Since March, it has not been safe to travel into Latin America to teach Timothy Two workshops because of COVID-19. So I sought another way to continue training pastors and ministry leaders there. Following are the methods I used to learn Zoom and to conduct my first three workshops in Ecuador, Colombia and the Dominican Republic during July and August.
Setting up and learning Zoom
Before beginning the workshops, I set up a Zoom account and received two lessons from my niece, Libby Eiholzer. She has been using Zoom over the past several months to meet with her colleagues in the Cornell Cooperative Extension. I also watched a number of YouTube videos on the subject. Then I met with the Ecuador workshop coordinator several times to practice using Zoom with an interpreter. Finally, I upgraded my Zoom account from “Basic” to “Licensed.” This enabled me to meet with more than one person at a time and more than 40 minutes at a time.
Assessing the situation in each city
Before we began each particular workshop, I asked the coordinator to assess the situation in his city by inquiring whether each participant was able to connect online or not. After a consensus was reached about how we would meet, I held a test meeting with the coordinator, interpreter and some of the participants. And during the meeting we explained to the participants how to use Zoom. To keep it simple, I used the same Zoom password for all the meetings of all the groups. However, I will change that password for the next series of meetings.
Printing and distributing the workbooks
In addition, the workshop coordinators printed and distributed a workbook to every participant so they could follow the teaching and fully participate in the discussion of each topic of the workshop. The workbooks are valuable not only as learning tools but also as teaching tools. In the workshop, participants are trained not only how to understand the material for themselves. They are also equipped to train others using the workbook as their teacher’s manual.