It was the first of its kind in the years since the Adventist work began in the CNMI (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). On October 8, 2022, on the island of Saipan, Pastor Paulo Restauro, Jr. was ordained to the gospel ministry.
Although from a teacher’s point of view, the nurturing and mentoring of a pastor starts in the classroom, Pastor Paulo’s spiritual walk began within a Christian home. He gives credit to his mother who dedicated him to the Lord in prayer. His parents guided him to commit his life to God. Pastor Paulo mused, “There were times I noticed my mother kneeling at night by my bedside to pray.” Both parents have passed away but would have been overjoyed to see their only son ordained.
It was far from Pastor Paulo’s dream to become a pastor. He wanted to become a lawyer. But his mother, hoping to immerse her son in the Seventh-day Adventist beliefs, convinced him to take ministerial training before entering into law. He conceded to his mother’s advice and enrolled at Mountain View College to major in theology. In college, things were rough at the start. “I wrestled with my decision to enroll as a ministerial student because it was only to honor my mother’s request. My first three semesters at MVC were rough. I violated the rules and regulations of the college.”
Days quickly passed and God worked in mysterious ways in Pastor Paulo’s life. He used godly professors, foster parents, foster brothers and sisters, classmates, and friends to help him understand His calling. He reflected, “He (God) redirected my ambitions. He exposed me to activities and responsibilities that made me alter my priorities in life. I began to love and treasure being a theology student. I was given vital leadership roles in the theology and ministerial departments. I also earned a scholarship by assisting Dr. Edgar Lloren, our professor in Greek subjects.” Pastor Paulo believed that these thread of events in his life were God’s interventions and divine appointments that made his studies enjoyable and more meaningful. When he graduated, he was president of the Young Theologians Club and Ministerial Seminar, the missionary club of the school.
After graduation, he was called as a bible worker/missionary in the Guam-Micronesia Mission and assigned to the island of Tinian in the CNMI. He found his lovely wife Charito, and together they have three children: Paulo Restauro, III (PJ), Precious Elaine, and Pamela Carrie.
In order to academically qualify him for ordination, the Guam-Micronesia Mission, following the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists ministerial program for pastors, sponsored his studies at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS). He graduated with a Master of Arts in Ministry. His favorite text is God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you (Paulo), thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Since mentoring for Pastor Paulo has been continued in the Seventh-dayAdventist churches in the CNMI, we praise God for the loving support of the church members in Saipan, Tinian and Rota islands. Without them, the ordination process would not have been a great success.