Pablo Landázuri’s ordination marked the conclusion of one chapter in his life and the beginning of another.
“I feel that this milestone was the end of a long and intense process,” he says, “but mainly the beginning of a great task.”
That great task is bringing the Reformed faith to the people in Pablo’s native country of Ecuador, where Pablo and his family hope to return in June.
The consistory of Covenant Reformed Church in Pella, IA, has called Rev. Landázuri as an Associate Pastor to serve as a Minister of the Word and Sacraments and church planter in Ecuador. His ordination and installation service was held in the church on Friday, April 25, 2014.
Rev. Mark Vander Hart, Associate Professor of Old Testament Studies at Mid-America Reformed Seminary in Dyer, IN, preached from 1 Timothy 3:1-7 on “Noble Men May Desire a Noble Task.” He noted how Paul stresses personal Christian qualities for those who aspire to lead the church, and pointed out that these qualities should be manifest in any believer striving to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord.
“Pablo’s personal growth and ministerial gifts have been observed by the church of the Lord Jesus Christ,” he says, “and the church celebrates the call to the ministry in his life and in the life of his family, as God will open the proper doors in Ecuador.”
Rev. Vander Hart also read the Form for Ordination and called the elders of Covenant and other ordained ministers forward for the laying on of hands.
Rev. Todd Joling, pastor of Faith United Reformed Church in Beecher, IL, gave the charge to the minister from 2 Timothy 4:1-5. He encouraged Pablo to fulfill his ministerial calling as Christ prescribed: remembering the weighty motivation (a servant answerable to God), the mandate or main task (preaching the Word), and the appropriate manner (with persistence and patience).
“The burden of his words was on the charge that Paul gave to Timothy to preach the Word and nothing else,” says Rev. Landázuri. “It made me reflect on the need of always being ready and prepared for any occasion. Also the need for patience due to possible disappointments and sufferings. However, all that we endure like soldiers and athletes because of the hope and prize we will have on ‘that Day.’”
Rev. Doug Barnes, Covenant Reformed Church in Pella, presented the charge to the congregation from 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5, urging the audience to pray for the ministry in Ecuador.
“Throughout the evening, God blessed us with wonderful reminders about the significance of the ministry and about His power to raise up servants for His Gospel,” says Rev. Barnes. “At every point, He has been preparing Pablo for this work. Seeing that, we prepare for his departure confidently, knowing that God will continue the work He has begun.”
While Pablo attended Mid-America Reformed Seminary, he was under the care of the consistory at Faith URC in Beecher, IL, and assisted with a church plant among the Hispanic population of Chicago Heights.
“Our council is delighted to see how the Lord has brought Rev. Landázuri through seminary, blessed his relationship with Covenant Reformed Church, and opened the door to minister in his home country,” says Rev. Joling. “We greatly enjoyed our time with the Landázuris while Pablo was in seminary; he and his family were a great help in our Spanish language ministry. We rejoice with them and eagerly look forward to seeing how the Lord will use Pastor Landázuri in the work to which he’s been called.”
Following Pablo’s graduation from Mid-America in May of 2013, he and his family moved to Pella, IA, where he has served the last year as a pastoral intern. During this time, the church’s Missions Committee and Consistory have developed a Joint Venture Agreement for sponsoring Pablo’s ministry and church planting efforts in Ecuador.
“We continue to covet the prayers and support of our sister churches for this work in Ecuador,” says Rev. Barnes. “God is doing something exciting in Quito! Come join us in witnessing His work!”
Among those traveling to Pella, IA, for the ordination service were Pablo’s parents and his pastor, Rev. Donoso. Speaking after the worship service the following Sunday, Rev. Donoso grew emotional as he explained how he and his small congregation had prayed for assistance and God had provided Pablo. When the doors opened for Pablo to attend Mid-America Reformed Seminary, Rev. Donoso wondered if God would choose to put Pablo’s gifts to work elsewhere and he feared Pablo wouldn’t return to Quito. Rev. Donoso rejoices to know that, as he approaches retirement, Rev. Landázuri will continue ministering to the fledgling congregation and proclaiming the Reformed faith in Ecuador.
Reflecting on his ordination, Rev. Landázuri says, “It has given me the conviction that this is what God wants me to do, now that through His Church I have been officially sent to preach the gospel. That gives me comfort and the assurance that I am not going on my own but sent by Him.”
The above article by Glenda Mathes appeared on pages 12-13 of the Mary 28, 2014, issue of Christian Renewal.