Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | October 29, 2011

A Season of Growth

Four months ago, Gina, my youngest daughter, boarded a flight to Malaysia. She was 20 years and 32 days old when she embarked on her great adventure. It was not too difficult letting Gina go because of what we have seen God do in her life over the years. She loves God and loves people, so the opportunity to take time off from her own studies to serve students was a perfect fit. Her original assignment was for six months, but she has been approved to serve an additional six months. Now, instead of coming home in January, she will return home on July 3, 2012 — just one day shy of one year. She will spend her first Thanksgiving, Christmas, and birthday away from family. But, that’s ok. This is a remarkable season of life for her in which she has an opportunity to serve and learn and grow in a new and exciting context.

The back cover of our album.

One of the best seasons of personal growth in my life was the eleven months I spent on a Greyhound bus after my Sophomore year of college. I traveled the country with a singing and drama group called Liberty during 1976 and 1977. Our group recorded one album in those years before digital recordings and iTunes. Those who have heard me sing will not be surprised to learn that I was not one of the singers in the group. Instead I was responsible for speaking and teaching and also writing the skits that we performed. Those were great years in which I had opportunities to speak hundreds of times to thousands of students. The responsibility of teaching kept me in the Word and forced me to dig deep every day. I loved it! The things I learned during those years with my fellow travelers have served me well through the years. And, seeing America from our Greyhound bus was pretty cool, too.

Since I have to be in Cambodia in November, I decided to take some personal time and leave a few days early in order to visit Gina. Malaysia is just a one-hour flight from Cambodia. Gina and I both have been counting the days until our reunion. She has a Countdown app on her iPad and sent me a screenshot of the time remaining until my plane lands in Malaysia. I must say that I can hardly wait to see her. Gina has a full schedule for me that includes meeting her new friends, teaching, and learning about the place she currently calls home. I’m also looking forward to the time we will have to talk face to face and the opportunity to hear more about what God is doing in her life. I know that the things she is learning in this season of growth so far from home will serve her well for a lifetime.


  1. Thank you daddy 🙂 I am excited to see the plans God has for me unfold over the next 8 months! I AM SO EXCITED TO SEE YOU 🙂

    • These are exciting days. Keep embracing the experience by learning, serving, and growing. See you very soon. Love you.

  2. How wonderful & sweet. What a special blessing for her that you freely allow God to do what He wants in her life–I love it!

    • Thanks, Kristin. It’s exciting to see God at work in Gina’s life.

  3. Such sweet words and what a wonderful legacy you are leaving Pastor Omar ~ I’m thinking “daddy” may be just a little excited to see his daughter….. what time did you comment on her post? Having trouble sleeping or just getting ready for the time change? So proud of you Gina!

    • Thanks, Sheryl. Today is packing day and then off to the airport after church tomorrow afternoon. Looking forward to a great time with Gina and her new friends. And then, off again to Cambodia.

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