G. J. Christo is the president of the Southern Asia Division of the General Conference of Seventhday Adventists.

Our dear son Gordie:

We are very happy and grateful today. Many years ago we dedicated you to God and His service. Our heart's desire was for you to prepare for the ministry. From your earliest years we reminded you of this hope. We noted with joy the direction of your choices. Your decision to take studies that would prepare you for the ministry arose spontaneously. It seemed as if you knew what you should do, and never did you even give a second thought to other alternatives. Today the church has recognized your calling, and in a few hours hands of ordination will be laid on you, as the church acknowledges that God has chosen you to minister in a special way to His people. This recognition, perhaps, has not come as a surprise to you, as you believe that God has called you to the ministry.

When one is set apart for the ministry, he makes a lifelong commitment. Ordi nation, like marriage, is supposed to be permanent. It carries heavy responsibil ities. It is no light matter to let the hands of ordination be placed upon you. You become a part of the highest office to which God calls individuals. As such, you may have to make certain changes in your lifestyle. Many activities, though considered harmless, may now have to take a lower priority. A minister's example must witness of his calling. Be careful of your words, your actions, and your intentions. Never convey a nega tive impression of the ministry.

You are no longer your own. In a special sense you have become your brother's keeper. Whomever you con tact becomes an object of your interest. Nor is your parish limited to any one place. Your influence will either negate or confirm the claims of the Master.

You have developed a pleasing personality. You make friends easily, and people are attracted to you. You have many natural talents and spiritual gifts; entrust these to God. There must be a deep longing in your heart that, through these varied gifts, men and women will be drawn to your Saviour. For this to happen, keep self hid and direct all attention and glory to Jesus.

In addition to your talents and special gifts, you inherited certain tendencies. Some of these tendencies, if not kept under control, could neutralize your influence for good. The Holy Spirit will convict you of these tendencies. If unchecked, they could lead you into difficult paths. You will need to walk closely with your Master, reading His Word and responding to His counsel.

Rose can be a tremendous asset in knowing your true self. Few people like to admit that they have unlovely traits, and no one can point these out to you better than your companion. May God's grace fashion and mold you according to His plans. He loves you and wants you to succeed. With your hand in His, and with your eyes steadied on Him, you cannot fail. Your life will be a channel for His grace to flow to others.

Ellen White reminds us of the promise that "you may rise to the heights to which the Holy Spirit calls you. True religion means living the word in your practical life." It also means that "Christ will be with every minister who, although he may not have attained to perfection of character, is seeking most earnestly to become Christlike" (Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 127, 143).

Last evening while you were in conference with the other ministers, Gerald said, "Tomorrow I will be a pastor's son." I suppose he wants to see what difference it will make to have a father who is a pastor. What a privilege to reflect the servant-model that our Lord demonstrated!

Finally, remember you have placed your hand on the plow. Let no man or any circumstance, however pleasant or frustrating it may be, keep you from continuing in your calling. Challenging and difficult days are ahead for the minister of God. The temptation to give up will be strong. The criticism, of your fellow ministers, the awful depths of sin to which many of your members may have fallen, may cause you to wonder if the Lord is by your side. But do not get weary of testifying to the saving power of your Saviour.

Our prayers will be constantly with you. We are always ready to stand by you. You have brought us much happiness. God bless you and be with you.

Your mother and dad

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G. J. Christo is the president of the Southern Asia Division of the General Conference of Seventhday Adventists.

June 1987

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