that's a real theme that that I've seen as well that things didn't always go how we expected they would. They never do. Mhmm. But every change from our perspective is is a deeper opportunity for us to trust God and to know that he really is in charge. This is his training, his program, his church, his people, and we really can trust him to keep leading and to call those specific women to study and learn and eventually lead and pass it on to others and it's often different than we think and always better. Yeah. I remember that training for you was not easy either, being the only Latvian studying at the Euro hub. 

Lasma Asme [00:19:13]: 
Oh, yeah. It was hard because English were everywhere, only English. And when you're going in lunch or dinner, you again are with different people by table. And they again, “OK, what is Latvia? What are you doing? What is history? What are you eating?” And so and so and then just you're going to room. Again, English training, English. And so DBS also are not very easy course. So when I did all speech and then facilitations and all, then there were like last lesson or something like that. And I remember that Shari Carlson was facilitating this lesson and she just asks something to write to blackboard and I'm just sitting and I don't understand anything. I don't understand what she wants from me, and all are going to this blackboard and writing something that I just started to cry. I go away, sit on a hill, cry, because this was, like, full, full, full, full, I can't anymore. I can't take anything. And, yeah, and then just Trish came to me and said, “Oh, that's okay. It's okay. Just cry out, and then let's go back.” 

Laurie Lind [00:20:46]: 
I'm glad now we're doing it more and more in Latvian for your sisters in Christ now. Everything's in Latvian, so at least they don't have to think in a second language the whole time. 

Lasma Asme [00:20:55]: 
Yeah. It is. And that also experienced as I facilitated DDH two courses together with Sherry Bohn in English. And next year, I'm doing that in Latvian because we have DDH and Latvian and just, “OK, I need to skip half a lesson because they took him so much in Latvian. I can't take all questions. What is that?” So -- Yeah. -- people just feel free and could say what they're actually thinking when it is in their native language. Yeah. 

Laurie Lind [00:21:33]: 
Oh, we all need to speak in our native language when we can. So just two more questions I think from both of you. What is the vision now, that you both have? Like, going forward, you're going to try to offer all 4 of the Entrust modules at the same time. That'll be a first for Latvia, as you said. that would be in the spring of 2024? Yes. Yes. And then what else? What are your visions and your dreams for this women's training across the region? 

Lasma Asme [00:22:12]: 
For now, there are some little steps in a way. What is our dream, and one of them is that we could equip Russian Baptist women.  to establish new, like, hub training just for Russian Baptist woman where they would learn in Russian. And we have one wonderful sister from Russian Baptist Church who finished all courses. And this year, she already co-facilitated and she has this our this dream in her heart. And so we are just starting to dream how it could happen sometimes and how we can support her or yeah help her in the process or how it could be. So that is a one of dreams. Then, as Entrust training woman to woman are more in Baptist Union Baptist women, like, leadership team are making that and putting time and like, money and different things. So we are mostly offering them from Baptist women as we want to input to Baptist churches, Baptist movements. But we are open also from different churches, different congregations. And this year, from January till now, very many Lutheran womean just wrote me, I'm interested when it would be, I want to involve. And so that also was one new dream that we could make, like, were a big input in 2 pastor's wives from Lutheran church who would be willing not for their local church, but just for Lutheran women because they don't have any education like we have. They don't have conferences. They don't have retreats for women. So for them, this is really new concept. Yes. They have, like, silent retreats, but it is for every everyone for men and women. Just for women, they don't have this this kind of, yeah, trainings or ways. So that is, again, one dream yes. And, of course, we are thinking and dreaming that we would have the more facilitators, certified facilitators and that that would give us opportunity to make this training more regional, not so in Riga, in one time in a year, but maybe, yeah, it could make more regional. Like, Latvia it's very small, but almost sometimes it is hard to find a place where to stay and then be away from families or different things.  

Laurie Lind [00:25:42]: 
Mo, what else? What’s your vision, your dream for going forward with this in that area? 

Mo Blackmon [00:25:51]: 
Well, just to just to be in awe of my Latvian sisters and just to Pray for them and facilitate together with them when and if I'm needed there. So that's my role now. 

Laurie Lind [00:26:09]: 
What do you hope to see happen across the region of the Baltic states or beyond? 

Mo Blackmon [00:26:17]: 
You know, I think in these almost 10 years of this training happening, I really am learning that I can have some ideas, but God is the one putting his dreams and ideas in the hearts of his women. So I love that it's probably moving into Russian language for those women. I love that Lutherans are getting involved, and I just see God's hand in all that. And So I am I am excited to see how it progresses from here, and I do really think there's huge value if it goes regionally. I remember when my husband and I lived in a more remote part of Latvia, a lot of a lot of women were, you know, they might have one cow at home or in the winter they've got to be home to put the wood in the furnace to keep their homes warm and the water pipes from freezing. So a lot of people in that part of the country where we lived could not get away to Riga very easily. So, yeah, I guess my personal dream would be to see it go regionally so that more people further out in the countryside further away from the capital would be able to also benefit from this training for them and for their local churches. Oh, and, you know, a bigger overall dream is for men that God would provide some men to also promote and facilitate this training for other men and for coed groups and that you know, maybe one day we'd be able to offer it to the men of Latvia. 

Laurie Lind [00:28:05]: 
Well, finally then,  someone's listening right now, and they're like, well, I want in on some of this, or I have a heart for a woman investing in a woman. What is any advice you might offer to someone who's hungry for this or would love to be part of something like this or start something like this where they are. What thoughts would you like to leave people with? 

Mo Blackmon [00:28:35]: 
Contact us and take a course. Just start. We offer it in English online, usually once a year. And Lasma mentioned the Euro Hub that happens now in Hungary and at that place in March, every year, it's offered in English language for all nationalities. And   in quite a number of American cities and once in a while here in Manitoba. So check it out. We have an excellent website check it out and look for a training near you. 

Lasma Asme [00:29:12]: 
I would say if something touched your heart, then you can know that Holy Spirit is guiding you in truth, and this is truth that what is our work that we need to equip the leaders and disciples. And I would say start small. You don't need to start big. You can start small. And also in Latvia, we start 7. We were 7. And in the next year in DDH course, we were 4. And we could thought, oh, is it okay? Or maybe no, but just being faithful with what you receive from Lord, and then you could see the very nice fruits after all, and if you would be faithful as he is. And he guides, and he provides with all things what you would need. And what we previous talked, yes. Just to rely to God's plans, not your plans and that your calculations and things which you see, oh, it would need be in this way. No. Maybe God has something different. So just start small and dream big. Yep. 

Laurie Lind [00:30:34]: 
Well, thanks to both of you so much. How do we say thank you in Latvian? Paldies. Okay. And how do we say see you next time? [Latvian: see you next time.] 

Lasma Asme [00:30:53]: 
-- It's a little bit difficult for you, I think. 

Laurie Lind [00:30:57]: 
Well, For me, yes. Mo knows all these things. Well, bless you both. Thank you, Lasma. Thank you, Mo, for sharing your hearts and opening your hearts. It's been just delightful to hear you sharing all of these stories and lessons along the way. 

Todd Randall [00:31:15]: 
Mo and Lasma, a Canadian and a Latvian combining their spiritual gifts to invest in women from across Latvia, helping each one find her voice and become a confident leader in her local church. Please make sure you've subscribed to this podcast and share it widely. We want to encourage and equip you as you in turn invest in people around you as leaders in Jesus' Kingdom. As you pray for, give to, and work with Entrust, you're part of it all. Visit our website at www.entrust4.org. That link is in your show notes. See you next time on Entrust Equipping Leaders.