The Southeastern California Conference (SECC) ordained Pablo Santos at La Sierra Spanish church and Gatra Suhari at the Azure Hills church.
Born in Ijuí, Brazil, Santos grew up ministering through music with his family. Alongside his father, mother, sister, and brother, he traveled all over the world sharing the gospel.
At age 11, Santos and his family moved to Riverside, California. The music ministry remained active as he finished high school and later obtained a B.S. in electronic engineering technology.
While working as an engineer and singing with his family, Santos felt a calling from God to become a pastor.
“I enjoyed being an engineer,” said Santos. “But when I got the call to ministry, I knew I had to listen and pray about it carefully with my wife.”
After much prayer, Santos and his wife put their plans aside to answer God’s call. In May 2011, they moved to Andrews University and began a new chapter where he completed his Master of Divinity. In 2015, they returned to California, where Santos served as a youth pastor at Panamericana Spanish church in Los Angeles.
“Now, as youth pastor for La Sierra Spanish, I get the opportunity to focus on ministering to the youth in our church,” said Santos. “It’s a privilege to work with young people and show them how God can move in their lives.”
Gatra Suhari serves his congregation as youth pastor at Azure Hills church.
Originally from the islands of Indonesia, he migrated to the U.S. as a teenager and attended Redlands Adventist Academy. He then went to La Sierra University, where he earned a B.A. in religious studies.
As early as his senior year of high school, Suhari recognized God’s call to ministry.
“God planted a desire in me to serve,” said Suhari. “At the time, I wasn’t sure what direction life would take me or the timing. One day after meeting with a few spiritual mentors, I was encouraged to enter ministry full time. Through much prayer and meditation, I decided to answer God’s call to pastoral ministry.”
Suhari recently earned his Master of Divinity from Andrews University, rounding off his lifelong education in Adventist institutions.
“Now I get to serve our youth in this next chapter of my life,” said Suhari. “I sense God using me to engage and cultivate our next generation of leaders in uncommon spaces. I’m excited to see how God is going to continue to grow and lead me.”
SECC is blessed to have Santos and Suhari, both of whom are dedicated to enriching the spiritual lives of the youth they serve.
By Danni Thaw