Daniel Arellano is a staff pastor at The Rock Christian Fellowship in Española, New Mexico and an alumnus of the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative.
UO: What are you working on?
DANIEL ARELLANO: Since our church is located in a rural community we don’t get much of the Christian entertainment and mass evangelism that you see in top tier cities (Española’s population is 20,000). So this summer I am working on a mass evangelistic event that will reach out to the unchurched in our community as well as draw the city of Española. I believe that if we can’t go to the inner city, then we as a church will bring the inner city to us. For this purpose we have invited world renowned evangelist Nicky Cruz to lead the city wide outreach.
UO: What has God opened your eyes to see?
DANIEL ARELLANO: Forbes Magazines has placed Española on the top list of “Drug Capitals of America” along with urban centers like New Orleans, Baltimore, and San Francisco. Our church has been working for over 25 years to get rid of this stigma. You may have also heard that Low Rider culture has called little Española the “low-rider capital of the world.”
I believe that our city is far greater than these two paradigms. God has opened my eyes to see that we are in a place with the greatest potential to bring change to rural communities in a way that would impact larger cities. You hear about “dream center ministries” in major urban cities, and God has shown me that we can have the same impact at the rural local level.
UO: What’s next?
DANIEL ARELLANO: This month I will travel to Washington D.C. to take part in the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast (June 18-20). I was invited to attend and accepted the invitation because I want to take the time to pray for our country and to seek direction for my life as a leader. I’m focused on equipping local kids in the barrio with the tools that they need to triumph despite their living conditions. My heart is for the church to continue being resourceful, hopeful and a cure for our cities through Jesus Christ.
Interview by Rudy Carrasco