In a full-circle moment, Gustavo Mendez was ordained to the gospel ministry at the very church he began his ministry as a youth pastor 10 years prior.

Though Mendez recognized from a young age God’s call to ministry in his life, he still had doubts growing up. At 15 years old while at a youth camp, a near-tragic accident changed his perspective. While swimming in the river, he began to drown but was saved by four young people. Mendez wondered to himself, “Why did God save me?” He understood this event as a response to his questions in childhood. That day, Mendez dedicated his life, his dreams, his plans—everything—to God’s service.

From Tabasco, Mexico, to Chicago, from Los Angeles to Andrews University and back to Los Angeles again, Mendez‘s relationship and understanding of God continued to grow. He acknowledges how God has placed mentors and colleagues in his life to shape and mold him as well.

“My faith allowed me to believe that God had called me to serve Him far away from my homeland,” Mendez recalled. “Like Abraham, I went forward by faith into a land unknown. I left home. As Abraham left his land with faith, knowing that God had called him and that God Himself would be with him, I humbly listened to God’s voice.”

Mendez was deeply moved and humbled by the overwhelming support at his ordination service last December. He knows God has called him to bring to the feet of Christ those who are suffering, who are in need, who are weeping, and who are alone in a dark world.

“The role of the pastor in our day is becoming more and more relevant,” Mendez said. “The pastor is called by God to lead His people to the promised land.”


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