Making the leap from the pastorate into politics
As a Mennonite pastor and the son of a pastor, Arnoldo Wiens knew from an early age that he would spend his life serving and leading. He did not expect that road would lead into a position in the national government.
Arnoldo is one of tens of thousands who have trained with Haggai International at a National or Local Training Seminar. He credits Haggai International with helping him make the leap from the pastorate into politics.
“The impact it made went far and deep in my life,” he says. “I gave up advanced work in the area of communications and prepared to enter national politics.”
Along with pastoring a church, Arnoldo is executive director of several faith-based media companies. He’s hosted radio and TV programs tailored to the Christian family, along with other themes. But his interest in politics goes back to his seminary training, when he wrote his theological doctoral dissertation entitled “Christian Faith and the Challenge of Corruption in Latin America.”
“I passionately desire to reduce injustice and corruption and strive to reduce poverty. I believe my political work can help accomplish this, by focusing on Christ.”
Four years ago, Arnoldo stepped into the political realm. At first, he threw his hat into the ring as a presidential candidate but made a strategic withdrawal early on and, instead, put himself forward for the Paraguayan Senate. Elected in 2013, he became president of the Standing Commission of the National Congress.
His biggest challenge now? “To be an agent of change in the area of politics.”
That is a massive task to undertake. Today’s government inherits Paraguay’s longstanding problem of corruption, much of which focuses on the eight million hectares of land given to military and civilian supporters of the former dictatorship. According to one estimate, there are now more land titles in Paraguay than actual land.
Arnoldo knows that change is possible, though, due largely to his experience with Haggai International.
“My Haggai training renewed my spirit of leadership and helped me refocus on possible targets and achievable deadlines. It helped me accept bigger challenges. What I learned there gave me the basis to enter confidently into the challenge of national policy.”
Through the years, Arnoldo has used his skills to affect many lives and has passed on what he learned by facilitating courses in church leadership and by teaching “good governance” leadership skills to public officials, police officers, and teachers.
“If I could thank the person who made it possible for me to attend Haggai International, I would tell him or her that it’s worth investing in leadership. It’s worth it to challenge the leaders and give them the chance to recharge their vision to keep fighting.”
Pastor, President of the Standing Commission of the National Congress
Attended Haggai: 2006
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