Beyond COMFORT

AN OSM Studio Story 


 

Last November we were able to sit down with Gerado and hear his extraordinary bold move as he leaves his home down in socal, to pursue a youth ministry job in Portland, Oregon.  Here is his story.

 
 
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Take me back 5 years ago...

5 years ago I was the youth minister at Holy Family in Artesia.  I always look back and laugh at how unprepared I was and how naive I was to the world of ministry. I have definitely grown since my time at Holy Family.  Two churches later, I would have never thought I would be in this position and still serving. It is very humbling and such a privilege to be used by God. I have made many mistakes in my life but God has always been resilient in his pursuit of me.

 

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What was your encounter with God like when moving?

It was tough to make the jump to Portland. I was going through a very trying time in my life and I kept telling myself that I wasn’t ready for this. As a matter of fact, after my first interview in a coffee shop, I ran straight to the restroom and threw up because I felt God wanted this for me even though at the time it was something I didn’t necessarily want.

God’s timing often is slow and methodical– and in that process we forget that He sometimes moves at a fast pace. God wasn’t telling me that He wanted this in two years, with every point of discernment I felt the spirit telling me that God wanted this for me NOW, and that was scary.

I felt the spirit telling me that God wanted this for me NOW, and that was scary.
— GERARDO BUTALID

Did you have any doubts or fears? How did you navigate through them?

My biggest fear and doubt that I had to overcome was my fear for change.  I was scared to leave the comfort of my family, friends, and mentors.  But more importantly I was scared that I was making wrong decision.   You can seek advice from friends and people who mentor you, but at the end of the day it was prayer that really got me through. I would pour my heart out to God in Adoration and in Mass and when He spoke to me He spoke to me. I am a strong believer in the fact that God’s plan for you will never fail.

 

 
 
 
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The gospel always works if you put your faith into it and believe in it.

 

What was it that encouraged you to commit to this calling?

After my first visit I knew that Portland was where God wanted me to be. The city is passionate and lively, the parish was a good situation for where I was at in life.  I fell in love with every aspect of the opportunity and calling.

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When you finally got to portland, did you have a game plan?

I wanted to learn the culture and the people. Portland is very different from Southern California. For the first time in a while I was thrown out of my comfort zone. I was excited for what the city had to offer: the food, the people, the breweries.  People always joke that Portland fits who I am as a person and I’m starting to agree.

 
 
 
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"I am a strong believer in the fact that God’s plan for you will never fail."

 
 

What struggles did you go through?

The biggest struggle was leaving my family and the great relationships I had because of ministry.   My entire family is in California so saying bye to them was hard, they mean the world to me.  Being a youth minister you build the healthiest relationships and friendships.  

Saying bye to the friends who would pray for me, grow with me, and bring out the best in me was scary because those friendships are hard to come by!  Leaving St. Martins was difficult,  the two year I served there were in my opinion my best years in ministry.  That parish taught me and helped me grow at a very important stage in my life.

 
 
 

What went the way you thought it and what took you for a loop?

The gospel always works if you put your faith into it and believe in it.  It’s funny because I never wanted to change who I was as a minister but I realized that I needed to adapt my style to fit the parish I was at the teens I was serving too. Doing that took some time and it was difficult.

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diocese of portland

Young adult XLT

What’s the end goal for you? What do you see this ministry becoming?

The end goal from ministry is that the people I encounter remember Jesus, not me, the program or the leaders.

 

The end goal for ministry is that the people I encounter remember Jesus, not me, the program or the leaders.

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What’s your biggest take away from all that you’ve accomplished so far?

God’s plan is greater than any plan you can ever come up with. Keep Him in everything you do and He will not fail your or relent from you.


Looking at what you’ve gone through, what’s one piece of advice you’d give someone watching this?

God’s plan is greater than any plan you can ever come up with. Keep Him in everything you do and He will not fail your or relent from you.

 


Reflection


 
“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
— Philippians 3:14
 
 

To have found God and still pursue.

To have everything and possess nothing. That is life's ultimate paradox.  The difficult part about following Jesus is that you are giving Him complete control to change your life.  Keep moving forward, and don’t look back.  Seek Him in the day to day and find beauty in the journey that He has put you on.   Do that and you will find much joy in the journey that God has in store for you.

 

 
 

An OSM Studio Story