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News | Dr. Leighton Ford (Mentoring)

Thank You, Luis

March 16, 2021

Luis Palau lived a faithful life of integrity and passion for proclaiming to millions around the world the true hope found in the Good News of Jesus Christ … but perhaps his greatest impact was intentionally mentoring and raising up the next generation of evangelists … an “Aspen Tree” leader, as we say at Leighton Ford Ministries.

A stand of aspen trees is actually one single organism … multiple trees (and sometimes multiple generations of trees) connected to the same, massive root system.

In contrast, a banyan tree is so huge and its foliage so thick that, according to the Indian proverb, “nothing grows under the banyan tree.” It “demands” all the attention and resources.

As an aspen, Luis Palau in 1998 launched the Global Network of Evangelists to identify and equip newer evangelists, now with 800 worldwide. As a member of this group, I personally witnessed Luis and his team freely invest their wisdom, experience, and resources into hundreds of younger evangelists. Unlike a banyan tree, Luis did not demand all the attention. A new generation of leaders grew around him, strengthened by his roots.

This image is a thank you card I sent Luis Palau in 2018. The picture on the left is Luis investing in me at Amsterdam ’83 (an international conference for evangelists sponsored by Billy Graham and directed by Leighton Ford. Kevin Ford helped with logistics). The picture on the right is Luis and me in 2016 as his investment continued!

Integrity to the end … a great passion for Jesus and his Good News … may we be “aspens!”

–Mark Slaughter, Director of LFM’s Thriving in Ministry Program


(Mark serves full-time as an evangelist with InterVarsity USA. In his unique role, he focuses on partnering with other organizations, including LFM and Luis Palau, to mentor and encourage the next generation of missional leaders).

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