After embedding in Uruguayan society Toni and Matt quickly discerned that traditional church, as most know it, would never take root in Uruguay. People would only come to faith in God as they could sense Him enjoying them. Driven by their desire to see Jesus lived out in real life, Toni and Matt began focusing on creating “healthy, vibrant families of Jesus” that would be able to transform the world around them.
Also drawn to provide emotionally safe places for children to explore their Christian spirituality, Toni introduced Godly Play to Uruguay in 2006. To date, she has trained over 200 teachers and catechists, and more than 2,000 children have had the privilege of being a part of the community of Godly Play.
As an Interpersonal Relationship Specialist and Pastoral Counselor with more than 15 years of international experience offering training workshops and skills-based coaching, Toni’s passion is to help establish joy-filled, Christ-Centered environments that produce healthy relationships and increase resilience.
Toni is currently the Director of The Geronimo Center for Innovation and Leadership, which she co-founded in 2008 with her husband, Matthew. This Uruguay-based non-profit organization seeks to initiate a revolution of joy in the most secular and suicidal nation in the Americas by forming emotionally healthy leaders from all sectors of society who follow Jesus in transforming their world.
Toni’s undergraduate work focused on Spanish and Sociology. She also has a Master’s in Leadership and Church Planting from Columbia International University. While in Uruguay, she completed her diploma in Psycho-Spiritual Counseling from the Universidad Catolica de Uruguay in 2009. Other specialized training includes a certificate in Healthy Interpersonal Relationships from the International Trainer’s Association and PREP, inc., a relationship enhancement training based in Denver, Colorado. She is currently working to finish the three-year Thrive Leadership Training with Life Model Works.
Toni’s hobbies include karaoke, quilting, and sports. She loves being outdoors and spending time building joy with family and friends, especially her husband, their three children, and her poodle, Champagne.