ICM Canada’s ministry in Latin America began in Cuba in 2009 when we were initially invited to provide our leadership and mentoring training within a large denomination across that nation. Unfortunately, that initial group was only interested in being “consumers” of the materials – personally benefitting, but not taking the initiative to use it to train others. Our core value as a ministry is that the training we provide must be locally sustainable as well as reproducible. In other words, our goal is not to just provide the training but to identify those who will use the materials to train others (2 Tim. 2:2).
In Cuba, we eventually began working with a group that had this same value of passing on the training and reproducing themselves in others. It was from this fellowship of church that we trained Raydel, who eventually emigrated to Dominican Republic to serve with Carlos. He has since been instrumental in training thousands. Serving Carlos, Raydal and their team for the last eight years, we are now witnessing the values of servant leadership and healthy churches being replicated into the third generation of leaders that they work with. The following are just two such examples:
Elias is a young pastor who enrolled in our CLI (Christian Leadership Institute) program and is being mentored by Raydel. As well as pastoring a church, he also coordinates a fellowship group of over one hundred other ministers within his region of San Pedro. Phil was able to share with this group when he was in the country in April, teaching them to the same principles of leadership that changed Elias’ life. So from Phil — to Raydel — to Elias — to now many other leaders who are influencing other leaders in their region.
Manny is another example of this multigenerational approach to passing on leadership. Initially exposed to our materials through Carlos and Phil, Manny has now started an Academy for young people that meet for training every Saturday. Yes, hard to believe, but after being in school all week, there continues to be a waiting list of young people wanting to take their Saturdays to grow in their faith, learn what it means to be a leader, as well as acquire practical skills that will help them in the marketplace. Phil was able to share with the student body when he was there in April.
Elias and Manny represent the many young leaders it has been our privilege to work with over the years from Africa to Russia, Ukraine and now Latin America & the Caribbean. Connecting with leaders such as Elias and Manny, when they are still young, has the potential to realign the trajectory of their leadership direction for the rest of their life. This is often counter cultural from what they grew up with in their society. But instead of relying on us, they are now personally taking up the mantel of training the next generation of leaders in their country.
The impact of the training continues to grow exponentially beyond our initial efforts, as these leaders continue to serve in their communities and nation. We are excited about the vision of the team in Dominican Republic to respond to the many other invitations for leadership training in Latin America and the Caribbean. Thank you for your continued partnership as we assist them in training leaders throughout the region.