The best part about writing these articles is hearing the stories behind the stories of people who stand firm in their visions, who are faithful to their calling, and who bring their dreams to life. This month of August, Difference Makers of Hawaii are privileged to share the story of Fernando Jaime, which many people know as Pastor Nando.
Originally from Whitmore Village, Nando currently lives in Aiea, and is the Senior Pastor of the Church, The Sanctuary Christian Fellowship. Pastor Nando describes his family as an “extended one.” Two sons are living on the mainland, and six live here. His wife, Lilia, is a former Christian preschool teacher, who now serves as assistant pastor. Michelle, the eldest daughter, owns an Interior Design company. His son David owns a construction company where his other son, Davin also works for him as a carpenter. Tyler serves in ministry, where he is very active in working with the youth. Kyle works at Alva Scott Elementary School as a special education assistant. His youngest daughter Rhema is a former Christian pre-school teacher’s assistant, and has an established photography business. As Pastor Nando talks about his family, he does so in a way, where it is evident that they are what keeps him motivated to continuing serving and dedicating his life to others.
On his free time, Pastor Nando enjoys fishing and golfing. He and his wife, Lilia, also love going to the beach on their time off.
Pastor Nando begins to tell us that serving in ministry was not his initial vision he had for his like. He shares with us that at first he was to become successful in the military, and then later in the business world. He worked at a large construction firm, Aloha Airlines, owned a marketing business, and later owned a small residential/commercial cleaning business.
“It was in 2000 when I was called to full-time ministry. As a pastor, my passion is to love and serve people spiritually as well as in practical ways.”
He goes on the share that The Sanctuary Christian Fellowship has been involved in helping the less fortunate in the community in many ways. They are actively present in serving and feeding the homeless, serving at community events, visiting hospitals and care homes, and providing clothing and other items for various charities [Big Brothers/Big Sister, Kidney Foundation, Goodwill, River of Life, etc,]. They have also participated in community clean-ups at various venues.
“We have also established many underground churches in China, and have partnered with several churches throughout the Philippines to assist pastors and their churches. We have donated finances, goods and clothing during the aftermath of Super Hurricane Yolanda in Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines, and have traveled there to offer help.”
Pastor Nando has traveled to the Philippines on several occasions to teach and serve others as God leads. He has dreams of expanding their mission outreach throughout the Philippines, also and to other places around the world.
“Our mission is simply to make a difference in our local communities as well as abroad. Our greatest joy is seeing lives change for the better, and to be able instill hope where it was once lacking. I believe everyone can make a difference everyday if they are intentional by doing little things with great compassion. Everyone can encourage someone each day – send a text, email, a personal note, a phone call; buy a cup of coffee, a cookie; smile, show appreciation, hug someone, listen to a friend in need, give anonymously, celebrate little things.”
Pastor Nando reminds us to bring joy to people, and that everyone needs a cheerleader in their lives! He encourages us to intentionally choose to be this person, and to look for ways we can make someone else’s day a little better and a little brighter.
When we asked Pastor Nando where his inspiration comes from, he tells us that Jesus is his constant inspiration. He shares with us a saying that he refers to often:
“People will not care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
“A couple of my favorite scriptures that strokes my heart is about how we should love and serve others:
“Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friend.” John 15:13
In 2 Peter 3:9, it tells us, “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”
He describes these scriptures as a means to define his personal mission each day. His passion is to love, serve and make a practical, spiritual, and an eternal difference in the lives of people in the community, as well as overseas.
As Pastor Nando continues to share, it reminds us of the quote from Mother Theresa, “God doesn’t call us to be successful, He calls you to be faithful.”
“I have experienced many peaks and valleys in my life’s journey. I lived in beautiful homes, owned luxury cars, traveled to many places and could afford a few ‘”extras” in life. And on the flip side, I was jobless, in deep financial crisis, homeless, lived in a van for a year and a half. We’ve experienced many hardships, but giving up was never an option. We sacrificed, lived very humbly and depended on God’s grace daily. Because of our personal experiences we can relate to the many circumstances people have to deal with every day.”
When we asked Pastor Nando what his dream is for the community, he shared,
“The dream for our community: Build a safe haven for those abused and for others in need. It would be filled with resources to equip them with various skills, provide opportunities for a better future, and teach them to become difference makers. My vision is to work with local businesses and leaders, and ask for their expertise and contributions towards this effort. We want to develop an environment where “difference makers” can express their passion and create unique ways to make a difference collectively. We can do greater and better things together. We can expand our impact zone and leave a legacy of serving the world we live in.”
Here are at Difference Makers of Hawaii, we hope that you find inspiration in Pastor Nando’s story, and may it encourage you to dream YOUR dreams. As always, be inspired!
Pastor Nando’s Favorite Quotes:
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."—John 3:16