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Restoring Hope to a Marginalized Generation Through the GLS in Mexico | Scott Cochrane

When a young leader describes his generation as being “sidelined”, “cynical” and “discouraged”, it doesn’t paint a promising picture.

But to hear the conversation then shift with words like “hope”, “opportunity” and “vision” you begin to realize that change is possible.

This was the complex picture of the culture in Mexico as described by Abdiel Sanchez, a young marketing executive in Mexico City.

Abdiel was attending the recent Global Leadership Summit in the Sante Fe area of Mexico City, and what he experienced caused him to realize that real change is possible in his country.

“Because of the GLS, I really believe things can change in Mexico,” he explained. “I can see that young leaders can have an opportunity to step up and lead the change our country needs.”

At 29 years of age, Abdiel has already compiled an impressive track record of accomplishments, including an executive position with General Motors. But despite personal success, he has carried with him a deep concern for his country and particularly for young leaders in Mexico.

“We have two big problems here,” Abdiel continued. “First of all, people don’t trust the leaders. They don’t trust political leaders, they don’t trust business leaders. In many cases, they don’t trust religious leaders.

“The second problem is that young people have no voice. They are marginalized. They have no real opportunity to influence change.”

But despite this gloomy assessment, Abdiel is optimistic. And much of his optimism is being fueled by the Global Leadership Summit.

The GLS is the only movement I have seen that is bringing together young and old leaders, from every sector of society. Business, the Church, non-profits, they’re all here,” he enthused. “And they seem to be joined by a passion to be equipped in order to bring Kingdom transformation to Mexico. This is a movement that can make a huge difference.”

What does Abdiel see for the future?

“If movements like the GLS can continue to grow, it can give all of us a new vision for Mexico,” he continued. “This movement can give all young leaders hope that a better day can be coming for Mexico.”

These are the stories that help to compel the WCA to ensure the ongoing growth of the GLS in Mexico. In 2014 there were 13 Summit sites. Next year our plan is to see 30 sites.

Such growth requires tremendous effort. But when we think of young leaders like Abdiel Sanchez, it makes the effort all worthwhile.


Scott Cochrane serves as the vice president of International at Willow Creek Association. An insightful and genuine leader, he travels the globe mentoring international teams, often alongside Bill Hybels. Prior to joining WCA, he was the executive pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Kelowna, British Columbia and provided leadership to the WCA Canada.

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