Interview with CDL student Wilda Sihombing

By Lukas Julius Kaarby, student assistant in the Danish Mission Council.

In this interview Wilda shares her experience as a student at the Church-Based Development Leadership Course (CDL). The course is offered by the Danish Mission Council and focuses on capacity upgrading leaders and pastors engaged in church-based development and diaconal work.

Tell me a little bit about yourself:

“My name is Wilda Sihombing. I come from Medan, Indonesia. I work as a Project Coordinator at Yayasan Nurani Luhur Masyarakat, a national foundation that has partnership with Norwegian Lutheran Mission, member of Digni.”

What do you think about the CDL course?

“This program offers the opportunity to improve personal and professional skills while modelling the character of a Christian disciple who is respectful of differences and fights for the interests of others, especially those who are oppressed and suffering. The curriculum is comprehensive and not many programs offer such a holistic approach.

It is an excellent leadership program based on Christian values. This course has changed my perspective as a more responsible, professional, and Godly leader. I am really thankful and glad for having this wonderful learning experience. Thanks to NLM and Digni for sending me to join this program.

Through this moment, I want to encourage my Indonesian team to join this program, if the opportunity comes.”

Can you name a few things that you have learned during the course?

“Intercultural communication has improved my ability to communicate openly, firmly, truthfully, and gently. Practicing the three elements of communication: life, heart, and words will help me as I work and solve problems/conflicts.

Understanding Diakonia made me realize that God has been very kind to give His son to this world. There is a mission that we must take part in as believers. This mission is realized in real action by serving the weak, bringing peace, and speaking out for justice for the oppressed.

Organization development helped me improve my management skills, which is very important.

Another thing I was able to learn was fellowship with other students who I have grown together with in this course. Very experienced, yet humble and patient teachers see us as learning friends too. They are good role models.”

Can you give one or two concrete cases where you used something from the course in practice at your work?

“As a leader, I am responsible for developing my team members. This course has given me more confidence in applying development models to staff under my supervision and at higher levels. I have started providing regular training and intense coaching to my team.

I have also shared the lessons I learned with others in the organization. For instance, Intercultural communication and organizational development are already presented at the daily devotion, board meetings, and project meetings.”

What difference has the course made for you?

“We are now in the middle of the course, and this program has already improved my personal development. I am now more confident in sharing my knowledge and becoming firm in doing my work. This program has restructured my skills and knowledge about organizational development and communication skills.”

You can find more information about the CDL course here.