Pastor Raul, who lives in Edson, Alberta, was ordained by Clergy Support Memorial Church in April 2010.
My Spiritual Journey
“My spiritual journey began in the jungles of Nicaragua when, aged 14, I spent over a year as a child soldier. I prayed: “If you exist (God), take me out of this place alive and I will serve you every day of my life”. So that is what I do. Serve God the best way I know how!”
“Personally, this year has been a year of many challenges. Since I became a Christian, my main purpose in this life has been to help people in any way I can. I have encountered opposition along the way many times. I preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to give hope to those that do not have any. My life is devoted to helping. It is not something I do as volunteer work here and there: this is a way of life for me. The biggest goal in my life has always been to serve God by helping people I strive to do just that until that very day that God calls me to His Presence: then and only then I will consider my job on this earth to be done.”
I have a very active ministry of Pastoral Care. While my ministry keeps me busy, I take time to recharge my spiritual batteries at the Edson Alliance Church.
I also lead in Sunday worship when Pastor Steve needs to be absent or he is sick. He invites me to preach.
I am also invited to preach at the Edson Mennonite Church about once a month. My next scheduled preaching at Mennonite church will be Feb. 07 and April 04 Easter Sunday.
I also travel to Valemount, BC to preach at the New Life Sanctuary Church Invited by Pastor Barry Payne; I am there August through Dec.
Pastoral care Activates
Volunteer Chaplain Edson Hospital
I serve as a chaplain in the Edson Hospital, this work is a volunteer work done by the ministerial (Pastors) of Edson churches. Our responsibility is to visit the hospital patients, be on call when needed or when a death has occurred and to visit the nursing home.
Volunteer RCMP Local Victims Unit
I do pre-martial counselling for people planning to get married (Focus Inc.).
I have performed weddings and funerals for people for the Mennonite Church and also from the community of Edson and area as well as from Medicine Hat, Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton. I have performed bi-lingual weddings (English/Spanish)
- Senior Pastor Hispanic Mennonite Church
- Pastor Edson AB Mennonite Church
- Bishop of a small protestant denomination in Costa Rica.
- Finished high school in Costa Rica.
- Attended Medicine Hat College. Diploma, English as a second language.
- Certificate in Pastoral Theology Goshen College and continued distance learning.
Reading, watching the news.
I lead the youth Sunday school class at the Edson Alliance Church where we attend.
I have been involved in providing counselling services to people with different forms of addictions as well as victims of abuse. Most recently, I counselled a young witness of a violent crime.
Personal Growth and Study
I regularly read numerous newsletters, articles and journals such as “Christianity today”, “The Church Report”, “Preaching now”, “The Christian Post”, “Marketplace Leaders”, “Kairos Journal”, “Leadership Wired: etc.
The most recent book that I have read and that impacted my life is “Healing Life’s Hurts” by Dr. Edward M. Smith.
Every year in August there is a town activity called the Sidewalk Jamboree, and Edson Mennonite Church has been part of this activity for a good number of years in selling products brought from third world countries under the sponsorship of Ten Thousand Villages with the intention of helping these impoverished entrepreneurs by selling their products abroad.
A Personal Testimony
I have know Mr. Gurdian for over five years. He and his family moved to Edson when he was called by the Edson Mennonite Church to be our Pastor. The decision was unanimously made to have Pastor Gurdian installed.
First of all, we recognized his obvious wisdom, thorough knowledge of the Bible, and his superb ability to translate difficult thoughts and ideas into understandable, practical applications for everyday living.
Second – He is a very humble and compassionate man. He accepts people exactly as they are – scars and all – and is ready to listen with an empathetic ear and heart, to both triumphs and travails. He gives practical and timely advise to those who seek his counsel. I have never heard him speak disrespectfully of anyone.
Third – Raul has proven to me to be honest and trustworthy as a friend and counselor. I can confide in him with personal information or problems, and feel secure that my confidence will not be betrayed. He is truly a man of integrity.
Fourth – as busy as his schedule may be, Raul will put everything else aside to offer assistance whenever needed. He has made numerous unplanned trips to hospitals in Edmonton and elsewhere to visit and to help those of us in need. He goes far beyond what would be expected, and always with great sincerity and compassion.
Lastly – Raul Gurdian has a wonderfully warm personality and a terrific sense of humour.
I am confident that he will work diligently to do his very best in any endeavor he undertakes.
Bill Lauterbach, 2010