Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Investing in Mestizo Leaders

Tonight was an amazing night! I was in Humbolt Park again with Isaiah Mercado and the leaders from la Casa del Carpintero, speaking on the topic of 'priorities'. Young, eager leaders wanting to learn and grow. Everything we did was bilingual-confusing. Spanglish, Puerto-Rican style flying everywhere, punctuated by 'Gloria' being shouted at the appropriate times. It was a blast, and I'm very proud of Isaiah & Lucrecia for their courage to start this church in this gentrifying hood.

When I got home, one of my best friends was waiting for me. Robert Guerrero, from the Dominican Republic, is an amazing young leader that I have been blessed to work with for years. We met while I was planting La Villita Community Church, and he was a student at Moody Bible Institute. He joined me as co-pastor for two years before various turns in life sent him back to the DR.

Under Robert's leadership, a church has been established in the heart of Santo Domingo, in the old historic district (500 years old) that would blow your mind. A church totally committed to wholistic ministry, ala CCDA, with a gym, economic development projects, after-school programs, etc. And, a church that is Latino-Seeker focused, crazy about evangelism and leadership development. To pull off this mix in any context would be amazing, but to do it there is nothing short of miraculous!

May 10-13, I will be in the DR with Robert and 300 church leaders from that country that are either already committed to wholistic 'mision integral' type ministry, or learning about it. I feel so blessed to be able to go and participate. Pray for me as I will share a Bible Study, devotional two mornings and do a workshop on the 8 components of Christian Community Development-with a mestizo twist!

I was so glad to have my kids exposed to Robert again, and to get a chance to hang out and rekindle our friendship. Both Isaiah and Robert are dynamic mestizo leaders making an impact for God's Kingdom, and I am glad to count them as my friends.


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