As I type these words, one of my friends and colleagues at the Seminary in Mexico City is fighting for his life. Some time ago the doctors detected a tumor in Martin Pereda's head. He has been getting treatment, has gone through surgery, and now they found another one. He is currently in a coma, and we are all praying like crazy for healing for him and peace for his family.

I'd appreciate it if you'd pray for him, too. In fact, I beg you to stop reading this for a minute and pray for him.

I wanted to write about something important today, and it has to do with my friend Martin. I have never had him as a professor, never gone to drink coffee with him, or even really spent a significant amount of time with him. I've only been to his house once.

However, I consider him a great friend. I would guess that most of the professors, students, and staff at the Seminary feel the same way about him. There are two things that stand out to me about Martin, and they are two things that I think every leader needs to have in their life.

The Power of a Giving Thanks

Martin Pereda was the first person to ever thank me for coming to Mexico and investing in the youth of his country. I will never forget the day that we passed by each other in the hallway at the office and he gave me the traditional Mexican handshake/hug, looked me in the eye, and said, “Thank you for leaving your country to come and work with our churches so we can reach young people. It is something we need badly.”

We don't do what we do for recognition, but sometimes it is good to hear a thank you from someone. Martin reminded me that day how encouraging it can be to hear a genuine “Gracias.” I hope that I can follow his lead and thank those in my life who deserve to be thanked.

The Power of Prayer

When I first came to the Seminary, I thought that Martin Pereda was a strange professor because he would go around to everyone's office and sit down with them, talk, and then pray really loudly for a long time. He is one of those guys who talks loudly to God, almost shouting out to God for the person who is sitting right across from him.

However, I have come to love that about him. Pereda knows the power of prayer. He knows that prayer not only moves God but moves us. He knows that praying with someone is a huge encouragement both to them and to the one who is praying for them. I want to implement that in my life as well. As E.M. Bounds said, “What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use – men of prayer, men mighty in prayer.” The church needs more men like Martin Pereda.

These two things (and others) are things that make Martin my friend. They make me feel like I know him and have spend tons of time with him. The truth is, he is a man of impact.

He is an example worth following.