The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

A calling from above

Jacob Mendez found his calling when he came back to church to assist his grandfather Paul Galindo as a youth pastor at El Sendero Centro de Fe y Poder in South Sacramento. Tony Wallin | [email protected]

A young man found his calling in a car accident.

Apart from the impact, shock smacked this young man when he collided with the car in front of him. Shock turned to numbness as he apologized. But shock came back when the woman he hit told him it had all happened for a reason.

This young man is Jacob Mendez, and since the accident he says he has lived life with eternal optimism. He took an experience that originally caused him to feel pain and translated it into something that gave him guidance for the rest of his life.

Mendez, 21, is a City College student on his way to becoming a pastor. Mendez’s grandfather, Paul Galindo, is the pastor of El Sendero Centro de Fe y Poder, a South Sacramento church. Galindo is getting older and will eventually need to pass on his job.

“If it’s me, God willing, that’s a great thing,” says Mendez, with hope in his brown eyes. “If it’s not, that’s okay. I’m just here to help him out.”

Mendez describes his grandfather as a faithful servant of God and great role model. With a lot left in his journey toward the ministry, Mendez says he will attend Bible college, where he can be ordained as a reverend, and then hopefully become a pastor. All this will happen after he finishes City College.

“I feel like you have to be a people person to be a minister,” says Josh Baker, 19, a public speaking classmate of Mendez. “He’s exactly that.”

Baker’s impression of Mendez is that he’s friendly, outgoing and kind of bubbly.

For Mendez, living up to Jesus Christ’s image is a daunting task.

“I take it very soberly – tremblingly,” says Mendez, leaning forward with intensity as he talks, “but I allow Christ to
move through me.”
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El Sendero Centro de Fe y Poder translates in English to The Path – Center of Faith and Power. The church on Florin Road meets Sundays, Mondays and Fridays. These are the pillars in Mendez’s week, and everything else is extra to him, he says. Part of the Assemblies of God denomination, El Sendero de Fe y Poder values spreading the word of God.

“The biggest thing – let others know about Christ,” says Mendez, adhering to his church’s beliefs and his experiences. “Only a few times has someone responded with ‘Move on,’ or ‘Don’t talk to me.’”

Mendez says he doesn’t generally just start talking to strangers. If someone seems interested, and the door opens for him to talk about his faith, he’ll “walk through it.”

Thursday Bible study gives Mendez a prime opportunity to talk about faith with like-minded people. Andrew Hill, 18, is a fellow Thursday study-goer, and he has noticed how involved and animated Mendez is at each meeting.

“He does say a lot,” says Hill. “More than other people do.”

Mendez, with his bright smile, believes that life is a gift, so you might as well enjoy it. This belief rubs off on others, according to his Bible study buddy.

“In the brief time since I’ve met Jacob, I’ve seen him be a great friend,” says Hill. “I feel like he’s someone I can rely on and someone who can always find positiveness. He can always light you up when you’re having a bad day.”

Immediately after the car accident that changed his life, Mendez says he felt empty inside. He felt like he was the problem, because he wasn’t paying attention while driving.

Mendez says he emerged from that initial state with ambition and optimism, hearing loud and clear his calling to become a pastor.

“There’s such an allure to this world,” says Mendez. “People want to be rich, people want to be famous – they want to have the white-picket fence with two children and five cars.”

He pauses. “Not that that stuff is bad, but that doesn’t lead to anything. We’re here for 90 years. Is that how I want to live my life – 90 years of five cars? Or do I want to live my life to the point of touching so many lives that not only am I going to go to heaven, but everybody who has come into contact with me is (going to heaven), not because of me, but with me?”

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