International Ministries

When God Changes the Blueprints

October 30, 2013 Journal
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What Is God Saying?

Gustavo Hirales was sitting in one of his engineering classes, trying to pay attention.  It was a worthy degree to pursue, and one that also pleased his parents.  But his heart wasn’t in it.  He found his mind wandering to the youth events taking place each Saturday during the month of October.  In the margins of his notebook, he began making notes of what needed to be done, speakers to invite, and how to organize the events.  With a start, he realized that he had lost track of what the professor was saying and had no idea if he had missed anything important.  Sighing in frustration, he knew he had to talk to someone and figure out what God was saying to him.

What Will My Family Say?

He met with David later in the week.  After listening to Gustavo’s heart, David affirmed his call to Youth Ministry.  He encouraged him to sit down and talk with his parents, and with his pastor, Guillermo Escobedo.  Gustavo’s older sister, Gemenis, had also attended seminary and was now married and serving as a co-pastor with her husband in Zihuatanejo.  So having a child called to ministry would not be a new experience for his parents, Gustavo & Letty.  But going into youth ministry would be a risk.  There are very few youth pastors in Mexico, and there have never been any to serve in the Mexican Baptist Churches of Baja South.  Would his church financially support him and encourage him in this endeavor?  With trepidation and many questions, Gustavo & Letty gave their son their blessing to pursue this dream.  Gustavo then made an appointment with his pastor.

What Will My Pastor Say?

Pastor Guillermo Escobedo of El Mesias not only affirmed Gustavo’s call, but also said he would do everything in his power to find support for him to attend seminary.  He said, “We want a youth pastor in our church!”  Surprised, and completely overwhelmed, Gustavo shared the good news with David.  A spontaneous high-5 and huge smiles were soon plastered on both their faces.  David had been mentoring Gustavo in his youth ministry endeavors—ever since Gustavo took a youth ministry class with him at the Theological School over a year ago.  It was exciting to see God take it one step further!

What Does My Heart Say?

Gustavo, president of the youth group at El Mesias, and Natalie, president of the Youth Federation for the convention worked closely together to plan the last youth event on October 26.  Mexican race car driver Elizabeth Wayas was the featured speaker challenging the kids to consider priorities, dreams, and God-given gifts as they explored what it meant to be God’s champions.  Over 60 youth were present and the evening ended with games, fellowship, and great music. Talking with Gustavo later that evening and seeing the joy on his face, we could see that he was achieving God's purpose for his life.  By listening to his heart, his life was finally making sense.

Will You Pray?

Please keep Gustavo in your prayers as he takes this huge risk to pioneer in a career that has no precedent in Southern Baja.  He is breaking new ground in his pursuit of becoming a Youth Pastor.  We are humbled by his courage to let God change the blueprints for his life.  He is an inspiration to each one of us, too, as we try to be faithful to God’s leading in our lives.