When Patricia “Patty” Villareal attended the Haggai Leader Experience in 1991, she was the principal of a Christian charter school in Mexico. With a master’s degree in education, she saw the value of character education in the lives of her students. But the HLE showed her that her work in the school could be a vessel for the Gospel not just in the classroom, but with an entire nation.
While still working as an educator, Patty’s efforts to equip churches and schools with Christian character education resources began to attract national attention. As opportunities to share her ministry grew, she prayed that God would put leaders of influence in her path. The answer to this prayer came in the form of an invitation from the president of Mexico.
“The President of Mexico asked me to create a national organization, to create a character education plan for the nation. That is when I founded my ministry ‘Building with Character’ and used the program to train Mexico’s cabinet secretaries.”
Patty’s work with churches and schools has attracted national attention.
Just as her work with “Building with Character” took off, Patty was forced to change her approach to give her more time to care for her aging parents. Instead of working through Christian schools, she focused her attention on sharing her character education model through various media outlets. This change in direction was the start of 17 years in active ministry through radio and television. Once again, this new medium gave her opportunities to work with the country’s most influential leaders.
“I sought out opportunities to share the program through media such as TV and radio, choosing key hours to proclaim Christ’s character traits through engaging seminars. Mexican law is strict regarding religious teaching in the media, but God has given us methods to speak His Word to all, using a vocabulary people relate to. I was even asked to train Mexico’s houses of Congress with my seminar ‘Principles of Character’.”
In addition to her own organization’s ministry, Patty has been a vital part of the Haggai family in Mexico for nearly three decades. She teaches upcoming Haggai leaders as a faculty member of the Haggai Leader Experience, and she is also active in equipping local leaders through Haggai Mexico. This year, they will hold their 11th seminar to equip new leaders across this nation of more than 130 million people. To Patty, this work is a way to make an impact in the lives of others who desire to see their nation transformed for the Gospel.
“The Haggai Leadership Experience has enhanced my life and functioning by helping me to abide in God’s calling and create strategic plans for such a time as this. Many key leaders are joining us with the hope of seeing our nation humbled before our heavenly Father. I believe this platform is key to making Mexico a more Christian Nation.”