The city of Escondido occupies a shallow valley surrounded by rocky hills, situated just north of the city of San Diego, and 43 miles north of Tijuana, Mexico. Founded in 1888, it is one of the oldest cities in southern California. Escondido is Spanish for “hidden” or “difficult to see or find.” Sources vary on the origin of the city’s name, saying it refers to hidden water or hidden treasure.
One not-so-hidden treasure among Escondido’s 151,000 inhabitants is Leopoldo Reyes Carballo, pastor of the Iglesia Bíblica Bautista Betel de Escondido. There he also serves as a Sunday School teacher and leads the men’s and Bible study ministries.
A native of Santo Domingo Tehuantepec in Oaxaca, Mexico, Leopoldo came to Jesus 14 years ago during a difficult time in his marriage. He has been serving in the US for 12 years and is especially concerned for the local youth. “When the majority reach 18 years of age, most of them begin to move away from the church,” he says. “A few remain, those who in truth, have been transformed by the Holy Spirit. Of those who fall away, some fall into promiscuity, others into alcoholism and drugs, while others simply leave God out of their lives.”
Teaching young people is paramount in the ministry and career of this father of two girls. A doctor in computer systems engineering, Leopoldo has taught at the university level in Mexico and at the San Diego division of the Biblical College of Higher Studies of San Luis Potosí. He says LOGOI’s Bible courses are helping him "to prepare workers for ministry in the local church" by training new preachers and leaders in his church.
“My advice for my fellow Hispanic pastors is that we always need to be reading God’s Word, praying, and never forgetting to prepare ourselves with excellence to better serve our people,” Leopoldo says. He calls on adults to be aware of current cultural issues and “how they relate to our young people so they can face the battle of defending their faith, always using the armor of God and apologetics, never putting aside the sword of the Spirit.”
Please take a moment and pray for Leopoldo, his parishioners, and “especially young people, that the will of our heavenly Father be done in all our lives." And pray that God will reveal those young and hidden Leopoldos throughout the Spanish-speaking world “to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ” (Eph 4:12).
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