When Obe Arellano, NewThing’s Latin America Regional Director, first moved to Mexico City and began the groundwork for the Latin America region today, he started networking the next day after he arrived. Obe met Ivan Polo at an event and quickly became friends. From the very first conversation, Ivan knew that this relationship with Obe, and later with NewThing, would help him become a reproducing church. Ivan’s vision to lead a healthy and reproducing church led him to ask Obe to become his coach and mentor him through his leadership journey.
Ivan was leading a church just outside of Mexico City, in Coacalco, and felt that the next step for him was to start a new church. At the same time, Covid-19 had started to become widespread. One of Ivan’s first experiences with NewThing was the online Covid-19 Coaching Groups when the pandemic started in 2020. Since then, he’s been connected in other trainings that NewThing’s Latin America region has done.
The coaching Ivan received from Obe, and the NewThing trainings helped Ivan and his wife, Eli, get ready to start a new church. They invited Obe and his wife Jacqueline to do some training for the launch team to develop small group leaders. They wanted to create a community culture through small groups and serving their community. Neither of these experiences are common in churches in Latin America.
They launched Comunidad Cree in April 2021 with small groups that connected people from day one. They also focused on serving their community by cleaning streets and parks, providing meals to patients’ family members at the hospital next to their church, and serving essential workers in their community.
They are so passionate about serving that they celebrated their one-year anniversary this past April by serving their community. They planned a whole day to be out and bless their neighbors.
Reproducing is also part of the culture they are creating. In their first year, they reproduced 15 new leaders. On top of that, Ivan is currently apprenticing a few leaders that will be sent to plant a new church or campus by the end of 2022.
How can meeting at an event turn into planting a church and being ready to send more church planters out in just two years? This bend toward action is what allowed 86 churches to be planted in the last 6 years in 6 different countries in Latin America through NewThing and by God’s grace.
When someone invests in NewThing, they truly help start and sustain movements of reproducing churches worldwide.
Help Ivan, and the next generation of Ivan’s, reach Mexico City. Check out http://newthing.org/gotogether for more info.