The staff of the Spanish Ministerial Education and Formation (SMEF) team joined district coordinators from across the country for a few days of fellowship and worship.

FLAMA stands for Fraternidad Latinoamericana de Adiestramiento Ministerial Alternativo (Latin American Fraternity of Alternative Ministerial Education). It’s a Spanish ministerial training program that prepares ministerial students for ordination in The Wesleyan Church. The SMEF team helps coordinate FLAMA students and curriculum to keep districts on the same track.

Daniela Galindo-Cabriales, a member of the SMEF team and licensed minister in The Wesleyan Church, said the retreat was a refreshing time for the FLAMA staff. Coordinators traveled from as near as Kentucky and as far as California to attend, where they talked about ministerial education, spiritual formation, and personal growth.

Daniela added that, although the FLAMA team meets on Zoom, they almost never meet in person. So, meeting her colleagues in person was an exciting moment. They toured the Headquarters building, worshiped together in Spanish, and had lunch with the executive team. The retreat helped revitalize and equip the FLAMA staff.

“As a FLAMA coordinator,” Pastor Louis Garcia wrote afterward, “I often find myself prioritizing the ministerial education needs of others over my own. However, this year’s retreat provided a unique opportunity to turn inward and focus on our personal journeys. The sessions were transformative, offering a chance to reflect on our visions and commit to our personal and spiritual growth.”

Among the challenges given to the coordinators at the retreat was a chance to create a personal vision statement. For Pastor Louis, the vision statement “has been a guiding light, helping me identify areas where I need to invest more time and where I should seek assistance from others who excel in areas beyond my strengths.”

Haydee Tolentino, another FLAMA coordinator, wrote, “Although my health wasn’t the greatest, God helped me attend the retreat and enjoy everything prepared for our spiritual benefit.” She appreciated the opportunity to pray with the FLAMA team and the general superintendent, Rev. Dr. Wayne Schmidt.

For Daniela, one major takeaway came from a session with Dr. Yamil Acevedo. She recalled him telling the group, “You can have a big message and it can be bold, but it can also be brief.”

But beyond that, she loved seeing the FLAMA staff come together with a similar vision. The retreat served as renewed affirmation for Daniela that she is in the right place, working with people who have the same goals.

“Everybody in the room was very concerned with the matters of the heart,” she said. More than teaching ministerial students practical skills for running a church, they wanted to focus on character growth.

Pastor Louis expressed similar feelings about the FLAMA team’s shared priorities.

He said, “I am profoundly grateful for being part of such an inspiring and supportive community. Since our last retreat, we’ve welcomed new members who are exceptionally talented and called by God to serve in various roles. Even if you haven’t had the opportunity to meet your district’s FLAMA coordinator personally, I encourage you to pray for them. They play a crucial role in nurturing and preparing the future pastors among us.”

For more information about how Wesleyan ministerial training initiatives are nurturing and preparing pastors, visit