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Retratos || An Introduction

A retrato, simply put, is a portrait: it is meant to represent an individual, giving the viewer a glimpse into the person's world and even character. Of course, any one retrato cannot divulge everything regarding its subject; yet they are meant to leave an imprint upon the mind of those who come to study them.

Hispanic Leadership Initiative (HLI) has been in existence now for over a decade, impacting (often quietly) the lives of many rising ministry leaders in and for the Hispanic community. It would be impossible to describe in one blog post - or even several - the impact each of these individuals has had within their respective communities. Nor is it possible to adequately illustrate the extent to which the Lord has multiplied the prayers and contributions of each of HLI’s faithful donors. The objective of Retratos as a monthly blog, is to seek to provide a small window into the Lord’s harvest within the Hispanic community by highlighting a different individual or ministry supported by HLI each month.

Some of the individuals you may meet through Retratos in the upcoming months, who are impacting the Hispanic community for Christ

HLI was founded through the vision of several pastors and church leaders in Texas who felt a a conviction that the rapidly-growing Hispanic population in the United States desperately needed men and women who are trained to reach this diverse context with the Gospel. In reflecting over the past ten years, we are both proud of what the Lord has allowed us to accomplish, and humbled by the prayers, efforts, words of encouragement, support, and labors of so many who have made it possible. After ten years of faithful and fruitful ministry, Gene Bowman (the original director for HLI) recently retired. As HLI moves forward in building on the foundations Rev. Bowman laid, we transition into the leadership of our new Executive Director, José Portillo. We trust that the Lord will continue to bless and grow the ministry and impact of HLI in serving, recruiting, and training new leaders for the advancement of His Kingdom within the Hispanic community.

Our prayer is, as we share monthly glimpses through Retratos into God’s work over the past decade, that many would find encouragement through what God has already been doing; that we would each continue to pray earnestly and faithfully for the work and the workers within in the Hispanic community; and that the Lord would use these retratos to encourage and send more laborers into His Harvest fields. Indeed, "the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few," so please join with us in asking the Lord of the Harvest to send out more workers (cf. Matthew 9:37-38).



  • Please join us this month in praying especially for Gene Bowman: giving thanks for the soil he has so faithfully tilled and planted; and praying for him as he transitions not only into retirement, but learning to live faithfully as a recent widower.

  • Please pray also for the new leadership at HLI and for our board, that our God would continue to grant wisdom in stewarding the resources He has provided through so many of you, for the personal growth and multiplication of Hispanic Gospel leaders. Pray that He would indeed equip us for every good work that He has prepared in advance in reaching our Latino friends, family, and neighbors with the good news of Jesus (cf. Ephesians 2:10)


We greatly anticipate sharing with you in the upcoming months some retratos of the beautiful feet of those who are bringing the Gospel of peace into their communities (cf. Romans 10:15). May it be to God’s glory, and for the furthering of His Kingdom.

¡A Dios sea la gloria!

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